Oakland has quietly done well for themselves the past couple months. From June through August, they were just five games below .500, a far cry from their awful pace at the beginning of the season and so far in September they're a remarkable 17-8. A few days ago we were talking about maybe trying to play for 2nd place with the Rangers. If the Mariners blow this series like they blew the last three games, we'll be staring a possible 4th place finish in the face.
With last series' 1-3 mark, we've "fallen" to the 15th pick in next year's draft. Protected!
Game 1: Felix Hernandez vs. Trevor Cahill*
Game 2: Brandon Morrow vs. Clay Mortensen
Game 3: Doug Fister vs. Brett Anderson*
Trevor Cahill is still bad, Brett Anderson is still good, but who's this Clayton Mortensen fella?
Well, he came over from St. Louis in the Matt Holliday trade and was called up when Russ Springer went down for Oakland. Until then, Mortensen had been kicking it in Triple-A for his second consecutive season and doing much better this time around, throwing considerably more strikes and missing more bats. He's a ground ball pitcher who in the minors this year could also generate some league average strikeout rates, but so far in the Majors has not.