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Game 52: Orioles (24-27) @ Mariners (26-26), 4:10pm

Oakland is in the rear view mirror, at least until a week from now when they come to Baltimore. Either way, the Orioles don't have to play in Oakland any more, which is good, because we suck there and I don't know why. Now it's time to go to Seattle, the place where I hear there's one intersection that has a Starbucks on every corner. I'm not sure if that story is true or not, but I can believe it's true.

Is it safe to say bring on the Mariners? I am not sure if it is, but this is a true statement: the slash line for the Mariners offense is .232/.305/.334. It's a battle between them and Minnesota for the worst offense in MLB. Unfortunately, I feel like the O's may be sinking back into those depths, what with the recently-concluded Oakland series where they managed one extra-base hit.

Doug Fister is pitching for Seattle. He can sympathize with Jeremy Guthrie, because his ERA is 3.18 and he has a 2-5 record. Ah, the problems with playing for a team with a bad offense. Is Fister 3.18 ERA good? Well, hell, this is 2011, pretty much everybody could be 3.18 ERA good, unless Andy MacPhail signed them to pitch in the Orioles bullpen. Fister had a 4.11 ERA last year, which is plenty respectable. I seem to remember at least one game where he shut down the O's. I'm sure that will happen again today, unless the team shakes the west coast lethargy.

Let's play a little game where we contrast the leadoff hitters of both teams. Felix Pie is leading off for the O's. His career OBP is .301. Ichiro Suzuki is leading off for the Mariners. His career OBP is .374 - although to be fair, this year it's .326. Maybe Ichiro's finally feeling age catch up to him a little. He is 37. The point is, there is a little bit of a disparity here. I don't anticipate anyone in a position to get an answer from someone who matters is going to ask why Felix Pie is leading off, which is kind of sad.

Starting for the O's is Jake Arrieta, who has to be looking over his shoulder in the rotation and wondering where everybody went. Hope he doesn't get nervous about it. If I was him, I might start feeling like Dr. Crusher in that one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where everyone starts disappearing and the entire universe starts collapsing in on itself until she's the only one left.

It is Memorial Day. To all active Armed Forces service members, and any veteran of any of the above, if you served in peace and especially if you served overseas during war time, thank you.