After a 5-hour, 15-inning game, the Mariners line-up looks a little different. Acting manager Robby Thompson decided to rest 41-year-old Raul Ibanez, who played all 15 innings last night.
“He said he felt great and was ready to go,” Thompson said. ”But I think the smart thing was to give him a day. We’re going to get in late tonight and early morning and he’ll be back in there tomorrow. But we have to be smart with him. He is in great shape and he’s rarin’ to go and it’s hard to keep him out of there, but I think it’s the right thing to do to give him a day.”
Humberto Quintero also gets a day off after catching all 15 innings.
“He did a great job,” Thompson said. “We’ve got Henry in there today and will go back to Humberto tomorrow.”
And Michael Morse gets a day off as the Mariners try to be proactive to keeping him healthy after he missed a month with a quad strain.
Thompson won’t have Lucas Luetge (three innings pitched) or Danny Farquhar (three innings pitched) available in relief tonight. But that might not be necessary with Felix Hernandez on the mound.
“Danny has worked hard over the last week,” Thompson said. ‘He’s another guy who says he’s ready to go and is champing at the bit. But the smart thing is to stay away from him unless it’s an emergency situation.”
Farquhar said he feels ready to pitch if needed.
“I was pretty efficient on my pitches,” he said. “I think I threw 39. I’ve always been a guy that bounces back pretty well. They used to say I have a rubber arm in high school I played outfield, pitches, sometimes I would catch. Recovery isn’t an issue with me.”
Farquhar was really good for the Mariners last night, pitching three hitless shutout inning and striking out four.
Over his last five outings, he’s pitched 9 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and striking out 15, while walking four. The recent run of success came after a little chat with veteran catcher Henry Blanco.
“I had a little rough spell a couple weeks ago,” Farquhar said. “And he said, with your stuff you need to start pounding hitters in. And I really took it to heart and I started applying it. A lot of my success is due to Henry’s talk with me.”
Farquhar was getting a little too comfortable just pitching away to hitters. It was predictable and led to poor results.
“I have noticed that relievers like to tend to stay away in general,” he said. “Away is a very safe part of the zone. But if you live away, they are going to hit you hard. They are just going to sit away.”
So with Blanco’s urging he started busting hitters inside with his mid-90s fastball and hard cut fastball and then showing the slow curveball to keep them off balance.
“I was mostly going along with what’s comfortable for me instead of making a conscious effort to make hitters uncomfortable in the box,” Farquhar said. “But the talk really woke me up.”