Opponent: Seattle Mariners
Record: 66-42, .611, First Place (AL West)
Place: SAFECO Field
Time & TV: Game 1: 9:05 p.m. (FSN); Game 2: 9:05 p.m. (WGN); Game 3: 3:05 p.m. (FSN);
2002 Record vs Sox: 7-8
2003 Record vs Sox: 5-1
The Seattle Mariners have been sputtering since the break, going 8-7
since mid-July. Ichiro Suzuki leads the Mariners in batting average with a .341 mark, while Bret Boone leads in the power department with 28 homers and 87 RBIs. The Mariners also have 70 stolen bases as a team. The Sox miss the stud of the Seattle rotation in Joel Pineiro, but they still face a pitching staff with one of the best ERAs in the majors at 3.72. Shigetoshi Hasegawa leads the bullpen
with a stellar 0.71 ERA, while Rafael Soriano has a WHIP of 0.85 and averages nearly 11 K's per nine innings.
WHO'S HOT (Last 7 days)
Randy Winn, LF: .400, 2 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB
--Winn has been just as hot as the Sox lately. He has been going deep
regularly and is successful in 85% of stolen base attempts.
WHO'S NOT (Last 7 days)
Mark McLemore, RF: . 150, 3 hits, 5 K
--McLemore has seen his playing time shrink and with the acquisition
of Rey Sanchez, he isn’t helping his case.
Bartolo Colon (8-9, 4.09, 113 K) vs. Freddy Garcia (9-10, 5.17, 88 K)
--Garcia has been struggling mightily this season.
He has been very streaky and the White Sox are catching
him in the middle of a horrible streak. in July, Garcia had an 0-4
record with a 9.45 ERA. If the Sox score early on him, chances are he
will have a breakdown once more.
Undecided vs. Ryan Franklin (7-9, 3.67, 64 K)
--Franklin has not been pitching as bad as his record indicates. His
WHIP is down to seventh in the AL at 1.17, but like so many Sox
pitchers, he has received little run support.
Mark Buehrle (9-10, 4.21, 81 K) vs. Gil Meche (11-7, 3.86, 91 K)
--Meche has been by far one of the most improved pitchers in the
majors. However, he has lost four of his last five decisions and most
teams have been going deep off of him. This is bad news for Meche, as
that is exactly what the Sox have been doing.
KEY TO THE SERIES
Just keep the intensity up. The Sox have shown the Royals that they
should be taken seriously. They need to now show up against Seattle so
they can show the whole league.