Yes, the sun is out today after last night’s rally

Things were feeling pretty dreary about six innings into last night’s game against the Blue Jays, with the Mariners facing a 7-0 deficit, Felix Hernandez having been knocked around in a rare rough outing, the offense again failing in key situations and a defensive lapse on a rundown allowing two Toronto runs.

And, oh yeah, a seven-game losing streak on the verge of stretching to eight games in front of the smallest crowd in Safeco Field history.

Then a funny thing happened. The Mariners rallied. A Toronto bullpen that came in with the best ERA in the league suddenly started handing out free passes — 11 on the night and three with the bases loaded in the eighth — and before you knew it, the Mariners had pulled out an 8-7 victory and a young man named Luis Rodriguez had introduced himself to the Seattle faithful with a gritty 10-pitch at-bat that led to the winning hit.

So, yes, the sky is blue today as we arrive at Safeco. The sun is shining. There’s a little more bounce in the steps of some guys who needed a boost.

Chone Figgins isn’t in the lineup today, apparently still bothered by the bruised thumb that knocked him out of yesterday’s game in the fourth inning. Rodriguez, who replaced him, is penciled in at third base.

Jack Cust, batting .171, gets the day off as Milton Bradley will DH. That allows Michael Saunders to play left field and is something we might see more of once Franklin Gutierrez returns, if Bradley continues hitting better than Cust. It seems Saunders should continue getting playing time, so something has to give when Guti returns.

There’s no timetable on that yet. He took batting practice yesterday and will do so again for the next two days, then likely join the Rainiers for the weekend. Turns out Tacoma has room has Greg Halman fractured his left wrist when hit by a pitch and is likely out a month or more.

Tonight’s game should be interesting with Michael Pineda making his first Safeco start, opposed by Toronto ace Ricky Romero.

Here’s today’s full lineup:

Ichiro Suzuki RF
Jack Wilson 2B
Milton Bradley DH
Miguel Olivo C
Justin Smoak 1B
Luis Rodriguez 3B
Michael Saunders LF
Brendan Ryan SS
Ryan Langerhans CF
Michael Pineda P

1 Comment

I have been awfully loud about this on the Mariners’ website, but I truly believe that this is the best lineup for that group of players. I like Figgins, but I hate to see him bat second. It may not work as a one-night stand, but over time it should be more productive. It should give Ichiro more runs over the season, and also make the number three and four hitters look better with more RBIs.

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