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Open Thread: Game 64 - A's vs. Mariners

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Joe Blanton has been inconsistent this season, but one team that probably cringes when they see his name is Seattle. The Mariners were Blanton's victims for his best start of the year: His first start of 2006, when he blanked the Mariners on just 2 hits over 7 innings. Changeup artist Jamie Moyer provides the opposition, as Eric Chavez and Mark Kotsay's eyes light up--because for all the accomplishments in his 37 year career, Moyer has just not been able to get those two guys out.

Don't look now (or enjoy it while you can), but Seattle comes in just 3.5 games out of first place. Ichiro has been on fire lately, Jose Lopez is among the league's RBI leaders, Yuniesky Betancourt is taking the term "picking machine" to another level, and suddenly the M's don't look half bad. This is not a good team, but it is also not a bad team. They are not a team you will beat if you let down following, say, an exhilarating 3-game sweep at Yankee Stadium.

Tonight's starting lineups, feature two familiar names fans will enjoy seeing back in the lineup, batting 4th and 5th for the A's:

Ichiro
Beltre
Lopez
Ibanez
Sexson
Everett
Johjima
Reed
Betancourt

Kotsay
Kendall
Chavez
Thomas
Crosby
Bradley
Swisher
Payton
Scutaro