HOUSTON – The trade deadline is just nine days away, and before Sunday’s game, Mariners manager Eric Wedge expounded on the Mariners’ approach.
“Jack (Zduriencik) and I have already talked about this,” he said of the general manager. “Unless it’s something that raises the bar, I don’t think we’re going to do anything. We’re not going to move somebody just to move somebody.”
Wedge said the team, which has won six games in a row, might stand pat.
“We’ve got a good group of guys out there. It’s fun to watch them come to the ballpark every day right now.”
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In fact, Wedge loves what he’s seeing from the offense.
“You are seeing a lot of these young kids mature as big league hitters,” he said. “Because of the veterans we do have here and the example they set, that’s been a big difference for us. And now you are seeing a level of consistency that you haven’t seen in a while, or at least in my time here.”
‘Home’ game for reliever Luetge
Reliever Lucas Luetge was thrilled to finally make an appearance Sunday in the series against the Astros, his first in Houston. He grew up in nearby Industry, Texas, and attended school at Rice. Luetge retired the side in order in the eighth with two strikeouts.
Fewer than a thousand people reside in Industry, but they sent a large contingent to the game. His parents and two brothers were also in attendance at Minute Maid Park.
“I could hear the little cheers in the background,’’ Luetge said. “So it made me feel pretty special having everyone here.
“It was quite a big group. We had charter buses from a couple of the local banks. And some of my family didn’t get to make it because they went the last two days. But I would guess 40 to 50 people. Maybe more.”
Still, there was no guarantee he would get in the game. He hadn’t appeared in the first two in the series.
“That’s the thing I always tell them,’’ Luetge said. “I don’t know if I’m going to get to pitch or not. I hope I do. And I’m glad I did. There were a lot of runs and I’m glad I got some work because I haven’t pitched in a while.
“When I got that last strike out and came in and they told me I was done, it was kind of a sigh of a relief. I did good in front of them. You want to do good. A lot of those people don’t get to come see me. My parents get to watch every game. But a lot of the other people just see the stat line.”
• Catcher Mike Zunino got the day off Sunday, but he’s earning a lot of praise for his work behind the plate. Here’s what Wedge had to say about why he sat the 22-year-old rookie, and how he’s progressing:
“It’s just everything. It’s the mental, it’s the physical. He’s done a great job. I love the fact he’s in on every pitch. He doesn’t take a pitch off. As a catcher, that’s how you have to be if you’re going to be a championship-caliber player and that’s what he’s shown us so far. Because we have put a lot on him so quickly, I’ve got to give him periodic days off.”
• The game marked the ninth time in his career right-hander Felix Hernandez has received double-digit run support, and the second this season. The Mariners scored 10 for him against Boston on July 8.
Larry Stone: 206-464-3146 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @StoneLarry.