A big Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there. A bigger Happy Father's Day, to my dad, Ed, who taught me how to throw a baseball, catch it without sliding your body out of the way, that hustle and effort can never slump and the belief that striking out looking was a sin.
The Mariners come in to today looking to notch their first series sweep of the season. They had a chance in the previous series against Houston, but Tom Wilhelmsen's ninth-inning implosion ended that possibility. The Mariners have had two other series finales where they had a chance to pull off a sweep and faltered.
After getting two outstanding starts from Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma on May 3 and 4 in Toronto, Joe Saunders had a mediocre outing in a 10-2 loss.
On June 3 and 4, Saunders and Hernandez led the Mariners to wins over the Chicago White Sox at Safeco Field, but the Mariners infamously wasted a brilliant Iwakuma start, failing to score for the first nine innings and eventually losing to the White Sox 6-5 in 16 innings after failing
So how important is getting a sweep?
"It does matter, most definitely," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "I was talking about it on the drive in today. We've got to take this one today. At some point in time, these guys have to start finishing things off. It most definitely matter when you are trying to gain ground."
Michael Morse is back at first base for the third straight day. Mariners manager Eric Wedge said that Morse is feeling good at first and Kendrys Morales' lower back stiffness is still an issue where he doesn't feel comfortable enough to play in the field yet. The struggling Michael Saunders is out of the line-up. I'm sure he will be used as a pinch runner, late inning defensive replacement.
As expected Mike Zunino is back in the line-up, catching and hitting eighth.
Wedge said he's hoping to find a low risk situation soon to get Tom Wihelmsen back on the mound. Wedge isn't just looking for big leads or big deficits. He'll put Wilhelmsen in during a close game just as long as it's not the ninth inning.