8/4: Open Game Thread

whats that whats that you got there - Otto Greule Jr

Joe Saunders vs. Wei-Yin Chen

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Ah, morning baseball. The M's look to take the series from the Orioles at 10:35 am today with a lefty match between Joe Saunders and the Orioles' touted Taiwanese Nippon-transplant Wei-Yin Chen. Here are the starting lineups:

Mariners:

P. Joe Saunders (L)

Orioles:

P. Wei-Yin Chen (L)

As expected, Nick Franklin gets a day off after going 0-way too many and generally being a little bit of a bummer. Which, you know, means anything can happen when he's back in the lineup on Monday. That's how baseball works. It's like a video game. If you put your favorite weapon away to charge, it immediately comes back at full power. Nice, huh?

Dustin Ackley is still out of the lineup today, which could be attributed to two things:

1. Ackley is hitting .179 against lefties this year, and since Michael Morse has come up, Ackley has been seeing his playing time dwindling because Robby Thompson is trying to win baseball games and believes Michael Morse will help them do this better than Ackley.
2. Ackley has become Thompson's unpaid intern, shuttling coffee and treats out of the clubhouse and taking over menial servitude tasks that suit him better than swinging a baseball bat. Thompson knows if he plays Ackley, he loses this privilege. The decision is simple.

I'll leave it up to you to decide, but if it's #1, this is exactly why a lot of us feel ambivalence towards Morse. It's not that Morse sucks, though we can talk about his defense and non-power hitting till the cows come home. It's that he's getting his name penciled in over someone like Ackley, who while clearly isn't hitting like Morse, needs development time and experience in the outfield when games don't matter. Otherwise, Morse gets all these hits in today, doesn't get a qualifying offer in December, and we're back to square one in April, crossing our fingers and watching Ackley pick right up in the outfield when the M's are actually contending, if he's even here. That said, sitting him today against a lefty isn't the end of the world. But continuing to sit him next week will be another story.

Also, it should be noted that last year against the M's, Wei-Yin Chen took a perfect game into the 7th inning, broken up only by a Casper Wells solo home run. Actually wait, no, don't remember that. Let's just think about winning today's baseball game.
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