Mariners notebook: Scott Servais moves past bad play; Nelson Cruz explains big blast
Any night you walk into a ballpark, there is the possibility of seeing something you have never seen before on the field. Saturday night was one of those nights and, in this case, the inning-ending 2-4-5-6 double play was not a good thing. That, coupled with a small army being left on base made for a sleepless night for the Mariners skipper Scott Servais. Today, however, that game has been put away.
“You are going to have those games, fortunately, we haven’t had too many,” Servais said. “It wasn’t a very well-played game. It is behind us and we have got to get out there and get after it today. We’ll be ready to play today.”
Both plays – runners caught at third and then second – were reviewed, with Kyle Seager and Shawn O’Malley being called out.
“It’s a continuous play,” Servais explained when asked if one play or the other had to be specified when issuing the challenge from the dugout. “The way I understood it is when we put the challenge in, they are going to check both of them. They were very close, so close, that unless you have got really good, true evidence to overturn it they are going to stay with the call on the field.
“Crazy play, not one that you practice too often,” he added. “Certainly don’t expect the game to end that way. It just happened, with guys that were probably a little too aggressive in that spot. I don’t fault our guys at all, we had many, many chances early in that game to take care of business. Like I said, it’s over, we’ll let it go.”
• The Mariners could use some innings from Taijuan Walker Sunday with pitchers Nick Vincent and, possibly, Mike Montgomery available today. Vincent threw 49 pitches in two innings Saturday.
“We extended him more than he has ever been extended,” said Servais. “He got through it. He just needs to do that every once and awhile. It was just a lot of pitches, that was concerning but your hands were kind of tied (with the right-handed hitters coming up) at that point. He got through it.”
• My biggest regret for not being at the game Saturday? Missing Nelson Cruz hitting a ball out of the park during batting practice. However, I did get to talk to him about it Sunday.
“Felix requested it,” Cruz said of the big swing he took at the end of his final round of batting practice.
“The round before, he told me, ‘Hit it out.’ Leg kick, you can hit it farther. Then we got one extra swing and he told me, ‘hit it out, hit it out!'”
Cruz, who has smashed balls out of Fenway Park and Minute Maid Park during games, appeared to be a bit amused by the fuss.
“When I came in it was like a big thing, I guess,” he said. “It was (batting practice), not like a real homer. BP.”
If we see it again, it most likely will be in a game as Cruz said he has no plans for an encore in batting practice.
“I don’t think I am going to try to do it,” he said. “I went 0 for 4 yesterday, I don’t think it worked out.”
One of those at-bats was a first pitch pop up with the bases loaded.
“It’s all Felix’s fault,” Cruz said.
• Welcome back Patrick Kivlehan. Kivlehan, who was part of the trade for Leonys Martin and designated for assignment earlier this week by the Rangers, was re-acquired Sunday by the Mariners for a player to be named later or cash. To make room for Kivlehan on the 40-man roster, Evan Scirbner, out with a lat injury since spring training, has been placed on the 60-day DL.