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M’s notebook: McClendon calls Chavez at-bat biggest of the year

BOSTON – Day game after night game and lots of pre-game duties for me so the notebook will be short. I spent the morning putting together a highlight package from last night with Rick Rizzs’ calls and some player interviews that ran on the show. Some of you have requested it so here is the link.

The one note of note from the morning media session is Logan Morrison was feeling under the weather so he is out of the lineup today. As a result Kendrys Morales is at first base and Endy Chavez is the DH. I don’t expect Morrison to be available for pinch-hitting duties. He did not look good this morning.

The topic for the pre-game media session with Lloyd McClendon was of course the game the previous night. Five runs in the bottom of the ninth with two outs is not something you see every day. McClendon could not say enough about the at-bat by Endy Chavez that kept the rally going and wore out closer Koji Uehara. For McClendon, he had the right hitter up in the right situation.

“It’s why I have said this before,” he said. “Give me a veteran that is 70-75 percent over a rookie that is 100 percent. They bring so much to the table. There is nothing like experience. He never panicked in that situation. Looking back at that at-bat, he threw him some very tough pitches, and a couple of them he barely fouled off. Probably the biggest at-bat of the year for us.”

Another big play for the Mariners was Dustin Ackley scoring from first on the Robinson Cano single to right. McClendon called it a great send by third base coach Rich Donnelly and pointed out that, in his opinion, if your third base coach isn’t getting anyone thrown out he is not a good one. Always playing it safe is not the right way to go in McClendon’s eyes.

“Rich is willing to take the right chances in the right situations and that was just an unbelievable send,” he said. “Too often third base coaches don’t get the credit for those kinds of things and that was tremendous.”

Ever wonder what goes through the mind of a third base coach’s mind in these situations? After the game Donnelly talked about what he saw, why he sent Ackley and just how rare an opportunity is was. The audio can be heard here.

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