Four games and four wins into their six-game trip through San Diego and Minneapolis, Seattle Mariners teammates Adam Kennedy and Chris Gimenez were talking about some subtle factors that have made a difference.
"The Twins had to bring their closer (Matt Capps) into the game in the eighth inning instead of the ninth last night, and he wound up pitching 1 2/3 innings," Gimenez said. "That could impact the series, because maybe he can't pitch tonight. If he does, maybe he's not quite as sharp."
Which reminded Kennedy of the Mariners sweep of the Padres.
"Three games, they never had a lead," Kennedy said. "That meant we never saw their best relievers - they never had anything to protect. We didn't see their closer until the final inning of the final game, and then only because he needed work.
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"You jump out to a lead, the other team brings in the bottom of the bullpen, not the top. And you get the opportunity to add on and avoid facing thir best."