HOUSTON – When I talked to Robinson Cano earlier this week, something that jumped out at me was that he knew not only exactly how many wins the Mariners had but where those wins would rank in the other divisions in baseball.
He pointed out that at the time, with their 44 wins, the Mariners would be tied for the lead or only two games behind in most other divisions. I pointed this out to him in the on-field interview after Tuesday night's win.
"I don't want too much TV," he said, not quite admitting that he was scoreboard watching. "I just go home and watch sports because I like to know what other teams do around the league because there are teams you are going to face and sometimes when you saw them on TV you can remember that and whenever you face them you know what they do."
Good enough, and absolutely nothing wrong with knowing where your club stands. It was just interesting that he in particular is paying attention that closely. He clearly is enjoying the success the Mariners are having and expects more. Learning to win is the first step.
"The next step just keep consistent," he said. "We've just got to keep doing the little things. That's what we have got to do. We have got a bunt situation, you got to bunt the ball. Even myself, when I know I've got man on second, in that situation when I know who's pitching, OK I might get ready to pull the ball. If I get a hit, I get an RBI. If not, I move the runner. If you don't pitch to me I go to first base. That's the mentality that we need to have. I know that we have guys that need to get more experience. I was in the game for 10 years now, I was the same way."
And if they stick with it?
"This team is going to win," he said. "We just have to keep the mentality that we can win. We can beat anybody."
Right now they don't look like they need a lot of convincing.
Endy Chavez, DH
James Jones, 8
Robinson Cano, 4
Kyle Seager, 5
Logan Morrison, 3
John Buck, 2
Michael Saunders, 9
Dustin Ackley, 7
Brad Miller, 6
• Lost in all of the offense Tuesday night, the Mariners had their league record of 46 straight games without an unearned run come to an end in the seventh inning on a Brad Miller error.
• Cano suffered his first hitless streak of three games from June 25 to June 28. In the three games since then he has gone 6 for 13 with two home runs and eight RBIs.
• James Paxton threw a flat-ground session before today's game and remains on schedule to throw a bullpen Friday in Chicago. We should see him throw a simulated game early next week in Seattle.
• Justin Smoak is not in the lineup for the Rainiers today. Manager Lloyd McClendon said that he just needed a day off.