SEATTLE -- First-year Padres manager Andy Green got his inaugural taste of Interleague play from the bench in the first of two games at Seattle's Safeco Field on Monday.Green's first move was deciding on catcher Christian Bethancourt as the Padres' initial designated hitter. That move paid off, as Bethancourt had
SEATTLE -- First-year Padres manager Andy Green got his inaugural taste of Interleague play from the bench in the first of two games at Seattle's Safeco Field on Monday.
Green's first move was deciding on catcher Christian Bethancourt as the Padres' initial designated hitter. That move paid off, as Bethancourt had two hits, including a second-inning RBI single in Monday's 9-3 loss to the Mariners.
"In a sense it becomes a little bit easier because you don't have to worry about hitting for the pitcher or anything like that," Green said before Monday's Memorial Day game. "We've got Christian Bethancourt in there and he's swung the bat very well this year for us ... It shouldn't be much different. We've got to come out and play good baseball."
After planning his lineup and in-game strategy in a certain manner over the first 51 games, Green obviously is more comfortable in a National League setting.
"I'm a fan of the way National League baseball is played. I don't mind a reprieve from it on occasion playing an American League game or two, but love the National League game," he said. "There's history to it. I love the chess match of understanding what a guy's going to do at the bottom of his order, when our pitchers should be hit for and when they shouldn't be. There's another layer to the game and I like that extra layer."
The Padres were 7-13 last season in Interleague play and 135-179 in 19 seasons since it was implemented. After two games in Seattle, the two teams will travel to San Diego for two more games beginning on Wednesday.
Green said the infrequent use of a designated hitter usually makes it more difficult for National League teams to settle on one specific player, especially the first time around.
"It's not something we have a ton of data on being a National League club, so we don't have a ton of feel for who does it really well and who doesn't," Green said. "We just kind of look at who matches up well with the pitcher today based on who we have on the bench, and also look at which of our starters kind of needs a reprieve from the daily grind and it kind of becomes a rest day to them where they just get their at-bat."
"I think it's a balancing act. I don't think there's anything from a National League club that's as automatic as knowing that David Ortiz hits really well in the DH role. We don't have the luxury of having that information."
Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the Padres on Monday.