Daniel Cabrera, RH Aaron Sele (7-7, 4.90) (6-8, 4.70) 2B B Roberts RF Ichiro DH S Sosa LF R Winn 3B M Mora DH R Ibanez SS M Tejada 1B R Sexson 1B R Palmeiro 3B A Beltre RF J Gibbons CF J Reed CF L Matos SS W Bloomquist LF L Bigbie 2B J Lopez C S Fasano C P Borders
Game time is 10:05 (ROAD TRIP!) on CSN and FSN Northwest.
Entering the second half, our O's stand at 47-40, second place in the suddenly very competitive AL East. The Mariners, who spent money on Adrian Beltre (.261/.302/.404, 9 HR, 44 RBI) and Richie Sexson (.258/.362/.503, 18 HR, 63 RBI, a third of his outs are strikeouts), are 39-48 and in last place in the again competitive AL West. I thought Beltre would be a fine pickup, kind of a new member of the Vlad/Tejada effective free swingers bunch, but instead he's gone back to being the pre-explosion Beltre, with his OPS creeping up past .700 just before the break started. Sexson you can't dis - he's been everything he's supposed to be, good and bad.
The Mariners just are not very good. Even playing most of their games at Safeco, they don't have a single starter with an ERA below 4.35, which is Ryan Franklin's team-leading mark. "Hard Luck" Franklin is the best starter on the team, but assumedly contenders will be after Jamie Moyer, and I guess you can't blame them. Franklin's relative success skates on thin ice with his crappy K-to-BB ratio anyway, and Moyer is a proven lefty and 102 years old. I hope we don't get Moyer. Taking him out of Safeco could get ugly: Moyer is 5-0, 2.75/1.20 at home; 3-3, 7.09/1.82 on the road.
But today is Aaron Sele, the veteran righty that went 7-2, 2.74/1.33 in his rookie season (1993 with Boston) and never got close to being that good again. Sele's second-best season was 2001 in that magical year for the Mariners. This year, he's pretty standard Sele. It's a mark of where Seattle is as a franchise that at 35, a pitcher this mediocre is still in the starting rotation. Sele should be a Royal by now.
Earlier this year, Daniel Cabrera dominated the M's over seven innings, striking out eight and allowing just three hits and one earned in a 5-2 O's victory. Cabrera's ERA is under five for the first time since May before the May 20th game against Philly. Let's hope it stays there from here on out.