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8/28: Open Game Thread

Sunday baseball - poetry in action.

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Can we all just agree to forget yesterday? Yes? Awesome. (Except for Dan Altavilla’s debut. This one’s for you, Kate.)

The M’s have a critical three-game series at Texas that starts Monday, but there’s one more game standing between them and perhaps the biggest series of the year to date. It’s a matchup of young heralded pitchers, with Taijuan Walker taking the mound against Carlos Rodon.

Walker, of course, is making just his second start since coming back from Tacoma, and if the Mariners want to break their streak of 14 consecutive seasons without making the playoffs, his resurgence is vital – especially to help save the bullpen, since Walker has completed six innings just once in his previous six starts. Not good.

Meanwhile, Rodon has taken a much quicker and more straightforward path to the big leagues than Walker has. The third overall pick in 2014, Rodon made his big-league debut last season and made 23 starts, striking out nearly one batter an inning on average.

And yet, it doesn’t even matter how good Rodon has been, or how up-and-down Walker has performed of late. At the end of the day, the M’s are in a pennant race. This is the kind of game, against a mediocre opponent, that they have to win. Let’s see how it goes.

Today's Lineups

Leonys Martin - CF Adam Eaton - CF
Guillermo Heredia - LF Tim Anderson - SS
Robinson Cano - 2B Melky Cabrera - LF
Nelson Cruz - DH Jose Abreu - 1B
Kyle Seager - 3B Justin Morneau - DH
Franklin Gutierrez - RF Todd Frazier - 3B
Mike Zunino - C Avisail Garcia - RF
Dae-Ho Lee - 1B Omar Narvaez - C
Ketel Marte - SS Tyler Saladino - 2B
Taijuan Walker - RHP Carlos Rodon - LHP