It's not often Michael Pineda has started a game for the Seattle Mariners this season hoping to pitch as well as a rookie pitcher had a day earlier ... in fact, until Blake Beavan's 3-1 win yesterday, it had never happened.
Pineda has more important things on his mind than Mr. Beavan, however. In a week that will see the Mariners take on American League West rivals Oakland and Los Angeles, he has the chance to open up with a win that would get Seattle to 42-43.
Yes, it's Independence Day, and the Mariners are with 2 1/2 games of first place. What the Mariners need now are wins - lots of them. If they can use the Athletics to pick up two or three, all the better.
If they can't, this race could slide away quickly.
Here's today's lineup against RHP Brandon McCarthy:
Ichiro RFBrendan Ryan SSAdam Kennedy 3BJustin Smoak 1BDustin Ackley 2BJack Cust DHGreg Halman CFCarlos Peguero LFJosh Bard CMichael Pineda P