There was a point this spring at which the Mariners were a remarkable 10-3-1. They were shredding the competition and setting their sights on the ultimate prickly prize. Since then, the Mariners have dropped three of four games, and if you've watched the last several Mariners teams, you know that such a slump is uncharacteristic. After so many consecutive playoff berths you just come to expect a certain level of consistency and competence, and lately this team has fallen short.
So they'll look to turn things around Sunday afternoon against the Colorado Rockies, a team with a name suggesting something pointy and cold. The Rockies are actually rounded and warm - possibly the warmest team in baseball, if their reputation is founded on truth. I sure have been devoting a lot of attention to team nicknames. I guess it's better than devoting attention to sea scallops or capers, rinsed and drained. In this paragraph I type words that I see on the pages of the open magazine right beside my laptop.
1:05pm PDT, Gameday link. Television, radio, everything you could possibly want for a baseball game with DJ LeMahieu in it. Follow along for three hours as he spins the Top 40. The Mariners' starting lineup:
Once again, we have Carlos Peguero and Mike Wilson flanking Casper Wells, which I can only assume is being done in the name of science. In fact, hold on. Figgins' best position is third base. Kawasaki's best position is shortstop. Ichiro's best position is right field. Wells' best position is left or right field. Seager's best position is second base. Peguero's best position is DH. Wilson's best position is DH. Lots of guys playing out of position today. I'm beginning to think the Mariners might not care about the Golden Saguaro at all.
Starting for the Mariners will be Hector Noesi. Starting for the Rockies will be Tyler Chatwood. You remember Chatwood for being really really bad. In the Majors, he had almost as many walks as strikeouts. In double-A and triple-A, he had 38 walks and 50 strikeouts. What Tyler Chatwood has on his side is youth. He has a little less of it now than he did a year ago.
After Noesi, we could see legitimate bullpen candidates and Cesar Jimenez. Fun fact: in 24.2 career Cactus League innings, Jimenez has allowed 23 runs. He's been trying to make a point this whole time. The Mariners are bad listeners.