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Mariners blog

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

April 12, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Line ’em up

mariners0412 017.jpg
A look at Rob Johnson, who will be catching today as the Mariners attempt their first three-game sweep of the season.
When did the Mariners record their first sweep of last season? Not until June 27-29, at San Diego against one of the worst clubs in baseball. The Mariners had two cracks at sweeps of three games or more in April a year ago, but lost 7-0 in Tampa Bay and then 10-5 at home to the Angels. When did they sweep an AL team in a series of three or more? Not until Aug. 29-31 in Cleveland. This game today might give us an early indication of something. Is there necessarily a correalation between an ability to sweep a series and being a contending team? I think there is. Gives you a chance to build momentum without a bunch of fits and starts. If you look at contenders, they usually — I said usually — manage a sweep or two in the first six weeks of the season. Not all the time, but usually. Sweeping can show an ability to put your foot down on a reeling opponent and finish them off. The A’s aren’t particularly soaring after yesterday. They have another young guy making the second start and appearance of his career on the mound today, against Erik Bedard — one of this team’s two aces. Or, at worst, this team’s No. 2 starter. The kind of game good teams tend to win. Yes, good teams do blow sweeps, even at the best of times. But I want to see if the M’s can put the hammer down today. If they can come flying out of the gate at 5-2 (could easily be 6-1) or if they’ll settle for 4-3.
For me, this is an early test.
Yuniesky Betancourt gets a rest while Ronny Cedeno plays shortstop. This will be Cedeno’s first crack at a position a lot of us thought he might see plenty of playing time at. Instead, he’s been at second, third and in left. That’s versatility.
MARINERS (4-2)
LF Endy Chavez
CF Franklin Gutierrez
RF Ken Griffey Jr.
3B Adrian Beltre
1B Russell Branyan
DH Mike Sweeney
2B Jose Lopez
C Rob Johnson
SS Ronny Cedeno
LHP Erik Bedard
ATHLETICS (2-3)
RF Ryan Sweeney
SS Orlando Cabrera
1B Jason Giambi
LF Matt Holliday
DH Jack Cust
3B Eric Chavez
C Kurt Suzuki
2B Mark Ellis
CF Rajai Davis
RHP Trevor Cahill

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