Russell Branyan is proof that Adrian Beltre's right testicle isn't the only ball crushing we can associate with the Mariners...at least against usOnce again the Mariners defeated the Athletics by a score of 7-4, improving their season record against Oakland to 10-3. The only teams to fair better against the Athletics are the Giants (5-1) and the Rockies, (3-0) neither of which are common regular season opponents for the A's. It kind of shows how far the Mariners have come. Last year the A's were 10-9 vs the Mariners, but it should be considered the Mariners were the worst team in the American League, and in 2007 the A's were 5-14 vs Seattle. It's a far cry from the 2006 A's who basically were an above average team against everyone else but the Mariners, going 17-2 head to head versus the M's and 76-67 against everyone else. How the tables have turned. I sound like a Mariner beat writer...from the A's side, there isn't much to say.
Brett Tomko let three 2-run homers happen and you can't be too surprised. Tomko's an average pitcher, probably lucky to last as long as he has, so you knew this day was coming. Like I said with Edgar Gonzalez, this just makes the game in Anaheim that Tomko started more difficult to swallow because he pitched well and you've got to take advantage of good outings from average pitchers. It almost seems as though no matter how Tomko did, he wasn't gonna get pulled until he threw around 100 pitches, and that's exactly what happened. Management likely doesn't feel the urgency to uphold Tomko's total innings like they do the young kids so it should be no surprise to see him go that far in a game, even if he surrendered six runs. It's sad to say, although the A's probably threw up the white flag some time in June, this is the first time we are actually seeing it in how they're being managed on the field. We should probably expect more preservation-style ball to come. I'd expect Dana Eveland to rack up plenty of innings as the long man this month, despite our previous long man (Edgar Gonzalez) only making two appearances in August. The only exception may be if Cahill or Anderson (and if it were possible...Mazzaro) had a no-hitter through their first five...and even there we may be pushing it.
Also, the A's have scratched Mazzaro for tomorrows start, and Clayton Mortensen, RHP out of Gonzaga, acquired in the Matt Holliday deal, will start instead. Mortensen has an ERA somewhere in the 12's so don't expect much...Mazzaro apparently has had a case of shoulder tendinitis, which hopefully we can blame his inconsistency on. Also, Grant Green is 3/8 with a 2-bagger and 3 RBI in his first two games with the Ports...not looking too over matched for starting at a relatively high level of play.
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