Friday, April 14, 2006

Fenwayback

Whaddyaknow? The Mariners head to Fenway Park today with the Cleveland series win in their pockets. The victories had little to do with the M's starting pitchers, even though one of those wins was on Felix's watch. These were both slugging, come-from-behind affairs in which Seattle's hitters displayed a tiny little bit of that late-2005 magic that made Doug Strange and Mike Blowers into good hitters late in crucial situations.

I honestly don't know what to think of this team at this point. We're ten games in, and sport a 5-5 record (only a half-game out of first place) having faced some pretty outstanding pitching. Sure, the Angels and A's can't hit, so their pitching is wasted a bit, but Cleveland can hit, and we outhit them on the way to consecutive 9-5 and 11-9 victories.

And this is with Adrian Beltre hitting .143, and with our regular DH hitting even worse than that. This is with Jamie Moyer leading the starters in ERA with a 4.38 mark.

From there, we head to Boston for a four-game set that opens this evening (for me)/afternoon (West Coast) with a Moyer-Schilling "aging aces" matchup. Shoot, it might as well be a Turn Back the Clock day, with retro uniforms and batting orders arranged in descending order of age. It would look like this:

Seattle

1 Carl Everett-3b
2 Roberto Petagine-DH
3 Matt Lawton-RF
4 Raul Ibanez-LF
5 Ichiro Suzuki-CF
6 Richie Sexson-1b
7 Kenji Johjima-C
8 Willie Bloomquist-SS
9 Joe Borchard-2b

Everett and Borchard would have to go somewhere, and Willie Bloomquist is the only infielder other than Big Sexy old enough to play a position he might not suck at. Oldest to youngest: Everett (34) to Borchard (27). Defensive substitution to allow napping: Adrian Beltre for Everett. First relief pitcher for the Ancient Mariner: Eddie Guardado.

Boston (who are cheating by not starting their oldest player, or even their oldest pitcher)

1 J.T. Snow-1b
2 Mark Loretta-2b
3 Jason Varitek-C
4 Manny Ramirez-RF
5 Mike Lowell-3b
6 Trot Nixon-LF
7 Alex Cora-SS
8 David Ortiz-DH
9 Dustan Mohr-CF

Oldest, Snow (38) to youngest, Mohr (29). First pinch-hitter: Alex Gonzalez. First reliever: Mike Timlin, who's older than Schilling (40 to 39) by a few months.

We'll do this all again on Saturday, when we face another 39-year old in Tim Wakefield.

Get out your rocking chairs, Mariners fans!

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