Raul Ibanez drove in four runs. Felix Hernandez dominated the middle portion of the game. Mariners win, 7-4.
Joining those Mariners veterans Wednesday will likely be a young catcher.
X-Rays of the top of Jesus Sucre’s left hand showed “something small,” according to manager Eric Wedge. Sucre was hit by the Alexei Ramirez’s backswing in the fifth inning. He stayed in the game until the bottom of the fifth, when he came out on-deck and his practice swings told him something was wrong.
He will be further examined Wednesday morning. The complication for the Mariners is Jesus Montero is having knee surgery Wednesday morning. That leaves Mike Zunino and Brandon Bantz as the only catching options in Tacoma.
Neither is on the 40-man roster. Bantz has just 10 at-bats in Triple-A. Zunino carries the Super 2 issue with his possible call-up.
Here’s the “Super 2″ explanation from the MLBPA:
Which, as manager Eric Wedge deftly put it, leave the Mariners in a “pickle.”
With a day game Wednesday, the Mariners would be taking a major risk trying to get through it with just once catcher. Not to mention, their next off day is June 13. It certainly appears they will be forced to make a move in the morning.
Wedge spoke earlier Tuesday about how pleased he was with Sucre behind the plate. More importantly, he spoke about how Kelly Shoppach is used as a backup in a perfect world. That means whomever joins the club will definitely see time. Depending on who that is, they could become the regular catcher.
As for Tuesday night, the White Sox were waiting on Hernandez’s changeup. They rarely bit on it. He snuffed this out and went to four-seam fastballs. Hernandez was often hitting 95 mph on the radar gun. Another good sign for him is he didn’t have ice wrapped around his lower back postgame. At least not when he talked to reporters.
Michael Saunders had a nice night. He was on base three times, with two singles and a walk. He also stole second and third in the eighth to get in position for a sacrifice fly to drive him home with one out. Shoppach did just that.
Ibanez remains hot and humble. He’s hitting .305 since April 27. He says he’s glad to put some good swings together. Hopefully, he won’t have to harken back to this because of the Mariners’ current catching predicament:
Hisashi Iwakuma will be on the mound Wednesday afternoon as the Mariners go for the sweep.