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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

August 26, 2007 at 4:16 PM

Mariners vs. Rangers, series finale

You all know the drill. The Yankees lost and the Angels won, with Cy Young Award favorite (mine) Kelvim Escobar improving to 15-6 with a 2.78 ERA. Got anyone better? So, if the M’s win tonight, they re-open that key three-game edge on New York and stay within a game of Los Angels heading into tomorrow. That could be huge because it would enable the Mariners to gain at least a tie for first place with a series win and be alone atop the division with a sweep. In other words, it would put all the pressure on the Angels with Seattle’s three best pitchers taking the mound and Escobar missing the series.
Yes, a win here tonight is a must.
Mariners manager John McLaren just got done talking with reporters. He’s resting Richie Sexson and Kenji Johjima tonight. Which, by some of the logic I’ve seen on this blog the past 24 hours, means he’ll be getting ripped if Jose Guillen makes an error? Yes? No? I don’t know anymore. All I know is, to “Resin”, I’m a bit disappointed to see you harkening back to “non-sugar-coated” days. Exactly what am I sugar-coating? This team has a .704 winning percentage that’s the best in baseball since the seven-game losing streak. In other words, for the entire month of August. If you expect me to nitpick every move to death, even the ones I agree with, it’s not going to happen.
Nobody said that Horacio Ramirez was untouchable. But he gave what any team hopes for the most out of a fifth starter. Nearly six good innings, no earned runs allowed. Even if you count the homer as three earned runs, it’s still a better outing than most teams get from their No. 5 guy. If you expect a detailed study from me about why he really looked terrible and how Adrian Beltre’s errors didn’t mean anything, or cost the team a loss, you’ve come to the wrong place. You also won’t find me arguing that a DH hitting .400 since early July or a left fielder popping home runs every other day should be benched in-place of a Class AAA call-up just because you called him up. Or see me writing a thesis on why using Rick White in that sixth inning situation last night was a bonehead move. News flash: White was acquired as a long man and for the sixth and seventh inning. Well, he proved he can pitch in a high leverage situation in the sixth. Proved it. Forget what your minor-league and Houston Astros projections and computations tell you. White got the job done in the sixth. Might have gotten it done in the seventh if not for Beltre. In my world — the world where what actually takes place is a good thing to use as a measurement — you can’t keep saying a manager/pitcher got “lucky” when things go right and should be run out of town when they don’t.
Other than that, things are great, aren’t they?
To answer one of your questions, yes, Miguel Batista did fly home ahead of tomorrow night’s start. Left the ballpark late in the afternoon for the airport.
The lineups:
2B Ian Kinsler
1B Brad Wilkerson
CF Marlon Byrd
DH Sammy Sosa
LF Jason Botts
RF Nelson Cruz
C Jason Saltalamachia
3B Travis Metcalf
SS Ramon Vazquez
RHP Vicente Padilla
CF Ichiro
DH Jose Vidro
RF Jose Guillen
LF Raul Ibanez
3B Adrian Beltre
1B Ben Broussard
2B Jose Lopez
C Jamie Burke
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
LHP Jarrod Washburn



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