Aaron Harang misses start with stiff lower back | Mariners notebook
Harang went to bed with a stiff lower back on Wednesday night and it was no better Thursday, leading the Mariners to scratch him from his start in favor of Hector Noesi.
Seattle Times staff reporter
NEW YORK — Aaron Harang had been looking forward to finally facing the New York Yankees after a decade in the big leagues.
The Yankees would have been the 30th club opposed by Harang over the years, but it became apparent on Thursday morning that it was not to be. Harang went to bed with a stiff lower back on Wednesday night and it was no better Thursday, leading the Mariners to scratch him from his start in favor of Hector Noesi.
Harang first informed the Mariners of the problem Wednesday afternoon and said he has had a few similar episodes over the years.
"Just from it getting out of alignment," said the 6-foot-7, 260-pound hurler. "I've had regular chiropractor treatments. Just with all the flying, you're on the plane and sitting — I've got my legs spread out and can't put them straight forward because of how long my legs are — it's just the little stuff I've got to keep doing.
"Obviously, with the last long trip and then a couple of days at home and we turn around and go on another long trip. Changing hotels ... I spent the whole first month of the season in a hotel pretty much too. It's just been hard to stay on that stuff."
The last time Harang was scratched from a start came on the Fourth of July in 2010 here in New York. He was pitching for the Reds and was to have faced the New York Mets that day.
Instead, he was sidelined for a month.
"It was tough," he said. "We couldn't even find a chiropractor in the city because everybody took off for the long weekend."
• Franklin Gutierrez began his injury rehabilitation assignment with Class AAA Tacoma on Thursday, just over three weeks after being sidelined by a hamstring injury.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge wouldn't put a timetable on Gutierrez's return, but seemed to indicate he'd wait the full 20-day maximum if need be. Wedge will remain in constant contact with Tacoma coaches and trainers to see how full-out Gutierrez is able to play on a daily basis.
"He has to play, but I'm not looking for him just to be to the point where he can play up here," Wedge said. "He's got to be further than that so we can count on him. You now what I mean? 100 percent? I don't know what 100 percent is any more. I don't think there is 100 percent. But I know he's got to be further along than he has been in the past before he comes back."
• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the two homers and six runs batted in by Raul Ibanez on Wednesday night made him the oldest player to do that since Barry Bonds in 2007. At age 40 and 347 days, Ibanez was also the oldest player to hit a grand slam at either the old or new Yankee Stadium.
• The solo home run by Michael Morse in the sixth inning was his 10th of the year and the MLB-best 27th struck by a Mariners outfielder.
• Wedge was ejected for the first time this season and the 33rd time in his career. He was tossed between innings in the second by first-base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after going out to argue a call that had occurred in the top of the frame.