By Todd Dybas The News Tribune
SEATTLE — Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon recommended reviewing check swings as part of instant replay.
Sunday, the Mariners thought Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick had struck out to end the seventh inning with Seattle in front 5-3. Instead, it was ruled a check swing. Kendrick went on to single off Yoervis Medina to score Mike Trout and cut the Mariners’ lead to 5-4. The Mariners lost 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth.
“Everybody talks about a lot of different things, we were one checked swing that wasn’t called from winning that game,” McClendon said.
“You really want to talk about replays and what should replayed?” Seattle’s manager said. “We had two checked swings earlier in that series — one on (Kyle) Seager, he barely took his bat off his shoulder, strike three. Just need to be consistent with it. I think it cost us a ballgame (Sunday).”
Meet the Mets
Mariners hitting coach Howard Johnson was a popular figure Monday afternoon.
Johnson was a two-time All-Star and 1986 World Series winner with the New York Mets, who are in Seattle for a three-game interleague series. He also coached throughout the Mets’ system, rising from the batting coach of the Class A Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League in 2001 and eventually becoming the Mets’ hitting coach in 2007.
Johnson worked with multiple members of the current Mets team, including star third baseman David Wright.
“Loving the orange and the blue,” Johnson said. “It’s part of my upbringing as a professional baseball player. Lots of great memories. They don’t go away.”
Johnson still has a variety of memorabilia from the Mets’ 1986 World Series win — pennants, scorebooks, a ring — forever known as the series when the ball got through Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner. The Mets scored three runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to come back and win Game 6, scoring the winning run because of Buckner’s error, then went on to win in Game 7. “Those are things that you treasure, the older you get,” Johnson said. “The further removed from that year you get.”
As for Buckner?
“The whole drama with that, to think if that would happen today …” Johnson said. “There’s been some playoff games decided by crazy stuff. We were on the brink of elimination. It was amazing we were able to come back and win like that.”
In 1994, the Mariners began what turned out to be a 20-game, 22-day, 8-city, 10,425 mile road trip while the roof was being repaired at the Kingdome. They went 11-9 during the stretch.
Six years later, the Mariners endured their first home rain delay in team history. Seattle’s 13-5 win over Texas was interrupted for 54 minutes when a rainstorm drenched fans at Safeco Field and the $517.6 million stadium’s roof wouldn’t close because of a computer problem. The roof finally began closing about 20 minutes later.
The Mariners continue a seven-game homestand at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday with the second of three games against the New York Mets at Safeco Field.
Erasmo Ramirez (1-4 with a 4.58 ERA) will face righty Jacob deGrom (3-5, 3.18).
The series continues Wednesday afternoon before the Baltimore Orioles arrive Thursday for a four-game weekend series.