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

May 3, 2008 at 8:57 AM

Miguel Cairo starts

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No, this isn’t a punishment thing for Jose Lopez missing the throw last night. If you were going to punish the Mariners who messed up in the game, Richie Sexson would be the only infielder starting today. It’s a matchup thing. Miguel Cairo is 7-for-28 lifetime off Mike Mussina. While Lopez is 1-for-2 off him over his short career, that’s not much of a sample to go off of. McLaren gives Lopez a short rest today and has a backup with a decent — though not spectacular — track record off the pitcher.
As far as McLaren goes, he says he didn’t talk to the media after last night’s game because he was afraid of what he might say. What he said this morning was, a team that isn’t scoring runs can’t afford to give an opponent four or five outs per inning. We went over all this last night, so no sense repeating it.
The players apparently had a players-only meeting within the past week to discuss what’s gone on so far. Not a scream and yell at each other type of thing. More like a discussion. Time for talk is done, though. These guys have to produce. The one good thing going for them is that neither the Angels nor the A’s have grabbed this division and run away with it. Both lost again last night, meaning the M’s still trail by only 4 1/2 games. Not optimal, for sure. But better than the eight games out they could be had one of those teams gotten really hot.
Seattle is fortunate to still be within striking distance. It has to step its game up a notch without pressing as hard as the players have been.


The lineups:
MARINERS (13-17)
51 Ichiro CF
13 Miguel Cairo 2B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
9 Jeff Clement DH
44 Richie Sexson 1B
2 Kenji Johjima C
50 Wladimir Balentien RF
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
RHP Felix Hernandez
YANKEES (15-16)
18 Johnny Damon LF
2 Derek Jeter SS
53 Bobby Abreu RF
55 Hideki Matsui DH
25 Jason Giambi 1B
28 Melky Cabrera CF
24 Robinson Cano 2B
11 Morgan Ensberg #B
26 Jose Molina C
35 Mike Mussina RHP

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