Notebook | More bench time ahead for Sexson
Four months of waiting time for Richie Sexson finally proved to be too much for his team. And now, the $14 million Mariners first baseman...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Friday | vs. Boston, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's LHP Horacio Ramirez (6-3, 6.52) vs. LHP Jon Lester (1-0, 4.26)
Saturday | vs. Boston, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's LHP Jarrod Washburn (8-7, 4.11) vs. RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (12-8, 3.75).
Sunday | vs. Boston, 1:05 p.m., Ch. 11 | M's RHP Miguel Batista (11-7, 4.23) vs. RHP Curt Schilling (6-4, 4.20).
Tuesday | @ Baltimore, 4:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Jeff Weaver (2-10, 6.32) vs. RHP Steve Trachsel (5-7, 4.97).
Wednesday | @ Baltimore, 4:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Felix Hernandez (7-6, 3.89) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (7-3, 2.89).
Four months of waiting time for Richie Sexson finally proved to be too much for his team.
And now, the $14 million Mariners first baseman will have to earn his way back into the daily lineup. That's the way manager John McLaren was telling it Wednesday after deciding to start Ben Broussard at first base against Los Angeles Angels right-hander Jered Weaver.
While McLaren stopped short of calling it a strict left-right platoon situation, that's exactly what appears will happen until Sexson's bat begins connecting with more baseballs.
"You know what, I'm not going to say Richie's a platoon player by any stretch of the imagination," McLaren said. "It's been four months and he needs to get going. He's working hard. We keep thinking today's going to be the day. We hope — he plays Friday — that Friday's going to be the day he turns it around."
The start Friday will come against a left-hander, Boston Red Sox starter Jon Lester.
Sexson was 0 for 3 Wednesday and is hitting .198 for the season. Entering the game, he had a .698 on-base-plus slugging percentage (OPS). He was batting .241 with a .747 OPS against lefties, .186 with a .682 OPS vs. right-handers.
McLaren said he has yet to discuss the idea of a platoon with Sexson. But the two have had numerous discussions about Sexson's continued slump, which saw him hit just .165 with two home runs and six RBI for July.
"He knows the situation. Richie's a professional, he's disappointed. We've had some talks. He knows that he's been disappointing so far. I told him I know he can carry us, too.
"That's what we're looking for."
Broussard drove in a third-inning run with a single to center off Weaver. He also made a nice scoop of a Yuniesky Betancourt throw to first base in the second inning, then snared a hard smash by Gary Matthews Jr.
He finished 1 for 3 and is now hitting .288 with six homers and 23 RBI in 139 at-bats.
A quick learner
Mariners starter Jeff Weaver admits he had little to do with the professional success of his younger brother, Jered, who started for the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday. While the elder Weaver had to battle just to make the Fresno State team as a walk-on player, his brother was a basketball and baseball star in high school and had his pick of scholarship offers.
"He was a way better athlete at a younger age than I was," Weaver said. "I'm kind of a late bloomer, didn't really come through until my second year of college.
"He developed a lot earlier than I did and allowed a lot of doors to open for himself," he added. "Regardless of whether I'd play or not, he still would have gotten to where he is today."
Weaver is six years older than his brother and was already out of the family home playing professional baseball by the time Jered was pitching competitively. The elder Weaver didn't even see his younger brother pitch until the latter was at Long Beach State.
He was startled at the similarities in their mechanics, but says his brother is far less emotional on the mound.
"I just think that the mistakes I've made, he's been able to learn from," Weaver said. "Especially with demeanor and things like that on the mound."
The brothers have gotten together for lunch and postgame drinks with their parents and a cousin, also in town for the series. Weaver's father, Dave, an electrical contractor, used to catch both brothers until they each reached about age 13 and threw too hard.
"He went from having to catch me all those years, straight to him with no break in between," Weaver said with a laugh.
• Bullpen coach Jim Slaton was back with the team Wednesday, one day after being taken to the hospital with a stomach ailment. "They think it's a kidney stone," Slaton said, adding that he's feeling better.
• Raul Ibanez was inserted in the cleanup spot Wednesday, one day after notching a ninth-inning single that was only his third hit in his last 21 at-bats. Ibanez responded with a single and a double in his first two trips to the plate, driving in a run and scoring twice. He finished 2 for 6.
• Boston has announced that Curt Schilling will make his first start in nearly six weeks in the series finale Sunday at Safeco Field instead of Josh Beckett. Schilling has a 6-4 record and 4.20 earned-run average.
For the record
vs. AL West: 19-17
vs. L.A.: 3-8
vs. Oakland: 10-3
vs. Texas: 6-6
vs. AL East: 18-10
vs. AL Cent.: 12-11
vs. NL: 9-9
vs. LHP: 21-8
vs. RHP: 37-39
Extra innings: 3-1
Wednesday's crowd: 34,471
Season total: 1,786,019
Biggest crowd: 46,340 (June 22)
Smallest crowd: 16,555 (May 2)
Average (56 dates): 31,893
2006 average (56 dates): 29,876
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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