Series Preview: Oakland Athletics @ Seattle Mariners

Seattle: 11-12
Oakland:14-9

GAMES

Game 1: Miguel Batista vs Dana Eveland*
Game 2: Erik Bedard* vs Justin Duchscherer
Game 3: Felix Hernandez vs. Joe Blanton

The Mariners hurlers for the series as presented in metaphor form.

Miguel Batista = LOTR: Fellowship. There's lots of walking going on, nothing much happens, eventually your brain powers down and when it's finally over you cannot believe only three hours of your life is gone because you feel about 12 years older.

Erik Bedard = LOTR: Two Towers. There's some awesome parts with action, but inbetween there's long stretches where people stand around and talk about the upcoming action.

Felix Hernandez = LOTR: Return of the King.

What? Felix is the King. Metaphor over.

A litmus test series in a way for us here starting off with Miguel Batista. Did he seriously pick up on something in his last start? I know it's usually torture slogging through a Batista start, but this one will be worth it to see if looks like his old self or the possibly-new-but-only-based-on-one-start self. Dana Eveland has been bouncing around various leagues for the past four years and is tough to get a read on. It looks like he misses about an average number of bats and walks more than average. He's got barely-90s stuff and a couple of offspeed pitches.

Yes, Erik Bedard is back, unless he feels a damp chill before his start and contracts hypothermia. It will be important to watch his curveball's movement because if he's having hip problems, it's going to mess with his trunk rotation. Bedard faces off against a guy in Duchscherer who is returning from his own injury (biceps) and has never looked right for the rotation.

The series finale pits the always worth watching Felix Hernandez who strikes fear in batters everywhere against the man who strikes fear in cupcake batters everywhere, Joe Blanton. It would be nice to see a return of the groundballs from Felix as well, but really all I want to see is him flashing the beautiful change again. Every start he makes without losing it makes it one more start in the sample that Felix could possess five pitches (4-Seam, 2-Seam, Change, Curve, Slider) that all rate as at least plus.

Likely Starters:
C Kurt Suzuki
1 Daric Barton*/Mike Sweeney
2 Mark Ellis
3 Jack Hannahan*/Donnie Murphy
S Bobby Crosby
L Jack Cust*/Chris Denorfia
C Rajai Davis /Ryan Sweeney*
R Emil Brown
D Frank Thomas

Great, they pick up Rajai Davis and now there's another spot where we have no idea who is going to be starting. Jack Cust continues to regress and barely has a starting job at this point. Last time we met up with Oakland, their lineup was running a paltry .115 isoP. A week later and it's now at .114. Though the addition of Frank Thomas is likely to help boost that number, they are still a pathetically weak lineup.

Frank Fucking Thomas. You know he's killing us this weekend. He's going to emotionally scar all of us and then the Angels are going to realize that Garret Anderson and Gary Matthews Jr. suck and so they'll sign Barry Bonds and get John Lackey back and holy Apollo I abhor our management so much it makes we want to create a new word to better capture my loathing and level of disdain. I both scorn and detest you front office.

CONTEXT

April 4th: Bottom 4th, 1 out, Mariners lead 2-1, WE: 60%
April 5th: Top 4th, 0 out, Mariners lead 2-0, WE: 75%
April 6th: Top 9th, 0 out, Mariners lead 2-0, WE: 92%
April 7th: Top 3rd, 0 out, Mariners lead 2-0, WE: 71%
April 22nd: Top 9th, 3 out, Mariners win 4-2, WE: 100%
April 23rd: Bot 4th, 1 out, Mariners lead 2-0, WE: 83%
April 24th: Bot 3rd, 2 out, Mariners lead 5-0, WE: 93%
Record: 1-6.

Lost amongst the offenses struggles and the bullpen's unreliability has been the starting pitching doing a fantastic job this year. If you had told us on March 31st that excluding Bedard, our starters' FIPs would be: 3.5, 4.2, 4.6 and 3.6 we would have probably flipped out and predicted a 14-9 record at worst. Here's hoping it lasts and that Bedard can come back healthy and at his 2007 level because I have faith in the bullpen returning to good. I have much less faith in Carlos Silva, Jarrod Washburn and Miguel Batista

THIS SERIES BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Detonator Doppelbock
Fish Brewing Company. Olympia, WA

Oak-aged, it pours a deep reddish-brown and possesses a thinnish light tan head. Roasted malt and caramel are the predominant characteristics of the aroma. The flavor indicates both those and some additional notes of raisins and/or nuts and some other subtle tastes. Lots of complexity and a satisfying body to boot which ends in a dry finish.

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