Game 56, Mariners at White Sox
Kevin Millwood vs. Chris Sale, 11:10am
The M’s get another crack at Chris Sale, who struck out 11 in 6 1/3 IP in Seattle in April. The lefty’s transition from the bullpen has gone about as well as anyone could’ve hoped, as lower walk rates have brought his FIP down into the mid 2’s. I think the Sox would’ve been thrilled with the kind of season that CJ Wilson gave the Rangers in his first year in the rotation after coming up as a lefty bullpen arm, but thus far Sale’s blown any of Wilson’s seasons out of the water.
WIth a lefty on the hill, the M’s swap out Kyle Seager in favor of Alex Liddi and – deep breaths now, everyone – Miguel Olivo at DH. They can’t send up their old right-handed line-up having banished Casper Wells, so Chone Figgins starts in left and….I’m really not selling this game, am I?
1: Ichiro (RF)
2: Figgins (LF)
3: Montero (C)
4: Smoak (1B)
5: Ackley (2B)
6: Olivo (DH)
7: Saunders (CF)
8: Liddi (3B)
9: Ryan (SS)
Felix Hernandez tweaked his back on Friday, so the M’s aren’t 100% sure he’ll make his scheduled start on Wednesday. Something to keep an eye on.
Stephen Pryor certainly had an interesting debut, striking out the league’s hottest hitter before giving up a big HR to Dayan Viciedo. Still, he flashed the kind of stuff that shows why the M’s felt they needed to make a move.
Manny Ramirez came to Cheney Stadium last night with the Sacramento RiverCats, but left the game early with some kind of injury. We’ll see if he plays today in an afternoon game; Andrew Carraway starts for Tacoma.