It comes down to this folks: If the Mariners are to avoid losing 100 games this season, they need two of their last three games to be wins - and that's by no means a safe bet.
Luke French starts tonight, David Pauley tomorrow and Ryan Rowland-Smith - who last started iin late July - on Sunday. All three are capable of winning, so the question comes down to whether Seattle can score runs this weekend.
That could be a problem. Well, it's been one all season, but in the next three gaames Seattle faces Trevor Cahill (3.08 earned run average), Brett Anderson (2.91 ERA) and Dallas Braden (3.50).
And, just for fun, the Mariners will play without Russell Branyan, without DavidAardsma or Felix Hernandez and almost certainly without Jose Lopez.
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Of course, Seattle might sweep the series and finish the year with 64 wins. And it might not rain all winter.
- Oops. On French's eighth pitch of the night, Daric Barton homered, his ninth. In the first: Oakland 1, Seattle 0.
- Two singles and a walk loaded 'em up with one out, and Cliff Pennington legged out a slow roller past the mound for an RBI single. Rajai Davis walked, forcing in a run. Barton homered, his 10th. In the second: Oakland 7, Seattle 0.
- Justin Smoak, Ryan Langerhans and Josh Bard each struck out in the bottom of the second inning and - on Fan Appreciation Night - the boos began.
- A couple more hits put runners at first and third base, although the second one should have been fielded by Chone Figgins. It wasn't, and Mark Ellis singled home a run with two outs. In the fourth: Oakland 8, Seattle 0.
- Chris Seddon relieved French but could not slow the immortal Mr. Barton,who doubled home a run wth two outs. Barton now has six RBI. In the sixth: Oakland 9, Seattle 0.
- In the past 15 innings, Seattle has been out-scored by Oakland, 18-1. At some point, you'd think a Mariners pitcher - any Mariners pitcher - would come inside on somebody. Not at his head, mind you, but how about at the thigh, the knee, the chest. Make a batter move his feet, maybe not dig in and swing from his behind next time. No one has. Maybe no one ever will.
- A walk, a singleand a ground ball double play put Justin Smoak at third base with two out, the first Mariners base runner to get that far. Michael Saunders flied out, keeping Trevor Cahill's shutout intact. If he gets it, it will be the 15th time the Mariners have failed to score - and the 43rd time they've been held to one run or less. Yikes! After seven: Oakland 9, Seattle 0.
- The Mariners catch a break. Daric Barton left the game with a tight thigh muscle. He left with two home runs and six RBI.
- After seven innings, Seattle chased Cahill. Yes, he was leading 9-0 at the time. And no, they hardly seemed to bother him. He's well on his way to his 18th win - and the Mariners have locked up loss No. 99.
- Mike Morse of the Washington Nationals hit his 14th home run of the season tonight in 263 at-bats. His salary: $410,000. The Mariners couldn't find room for him. Yikes!
- In the ninth, a Mariners rally: walks to Franklin Gutierrez and, with one out, to Ryan Langerhans. Josh Bard popped out. Saunders grounded out. Fan Appreciation Night is over! It's a final: Oakland 9, Seattle 0.