I've done four of these now. I've written about two teams. This is my third A's preview. I'm really tired of writing about the worst team in the American League. Ironically, two years ago I would have had to quit the blog to avoid writing about the AL's worst team. Get it? Because the Mariners sucked. They still kind of suck, but it's sort of a hopeful sucking more than a "this is going to go on forever" sucking. I digress.
The M's will play Oakland for the fifth, sixth, and seventh times this season while playing their ninth, tenth, and eleventh games of the season this weekend. That's a whole lot of Oakland. Which is good, because Oakland sucks. If all of Yoenis Cespedes' homers were eliminated, the A's wouldn't even look remotely respectable (hey Steve Delabar, throw a good pitch for once). Anyhow, three games means three match ups.
April 13: Felix (1-0, 4.40) vs. The Fossil fucking again (1-1, 5.84)
The home opener! Woohoo! Happy Felix day everybody. This is the third time the Mariners have faced Bartolo Colon in 2012. Nine games, three fossils. That's nuts. Although this is the third time the A's have faced Felix, which really sucks for them. The first time the M's opposed the Colon was bad, the second time was great, and who knows what will happen tonight. What I do know is that Felix will be sharp, and so Colon will have to bring his A-game (A stands for ancient, since he's a fossil) to win. With the M's crowd and the King's court in full effect, the team will have all the support they need to push their record back over .500.
April 14: Hector Noesi (0-1, 21.00) vs. Tommy Millone (1-0, 0.00)
To be honest, I had never heard of Tommy Millone before writing this. I forgive you if you haven't either. However, I'm told he threw eight shutout innings again the Royals in his A's debut. Wow. That's quite good. Hector Noesi threw 2/3 shutout innings against the Rangers in his Mariner debut. Then he gave up seven in the next 2 1/3. So that was bad. Noesi seems to have a lot of work to do before solidifying his spot in the M's rotation. His location was just awful on Monday, and that needs to change. Maybe pitching against an unthreatening lineup (minus Cespedes) like the A's will help him to adjust to his role as a starter better. The home crowd supporting him and not rabidly cheering at every hit he gives up could help too. The M's fans probably won't boo him if he struggles.
April 15: Blake Beavan (0-1, 1.42) vs. maybe Graham Godfrey (0-1, 3.00)
The A's have only had four starting pitcher take the mound this season, and therefore have not announced their starter for Sunday. Graham Godfrey pitched Tuesday, so he would be the most likely starter. With all of the injuries in the A's rotation, they will need to make a few spot starts until Anderson and Braden return. This could easily be one of those. Which certainly favors Blake Beavan, who was sensational in defeat on Tuesday in Texas. His consistency and ability to pitch to contact will carry him through a comfortable afternoon start at home. maybe the M's will hit for Blake if they face a crappy minor leaguer making a spot start.
Three to Watch
Miguel Olivo: Olivo has been terrible this season. Just awful. He's hitting .143. That's bad. He has six strikeouts and four hits. Wow. That sucks. The other day I joked on Twitter than he was day-to-day with a hole in his swing. Seriously, I'm funny on Twitter. Follow me @PTLeary21. But back to Miguel Olivo. If he wants to continue to start, he needs to start hitting. We saw what Montero can do behind the plate. We saw what John Jaso can do at the plate. Fans will call for his head if they haven't already if Miguel can't start hitting. He's got to step up in this series in front of the home fans for the first.
Jemile Weeks: I had to choose an A's hitter, and I've already written about Crisp and Cespedes this year, so I picked Weeks. He's hitting .200 out of the leadoff spot, which makes Chone Figgins look like an all-star. Speaking of which, I will now begin my campaign for Figgins for the 2012 all-star game , regardless of how he plays for the rest of the season. Anyway, Jemile Weeks has the ability to wreck havok if he gets on base. He can swipe bags and score from second on hard hit singles and from first on quickly fielded doubles. His speed is only useful if he gets on base more than one out of five times.
Dustin Ackley: The heir apparent of the Mariners offense has had quiet start to the 2012 season. He's hitting .258 with a homer in game one and four RBIs, two of which took place in game one. As you can see, game one was great, and game two through eight were not so great. Now he gets to come home to a fan base that adores him and trusts him unconditionally with the future of the offense. Ackley needs to impress this weekend to show that he is avoiding the dreaded sophomore slump.
The A's suck. The Mariners suck less and play really well against Oakland. If they get anything less than a sweep, it will be a bit of a disappointment. It will be flat out embarrassing if they lose more than once. I don't think they will lose more than one. Felix against Colon should be a walkover. It could easily not be though, since the M's suck in season openers. I'll take the M's, 6-3. Hector Noesi is pitching in game two. Hector Noesi did not pitch well in Texas. He may pitch well in Seattle. Let's hope he does. He needs to hit his spots. I'm not sure he will. Plus, Tommy Millone looked like a world beater in his first start. I think the A's will get this one, because Noesi will struggle again. A's win game two, 6-4. In game three, we don't know who will pitch for Oakland. We do know that Blake Beavan will pitch for Seattle. He looked great in Texas, and should look even better against crappy ass Oakland. M's win, 5-1. They take two of three. #FreeJaso. Go M's.