Some pregame news and notes from rainy Texas
We’re less than an hour from game time at the moment in Arlington and rain is falling and the tarp is on the field. It frankly looks a lot more like Seattle than Texas weather at the moment … wet, gloomy and temps in the 60s.
But we’ll keep fingers crossed that this will pass and they can get this final game of the series in, though I don’t think it’ll be starting at the scheduled 12:05 p.m. PT start time.
A few of us met with manager Eric Wedge as normal for his pregame chat and the main news is that Casper Wells remains out today with a sore neck that locked up on him prior to Saturday’s game when he was hitting in the cage.
Wedge sounded like that might be a tough deal for Wells, which is bad timing since he’d figured to get some increased looks here in the coming days with Wedge not particularly happy with Carlos Peguero’s defense or base running in Friday night’s loss.
Wedge was still fired up about Saturday’s win, with Seattle responding to the Rangers’ comeback and answering with their own eighth and ninth inning runs — both on big hits by Justin Smoak — in the 8-6 victory in front of 47,000 fans against a club fighting for the AL West lead.
“It all comes into play for me,” Wedge said. “You talk about the way the first night ended here and then coming back the next night … That was a big win and a big way going about it. It’s a big step for these guys as they continue to develop into a championship-caliber team. That atmosphere last night, middle of September, on the road. I can’t emphasize that enough. I’m not going to downplay it.”
In other news, the team set its pitching rotation for the rest of the upcoming homestand. They’d already set Hector Noesi, Erasmo Ramirez and Felix Hernandez for the next three games against the Orioles. Now they’ve set up Hisashi Iwakuma (Friday), Jason Vargas (Saturday) and Noesi (Sunday) in a rematch with the Rangers.
That means Blake Beavan, today’s starter, will be pushed back at least a day with Noesi moving ahead of him.
Wedge also indicated Franklin Gutierrez will play Winter Ball this offseason, but said catcher Jesus Montero and many of the other youngsters currently with the club would not play this winter after going through their first long Major League season.
Here’s today’s full lineup against left-hander Matt Harrison, who has won eight straight starts against the Mariners. That’s the third-longest all-time streak of wins in consecutive starts against the Mariners, behind only Dave Steward (14 from 1986-90) and Pedro Martinez (12 from 1998-2004).
Dustin Ackley 2B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Kyle Seager 3B
Jesus Montero DH
Michael Saunders RF
Justin Smoak 1B
Miguel Olivo C
Trayvon Robinson LF
Brendan Ryan SS