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Gameday Thread: O's at Mariners, 07/17

     Sidney Ponson, RH               Gil Meche, RH
     (7-7, 5.93)                     (9-6, 4.94)

     2B B Roberts                    RF Ichiro
     LF L Bigbie                     LF R Winn
     3B M Mora                       DH R Ibanez
     SS M Tejada                     1B R Sexson
     DH R Palmeiro                   3B A Beltre
     1B B Surhoff                    CF J Reed
     RF J Gibbons                    SS M Morse
     CF L Matos                      2B J Lopez
     C  S Fasano                     C  M Olivo

Game time is 4:05 on WJZ and FSN Northwest.

Last night's game should have been won. I was so befuddled by the fact that Bigbie was left in to hit against Moyer in the eighth with men on and two out, while Eli Marrero picked his nose in the dugout, that I set off to find out why. There was a decent enough reason, I guess. Bigbie was 7-for-20 lifetime (.350/.458/.500) with a homer against Moyer. Marrero is 0-for-3 all-time against Moyer (which all came on April 14 of this year).

So Bigbie had seen him and had success, and Marrero is pretty unfamiliar. It's good enough for me. I'll still second-guess it (I'd have sent Eli up anyway), but Mazz had his reasons, and they weren't bad ones.

The other thing I'd take another look at is leaving Ray in for another inning, but hey, gotta learn sometime, and the fact that he's the No. 1 righty out of the pen now makes this a trial by fire for him. He's done well enough in tight spots. This time he got hit and made a huge throwing error. Considering he came into the game with one earned run in 11 appearances, I think I can forgive him.

But hey, today's game. A new day, forget about the one before it, and get another win. Taking three out of four in Seattle would be big, because we have to go to Minnesota for three after this, and the Twins are fighting to make the playoffs too. We'll get to see Bret Boone hack away in a new uniform in that dump of an atrocity of a stadium. Speaking of which, after that we head to St. Pete! This is the ugliest-looking six-game stretch of the year, stadiums-wise.

Meche is no better or worse at Safeco than he is elsewhere, really, but he's won five straight in Seattle with a 3.38 ERA. He's pitched about the same amount of innings both home (53) and away (49), with a 4.92 ERA in Seattle and 4.96 elsewhere. His road WHIP is higher, 1.55 to 1.43. I always forget he's not very old, and at 26 has a lot of time to become a good pitcher still. It seems like he's been around for ages.

With the Burnett rumors swirling, how much of a blessing would it be if they actually, through some state of insane lunacy, took Ponson, and this was Sir Sid's final start in a Baltimore uniform? If we get AJ Burnett and Mike Lowell and get rid of Sidney Ponson in one fell swoop, I will blast the happy Sam Cooke songs and cha-cha-cha like you've never seen. I guess in the meantime we can hope he doesn't get his ass kicked today, but what are the odds?