Time for a little fun
With any luck this could be a fun holiday weekend. It will all start around 3:30 Friday afternoon when the lineup is posted. Will we see a move made with the No. 2 hitter?
While I wouldn’t be completely surprised if we did, I doubt it. Eric Wedge has been hesitant to do so, declaring that Figgins was their No. 2 hitter on Friday. He does have options and he has acknowledged that but I think we will see him give Figgins a little more time. What we could see is a move at three. With Franklin Gutierrez saying he feels ready to play every day and seeing him start to swing the bat well (with no strikeouts, which is odd for him), perhaps moving Justin Smoak back to five is in order. We shall see.
That is only the beginning of the fun, and make no mistake, this weekend should be fun. If for no other reason than for the fact that we have had little sustained fun at Safeco Field in over a year, why not enjoy it? A couple of posts ago I talked about what was “real” and what maybe wasn’t. The Mariners were surviving on pitching and feasting on lesser opponents. Well isn’t taking care of the lesser opponents something that good teams do?
Who knows what will happen just one game under .500. Earlier this month the team found themselves in the same position and what did they do? Lose six straight. Somehow I don’t feel like that will happen this time. They simply are playing better baseball.
You know how it has been said that this team couldn’t afford to make mistakes? Well, they haven’t been making a lot of them lately. Yes, the offense is still struggling, but some of the biggest struggles right now are coming from guys that I would think have the biggest chance to pull out of them. Ichiro and Smoak. What’s to say they don’t start to come around this weekend? If they do, it could be fun.
Want more fun? How about Felix Hernandez squaring off against Ivan Nova, one of the young Yankees whose name got brought up in the ever-present-just-wouldn’t-die-oh-please-make-it-end-the-Mariners-simply-MUST-trade-Felix-Hernandez talk earlier this season. It really means absolutely nothing but it will be fun to watch. It will be fun to see the two sections of Felix fans in the King’s Court. I can tell you he is excited about that.
CC Sabathia goes on Sunday. If Michael Pineda and Felix have good starts the rest of the team could make him look like the third best pitcher in the series this weekend. That certainly would be fun.
Oh sure, everything could go in the opposite direction and if it does I wouldn’t be surprised if they won another six straight a couple of weeks later. But for now, why not buy into the hype? Yankees in town. Weekend series. A game and a half out of first. Fun.
Now about those Viva Las Vargas sunglasses…