Game 55, Angels at Mariners
Pineiro vs Vargas, 1:10 pm.
News item of the day: Doug Fister goes on the DL, and Luke French is recalled from Tacoma to take his place. I doubt this has as much to do with Fister as it does with the M’s current situation. The last two days have taxed their bullpen pretty heavily, and they head into 100 degree temperatures in Texas tomorrow, where the ball flies in the summer. With Fister a question mark for his Thursday start, and probably unlikely to go deep into the game regardless of whether he made it or not, the M’s were going to be short-handed for the Rangers series, and realistically, those four games could determine the fate of their season. So, they’ll live without Fister for another couple of starts in order to have a chance to gain ground on the Rangers.
That brings us to today’s game. The M’s need a win something fierce, so Vargas needs to really bring it today. Pineiro has pitched much better than his ERA would indicate, so don’t expect a lot of offense (not that you ever do). If the M’s lose today and head into Texas at least eight games out of first place, their season could be just about over. These next five games are huge. They really need to win at least three and preferably four of them. Any less than that, and it’s probably time to punt 2010.
Josh Wilson, SS