Scott Servais: "Somehow, we've managed to stay afloat through all the injuries, and hoping we get to the point where we're at around the .500 mark when you start getting everyone healthy. I think we've accomplished a lot to that point, to still be afloat."
It will be a brand-new face on the mound for the Mariners on Thursday night, with right-hander Andrew Moore set to make his major-league debut as Seattle goes for a four-game series sweep of the Detroit Tigers.
Come Friday night, a familiar figure will finally be back on the mound for the Mariners. Felix Hernandez, on the disabled list since April 26 with bursitis in his right shoulder, is scheduled to start Friday’s series opener against the Houston Astros.
“I’m really looking forward to it — he’s looking forward to it,” manager Scott Servais said of Hernandez’s return. “The extra rehab start we gave him (in Tacoma) was absolutely in my mind the right thing to do, to make sure he’s completely (ready). … He should be able to go out there and compete, and we’ll let him go as long as he can go and, again, keep us in the game and give us a chance.”
That the Mariners (37-37) have climbed back to .500 with their rotation in shambles for much of the season is no small thing.
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“Felix pitches with a lot of emotion, and the adrenaline will be up tomorrow night. He’s anxious to get back out there and help the team,” Servais said. “Somehow, we’ve managed to stay afloat through all the injuries, and hoping we get to the point where we’re at around the .500 mark when you start getting everyone healthy. I think we’ve accomplished a lot to that point, to still be afloat. (But) there’s a lot of work to be done.”
About that bunt
There has been much debate — from former major leaguers to the know-it-alls on Twitter — about the etiquette of Jarrod Dyson’s bunt single that broke up Justin Verlander’s bid for a perfect game in the sixth inning Wednesday night.
Verlander, for his part, said he didn’t have a problem with the bunt.
“It was a perfect bunt,” Verlander told The Detroit Free Press. “That’s part of his game. I don’t think it was quite too late given the situation to bunt, especially being how it’s a major part of what he does. So I didn’t really have any issues with it. It wasn’t like I got upset about it.”
The Mariners trailed 4-0 going into the bottom of the sixth, and Dyson’s bunt single sparked the Mariners’ 7-5 comeback victory.
“It’s baseball and everybody’s got these unwritten rules and all this other stuff,” Servais said before Thursday’s game. “If anybody was in the ballpark last night, they had no issues with that at all. I certainly didn’t. It helped us win the ballgame, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said he didn’t have a problem with the bunt, either.
“I thought the Tigers handled it very classy,” Servais said. “They know Dyson — Dyson’s played against them a lot, and they know what kind of player he is. It wasn’t like Nelson Cruz laid a bunt down. That would have been a little bit different. I would have passed out if I saw that. But that is part of Dyson’s game, and it certainly changed the game.”