Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mariners Sweep Rays Head to Texas

Right now as a Mariners fan I am just holding out hope that they won’t finish last in the division. I guess you could say that I may have given up on them winning the division just because of the fact that for whatever reason they just can’t beat the Oakland Athletics.

Coming off of being swept by the A’s over the weekend the Mariners swept the hapless Tampa Bay Devil Rays to move within 5.5 games of first place Oakland. The highlight of the Tampa Bay series was an amazing pitching performance by Jarrod Washburn who allowed three hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out four and walked one on Wednesday afternoon. At one point Washburn retired 14 straight batters -- including nine on flyouts.

My focus as a fan, and possibly the team’s, is to see how far up the AL West ladder the M’s can make it before the season ends October 1st.

Seattle can take the first step up the ladder beginning tonight when they travel to Arlington to take on the Rangers in a four game series. Right now Texas and Seattle are both 5.5 games back, making this series huge to both teams because the loser will still be in the division cellar and most likely further than 5.5 games out.

The Rangers are one game below .500 at 57-58 and are 5-5 over their last 10 games. They have a division record of 15-14 including a 4-6 mark against the Mariners. The silver lining in playing the Rangers in Arlington is that Texas has a losing record (26-30) at home.

After tonight one of theses two teams will have a .500 record. Here are the projected pitching match-ups.

Tonight – (Sea) Joel Piñeiro/(Tex) Adam Eaton
Friday – (Sea) Gil Meche/(Tex) Kip Wells
Saturday – (Sea) Jamie Moyer/(Tex) Edison Vólquez
Sunday – (Sea) Félix Hernández/(Tex) Kevin Millwood