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Playing out the string: Mariners 7, A's 3

Someone must have punk'd the A's by telling them it was Little League Day at Safeco today.

Greg "Nibbles" Smith lived up to his nickname in the bottom of the first, and, aided by Daric "Buckner" Barton and the Mariners groundskeeper, surrendered 6 runs to the Mariners right off the bat. It really did look like a Little League half-inning: lots of off-target pitches, a grounder through the legs, a bases-loaded walk ...

Smith actually ended up pitching fairly well after that disastrous first (garnering yet another pickoff along the way to 7 full innings), and the A's offense (led by Barton and the rejuvenated Travis Buck, who laid down a nice RBI bunt with a runner on third) did manage to chip away at the Seattle lead, but it was all too little too late after the opening frame.

I have to say, it doesn't suck merely to lose two games to woeful Mariners, but to give up 10 and 7 runs to them in successive games. This Seattle squad has a truly sucky offense, and I'm more than a little disheartened to see Gallagher and Nibbles lose focus, even at the frayed end of an unraveled season.

Ah well, only one more thread of it to endure. A's and Mariners close out '08 tomorrow at 1:10.