This may be my favorite lineup of the year so far:
|SEATTLE MARINERS||TAMPA BAY RAYS|
|Austin Jackson - CF||Brandon Guyer - RF|
|Seth Smith - RF||Joey Butler - DH|
|Robinson Cano - 2B||Evan Longoria - 3B|
|Nelson Cruz - DH||Logan Forsythe - 1B|
|Kyle Seager - 3B||Tim Beckham - SS|
|Logan Morrison - 1B||Jake Elmore - LF|
|Welington Castillo - C||Kevin Kiermaier - CF|
|Brad Miller - LF||Nick Franklin - 2B|
|Chris Taylor - SS||Rene Rivera - C|
|J.A. Happ - LHP||Alex Colome - RHP|
Of course, Castillo for Zunino isn't necessarily something I'm rooting for, but the kid needs a break here and there and it's nice this is no longer being provided by the baseball equivalent of the wickets from a cricket match. I know this is looking a bit too far down the road, but if the M's pull this one off tonight, you have to like their odds for a sweep with Felix taking the mound tomorrow and a return to a .500 record.
As discussed earlier, Austin Jackson returns today and slots immediately in to the leadoff position and playing centerfield. The Mariners field an outfield that seems defensively reasonable and that has to make JAYaY a HAPPy man.
Things to consider:
- Nick Franklin, second-baseman.
- Without it necessarily feeling like it, the M's are easing towards contention, competence, and if my vocabulary was stronger I would have found another word beginning with "c" here. Charcuterie. There it is.
- Might I suggest an ice-cream cone to go along with an early-evening game?