The Seattle Mariners need a win to take their series from Detroit tonight, and they need it because they’re about to open one of those grueling trips major league schedule makers love to saddle them with.
They’ll throw a lineup at the Tigers that’s unusual, even for manager Eric Wedge.
Catcher John Jaso will lead off – just the third time in franchise history a catcher has done so. The immortal Bob Stinson did it twice in 1978.
Dustin Ackley gets the night off, Jesus Montero is the DH and Alex Liddi will play third, with Kyle Seager taking over at second base for the night. Oh yes, Chone Figgins will start in center field and bat ninth
When this game ends, the Mariners will take either a 15-18 or 14-19 record with them on a swing through New York, Boston, Cleveland and Colorado, places they have never fared particularly well.
Then they come for all of six games – against Texas and Los Angeles.
Go ahead, find the easy wins.
Here’s tonight’s lineup:
John Jaso C
Brendan Ryan SS
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Jesus Montero DH
Kyle Seager 2B
Justin Smoak 1B
Alex Liddi 3B
Casper Wells LF
Chone Figgins CF
Jason Vargas LHP