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Series Preview: Seattle Mariners @ Canada Blue Jays

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Seattle: 22-41
Blue Jays: 33-32

GAMES

Game 1: Jarrod Washburn* vs Jesse Litsch
Game 2: Carlos Silva vs Dustin McGowan
Game 3: Felix Hernandez vs Shaun Marcum

Jesse Litsch has taken a big step forward as a pitch-to-contact guy this season, which although is used as a curse around these parts is a pretty smart thing to do when you have a defense as good as Toronto's (best in the majors). He's missing the zone a lot less often than in 2007, but most of those pitches are ending up in play rather than as strikes. It just goes to show what happens when you pair good defense with low walk totals.

Carlos Silva goes to show you when you pair horrid defense (worst in the majors) with low walk totals. See the difference? Dustin McGowan's core pitch results haven't strayed much at all from the previous year, but his overall results have wildly. His homeruns are way down but so are his groundballs; his hits are way up, but so is his line drive rate.

Marcum has taken a small step forward so far in 2008 with a slight decrease in balls and upticks in both called and swinging strikes helping to back his improved strikeout to walk ratio. What stands out for him though is the benefit that comes from a nifty .213 BABIP which is due for regression no matter how good the Blue Jays defense is.

Likely Starters:
C Rod Barajas
1 Lyle Overbay*
2 Marco Scutaro
3 Scott Rolen
S David Eckstein
L Brad Wilkerson*
C Vernon Wells
R Alexis Rios
D Matt Stairs*

Brad Wilkerson is going to destroy us isn't he? It's only fitting that we somehow find ways to get owned by him and Marco Scutaro.

You might be tempted to consider this a poor lineup given their runs scored, just 4.17 a game, but like us, a big chunk of the run scoring problem lies with (not) hitting when they have runners in scoring position rather than across the board lineup atrophy. That's probably going to even out a bit over the season. And hey, here come the slump busters into town!

CONTEXT

22 and 41. That's really bad. It's so bad that they finally took drastic action and fired the hitting coach. If you haven't already, go read Geoff Baker's take on the matter, he does a great job of summing it all up. It doesn't mean anything. Our hitters are still going to suck and at this point in the season, there's not much else to do but ride it out.

You could call Clement back up, but to what end really? He's not going to start over Johjima everyday and that's what needs to happen. He's not going to get PT at first because he's still not even playing there in Tacoma. He could grab some DH at bats, but I'd rather see Ibanez there and Reed in LF so that we can figure out if Reed can be a servicable 4th OF on a playoff contending team.

The only player move I would like to see is the Mariners snag Snelling, demote Wlad back to Tacoma and put Doyle in right field for awhile. This way we push back Wlad's service time enough to gain another year of team control and we get to see Doyle again which would single handedly get me to buy tickets for the first time this season.

THIS SERIES BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Tankhouse Ale
Mill St. Brewing. Toronto, ON

Ironically this is what an American pale ale should be like. Dark orange/amber coloured it comes with a caramel hoppy aroma and a sweet and hoppy taste and a bitter aftertaste. It actually tastes like a beer as opposed to the macro American pale lagers produced domestically.