Normally in major league baseball, starting catchers end up getting the day off when a team plays a day game following a night game. But manager Eric Wedge decided to keep Miguel Olivo in the lineup and batting clean-up for the third straight game.
Why? Well, Olivo is hitting right now.
"With the off day Monday and another off day the following Monday and with what we are trying to do the lineup and everything, we thought it was a good time to push him through this series," Wedge said. "We'll probably give him a day off either Saturday or Sunday off in Boston. The off days allow that to happen. We are far enough into the season to be removed from the physical part of it."
Obviously, Wedge is aware that all catchers need to be monitored in terms of getting rest so they don't wear down as the season progresses.
"As hard as he plays, with his intensity level, I think you have to monitor him even more so," Wedge said.
Wedge was extremely pleased with what he saw from Olivo in last night's win where he had three hits and drove in a key run with a sacrifice fly.
"Without a doubt that sacrifice fly was the best at-bat he's had all year, arguably one of the best we had as a team all year," Wedge said. "You talk about sticking your nose in there in that situation and fighting through an at-bat against a very good pitcher. And not just hitting a sacrifice fly, but hitting it to deep center field. You hear me talk about the type of at-bats we want to have, that epitomizes that."
Here's the sequence ..
Was it good that Olivo waved at curveball first pitch? Probably not. He then took a fastball for a strike that was a questionable call. Perhaps the most impressive thing to me was laying off the 2-2 curve low and away. How many times have you seen him with two strikes lunge at that pitch in that location with a half-hearted swing.
While Olivo gets another day in the lineup, Jack Cust gets a day to watch. The Mariners slumping DH struck out in his first four times up - achieving the golden sombrero.
Cust came up for a fifth time, and didn't strikeout. He doubled to right.
"Obviously he had a tough night last night, but on the flip side he had arguably his best pass at a baseball on that last at-bat. The way the ball came off the bat on that last at-bat was a good sign. I'm hoping as he watches the game today he's thinking about that."
Wedge said he didn't even consider not sending Cust out there to have him avoid further humility.
"It's the big leagues, and you got to handle everything that comes with it," Wedge said.
Wedge was surprised when he was told that Justin Smoak was the last player to strike out five times in a nine inning game.
Looking at the box score of the game on June 13, 2010 at Milwaukee, Smoak struck out looking off of Yovanni Gallardo in his first three at-bats, then struck out swinging against Zach Braddock and then swinging in the ninth off of David Riske.
"Really, I would not have guessed that," he said. "I thought you were going to drop a Rob Deer on me."
- Ichiro RF
- Chone Figgins 3B
- Milton Bradley LF
- Miguel Olivo C
- Justin Smoak 1B
- Adam Kennedy DH
- Luis Rodriguez SS
- Michael Saunders CF
- Jack Wilson 2B
RHP Michael Pineda (3-1, 1.78 ERA)
Detroit Tigers (12-12)
- Austin Jackson CF
- Ramon Santiago SS
- Magglio Ordonez DH
- Miguel Cabrera 1B
- Brennan Boesch RF
- Ryan Raburn LF
- Alex Avila C
- Don Kelly 3B
- Will Rhymes 2B
RHP Brad Penny (1-2, 6.35 ERA)