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Open Thread: Game 40 (Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics)

So the A's have an offense after all. Fresh off of their fantastic 15 hit 8-4 win over Seattle last night, the A's try to sweep the Mariners in this short two game series. Believe it or not, this could be the first A's sweep of the year.

Ben Sheets (2-3, 5.70 ERA) takes the hill opposing Felix Hernandez (2-3, 3.88 ERA) in this rematch of Opening Day. Sheets has had a bizarrely wild season path, as he started out decent, turned horrible, and has now strung two great starts in a row. I honestly have no idea what to expect from Sheets tonight. Has he really turned the corner? Is he mixing in his changeup more now? And what's this about a cutter? I suppose we'll find out.

Yesterday, Ryan Rowland-Smith was exactly what the doctor ordered, as the usually punchless A's racked up six extra base hits. Obviously, the offense will find things more difficult against King Felix, but the key to winning this game is for the offense to continue seeing the ball well. Two complete game shutouts in a row is not acceptable, especially against guys like Joe Saunders and Joel Piniero.

Of course, the Mariners aren't exactly doing so hot themselves. Their offense has scored an AL-worst 125 runs (3.29 runs/game), and they sit in the AL West cellar, a severe departure from their lofty preseason expectations. You've got to wonder if Don Wakamatsu's job is on the line at this point. Meanwhile, the A's sit at 19-20, only two games behind Texas. The Angels are playing the Rangers tonight, so we may have a shot at gaining some ground.

First pitch is at 7:05 PM.


Seattle Mariners @ Oakland Athletics

05/18/10 7:05 PM PDT

Seattle Mariners Oakland Athletics
Ichiro Suzuki - RF Cliff Pennington - SS
Chone Figgins - 2B Daric Barton - 1B
Franklin Gutierrez - CF Ryan Sweeney - RF
Jose Lopez - 3B Kurt Suzuki - C
Ken Griffey Jr. - DH Kevin Kouzmanoff - 3B
Casey Kotchman - 1B Jack Cust - LF
Josh Wilson - SS Eric Chavez - DH
Rob Johnson - C Adam Rosales - 2B
Michael Saunders - LF Rajai Davis - CF