Game 133, Angels at Mariners
Haren vs Millwood, 7:10 pm.
The Mariners aren’t going to the playoffs this year, but they just might be able to ensure that the Angels aren’t either. Anaheim is currently 3 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the second wild card spot, and their September schedule is brutal – after they leave Seattle, they get three against Detroit and four against Oakland. They finish up the season with three against KC (okay, so it’s not all hard work) six against Texas, three against Chicago, and six more against the Mariners. Odds are good they’re not going to be able to make up a lot of ground playing teams like the Rangers, A’s, White Sox, and Tigers, so they need to play really well against Seattle and KC. If the M’s win a bunch of these games against the Angels, there’s a good chance they can play spoilers, and ensure that year one of the Albert Pujols Era ends in disappointment.
In terms of the line-up, Saunders is back in the line-up, and has moved to RF to accommodate Guti’s return to CF, which leaves LF for just one of Thames and Robinson. For at least night one, Wedge went with Robinson. Here’s hoping that’s not a sign of things to come, because Thames is a useful player against right-handers, and Robinson is a fifth outfielder if we’re lucky.