Whether it would frustrate him or not, Mitch Haniger went back and watched the video replay of his failed attempt to rob Elvis Andrus of a two-run homer in Monday’s loss to the White Sox.
“I’ll always watch the replays and look to see what I could have done differently or what I can do the next time,” he said.
That’s how his mind works when it comes to baseball — always finding ways to improve.
The replays revealed what he felt on the field in the seventh inning.
“I had the ball in the top of my glove and just as I was trying to squeeze it shut, my arm and glove hit the wall and the ball came out,” he said. “I’m still mad I didn’t hang on to it.”
As he analyzed the video, two things came to mind, besides that it would’ve been a homer whether he touched it or not.
The first thing was that if he had a little more time to get his feet set and jump, he would have secured the ball in his glove before hitting the wall.
“I was trying to get back so quickly that I couldn’t get my steps right by the wall,” he said. “I was kind of jumping back and not up.”
And that was the second conclusion, because of where the scouting report said to play Andrus, it made the catch that much more difficult.
“He’s been a good hitter,” Haniger said. “But a lot of the balls he hits to right field are more of the low line drives that kind of sink in front of you. So that’s why I had to get back so fast. You aren’t thinking he’s going to drive one over your head to right field like that.”
While it seems like there is a homer-robbing catch each night, Haniger knows they aren’t simple. So many things have to go right to make those catches.
“Think about how many homers are hit a night,” he said. “It usually happens when it’s a power guy up and you are already playing deep. Then you don’t have to cover as much ground to get to the wall. You are already there and can focus on making the catch.”
As for Andrus, if it feels like he torments the Mariners, well, that’s partially true and a factor of his time spent in the American League West with the Rangers and then A’s.
The veteran shortstop has played in 214 games against the Mariners in 14 MLB seasons. He’s posted a career .256/.304/.378 slash line with 207 hits, including 46 doubles, four triples, 15 homers, 82 RBI, 22 stolen bases, 52 walks and 130 strikeouts.
He hasn’t reached Mike Trout levels yet. But he certainly might make the all-time lineup of Mariners nemeses.
With school starting in the Puget Sound, the Mariners returned to 6:40 p.m. start times for weekday games. All weekday night games at T-Mobile Park will be 6:40 p.m. start times until the end of the regular season.
Seattle starting pitchers have held opponents to three runs or fewer in their last eight games coming into Tuesday. The Mariners have gone 7-1 over the stretch. Seattle starters have also tallied 68 quality starts (six or more innings pitched, three runs or fewer allowed) this season. That’s third most in MLB behind the Astros (78) and Padres (72).
Julio Rodriguez is the fifth Mariner to record 500-plus plate appearances in his first MLB season, with 505 going into Tuesday. He joins:
- Ichiro (738 in 2001)
- Alvin Davis (679 in 1984)
- Kenji Johjima (542 in 2006)
- Ken Griffey Jr. (506 in 1989)
On the farm …
Outfielder Kyle Lewis was named the Pacific Coast League player of the week for Aug. 29-Sept. 4. Lewis reached base safely in all five games he played with hits in four of the games. He batted .467 (7 for 15) with three home runs, seven RBI and five walks.
Mariners first-round draft pick Cole Young has reached base safely in four of his last five games with Low-A Modesto. That included his first career home run Sept. 4 in a three-hit game vs. Fresno.
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