SEATTLE -- The much-anticipated matchup between the Rangers' Yu Darvish and the Mariners' Felix Hernandez dominated headlines leading up to Monday's series opener. After all, it's not every day you have pitchers of that caliber facing off.
But as the attention focused on the two right-handers, it should be noted who caught Hernandez -- John Jaso. Mainly behind the plate because Miguel Olivo is on the disabled list, Jaso has been sharing catching duties with Jesus Montero. And for the first time, Jaso caught Hernandez.
"It only becomes difficult when the ball moves in a different direction than you are expecting," Jaso said. "It's different with a guy like Felix, because you get two strikes on a hitter and you can pick four different pitches and four different locations to get the guy out and all four would work."
"John's come a long way," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "He's much more comfortable than he was earlier. It's a good opportunity for him to catch Felix. Again, we're mixing and matching with him and Montero. With Montero, we've got to make sure we give him the time off he needs."
Montero, who received two off days in a row before catching the last two games of the Mariners' recent road trip, started at designated hitter Monday.