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July 31, 2007 at 5:26 PM

Mariners vs. Angels, Game 2

Well, the good news is the eighth inning setup men won’t be an issue tonight because the Angels are up 7-0 in the bottom of the sixth. Three home runs tonight, by Gary Matthews Jr., Maicer Izturis and Orlando Cabrera. Three doubles for the Halos as well. Jeff Weaver looked like, well, like he did back in April. The crowd didn’t forgive him for it either, booing him often before he was pulled after four innings. Weaver allowed six runs. A lot of the goodwill he’d built up with the fans in recent weeks seemed to go out the window in a hurry.
Fans of this team will have to hope this was just a temporary setback and that the other Weaver shows up next Monday in Baltimore.
Anyway, the way John Lackey is pitching tonight, the back-to-back homers allowed by Weaver in the second inning were going to be enough to decide this game. Seattle has only four hits and hasn’t threatened since Richie Sexson hit into that bases loaded flyout back in the first.
Looks like tomorrow’s rubber match will be huge barring some miraculous collapse by the visitors.
Bill Bavasi talks into phone: “Hey, Kenny, about that Jose Contreras guy?”
Kenny Williams: “Uh, the trade deadline is over…”
Bill Bavasi: “Do you have Dave Littlefield’s number in Pittsburgh? There’s this Morris guy we could have…oh, darn! Weaver just walked another one…”
Kenny Williams: “Uh, Bill, I’ve gotta go. The Yankees are killing us tonight and I have to scream at somebody.”
Bill Bavasi: Yeah, sure, no problem. Some fans are banging on our suite door with torches.”
OK, so I’m no comedian and yes, it’s still very early here in tonight’s game. Just trying to have some fun now that Jeff Weaver has given up back to back homers, three walks and a double here in the second inning to fall behind 3-0. Hey, if I focus on the game, you’re all going to get depressed. Not a very good start by the home side tonight.
This could be the critical game of the series, with the Mariners needing to take at least one of the next two contests to assure themselves of gaining ground on the Angels. The M’s held a team meeting before batting practice, with the coaching staff reiterating its confidence in them in the wake of no deadline deals made by the team — other than shipping off Julio Mateo.
Hear what manager John McLaren had to say about that and other things in his pre-game meeting with the press.
Among other things, McLaren will continue to “mix and match” his bullpen in the eighth inning.
How do the players feel?
The ones speaking publically did what you’d expect.
“We’ve got guys that have been getting it done this year and there’s no reason to doubt they can’t keep getting it done,” J.J. Putz said.
Adrian Beltre went a step further, saying: “I think we have the right players to win the division.”
But at least one player I spoke to today, who didn’t want his comments made public, expressed disappointment that the team was unable to acquire either a starting pitcher or a reliever. “We had the prospects to get a deal done,” he said.
Is this a problem? No, not really. Not every clubhouse is unanimous. And not every player makes a great GM. They all have their opinions.
Just finished speaking to team president Chuck Armstrong about Julio Mateo and the team’s stance towards not playing him again after his arrest. Armstrong chose mostly to shield himself behind the “we don’t discuss internal decisions” line, but also offered up that: “I think he deserves a chance to pitch in the big leagues again. He’s got all the talent. And I think he’s refocused his life. From everything I hear, he’s ready to go. We’re glad he’s going to the other league so he doesn’t come back to haunt us.”
Hear the entire Armstrong clip right here.
In other news, bullpen coach Jim Slaton was taken to a hospital this morning after complaining of a stomach ailment. The team had no further update on his condition, but received permission from the Angels to allow special assignment scout Norm Charlton to help out in the bullpen tonight.
Here are tonight’s lineups. You’ve asked for them earlier, so here they are:
3B Chone Figgins
SS Orlando Cabrera
RF Vladimir Guerrero
LF Garret Anderson
1B Casey Kotchman
CF Gary Matthews Jr.
2B Maicer Izturis
C Jeff Mathis
DH Reggie Willits
RHP John Lackey
SEATTLE (58-46)
CF Ichiro
DH Jose Vidro
RF Jose Guillen
3B Adrian Beltre
LF Raul Ibanez
1B Richie Sexson
C Kenji Johjima
2B Jose Lopez
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
RHP Jeff Weaver
HP Kerwin Danley
1B Doug Eddings
2B Dana DeMuth (crew chief)
3B Derryl Cousins

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