7/23: Open Game Thread

Last time I used this photo to will Raul into a dinger it worked. Will it again? - USA TODAY Sports

RHP Zach McAllister Vs RHP Erasmo Eamirez

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Does it feel like the Seattle Mariners can win on any given night now?

Long winning streaks, naturally, create the opposite feeling that long losing streaks do. We of course know the Mariners have been bad for a larger portion of the current season than they've been good, but at some point emotion overtakes you and you begin to really believe. I don't know if you all believe -- and I won't tell you to believe -- but I don't blame you if you do. This has been a fun team to watch for some time now, a refreshing removal from the recent past.

Zach McAllister is a 25-year-old righty. He won't overwhelm you with the strikeouts, but he won't let you walk a bunch either. He's not exactly Brad Radke out there as the pitch-to-contact prototype, but you get the idea. He'll be pounding the zone tonight with his fastball tonight, while sometimes mixing in his secondary stuff that includes a curve, slider and change.

The Mariners have a good shot to extend their winning streak to eight games against this type of pitcher. Their left-handed heavy lineup is confident right now, and the likes of Brad Miller, Kyle Seager and Nick Franklin (yes, a switch hitter, but much stronger from this side) aren't going to sit back and watch fastballs with bats on shoulders. McAllister is just coming off the DL -- making his first start since June 2 -- so look for the young hitters to jump all over that fastball.

Erasmo Ramirez returns to the club after spending the all-star break with Everett so he could stay on schedule. As Rick wrote earlier today, Ramirez could face some issues against this Indians lineup, but he also looks to be a boon to the club in continuing their winning ways. Bobby LaFromboise was sent back to Tacoma in the corresponding move.

Note the caption under the photo.

Lineups

2. Nick Swisher (S) RF
3. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B
6. Carlos Santana (S) DH
7. Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
9. Yan Gomes (R) C

Seattle Mariners
1. Brad Miller (L) SS
2. Nick Franklin (S) 2B
3. Raul Ibanez (L) LF
4. Kendrys Morales (S) DH
5. Kyle Seager (L) 3B
6. Justin Smoak (S) 1B
8. Mike Zunino (R) C
9. Dustin Ackley (L) CF

Eric Wedge will stay another night in the hospital. As someone who has been one of Wedge's harshest critics, I'd like to take a quick moment to state an obvious and a maybe not obvious.

Obvious: Eric Wedge, we wish you well and a speedy recovery.

Maybe Not Obvious: Eric Wedge has never lost this clubhouse. While we may yank our hair out at his decisions sometimes, but he's ran this club so much better than Don Wakamatsu did. Players seem to buy into what he's selling and want to play hard for him. The club is playing well right now, so for all the snarky things I've said about his managing skills when the team was struggling, I find it only fair to give some credit for their recent success.
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