Felix Hernandez couldn't stop it - and he had two tries - so today the Seattle Mariners send Luke French to the mound in hopes of stopping a six-game losing streak by winning once on this trip.
Tomorow is an off-day, and off-days late in a season for terrible teams often produce dramatic changes. Whether French wins or loses to Minnesota today won't change that. If Mariners executives want to fire the general manager or the manager or all his coaches, they will.
French is the lefty acquired in the Jarrod Washburn trade, and he's 3-4 with a 6.34 earned run average as a Mariner, although he did make the Pacific Coast League All-Star team this year.
Jack Zduriencik hasn't had a great year, nor has his manager, Don Wakamatsu. As late as this spring, both were considered bright lights within the organization and throughout baseball - a tandem that had produced an 85-win team in 2009.
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Today? Well, the Mariners are 39-66, and that kind of record leaves a mark on everyone attached to it. Does anyone think of Chone Figgins the same way they did when he signed as a free agent?
Back then he was a huge 'get,' for Seattle. Now he's the .238-hitting infielder who complains when dropped in the batting order and angrily confronts his manager in the dugout after being pulled from a game.
Apologize? Not Figgins. And no one in the front office suggested he do so. Ouch.
The 2010 Mariners are a team of players no one else covets, and the minor league system - with a couple of exceptions - is filled with 'prospects' that didn't draw attention at the trading deadline.
Oh, and the Mariners havn't been in the post-season since 2001. That was three GMs and five managers ago.
French may stop the losing streak today. It's doubtful that 40th win of the season will make a marked difference in what anyone is thinking about this team and it's future. Now, the lineup:
- Ichiro Suzuki, RF
- Chone Figgins, 2B
- Franklin Gutierrez, CF
- Russell Branyan, DH
- Casey Kotchman, 1B
- Josh Wilson, SS
- Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B
- Michael Saunders, LF
- Rob Johnson, C
- Luke French, P