Just a few loose ends to tie up. We’re about an hour away from first pitch here at Safeco Field …
Eric Chavez has gone back to the Bay Area, and he’ll probably have tests on his elbow/forearm at some point, though Bob Geren didn’t know when that would be. Bobby Crosby is getting another start at third, with Eric Patterson starting for the second straight day at second base. Geren had good things to say about Patterson, indicating he’d get the majority of playing time at second for now over Gregorio Petit, who was called up earlier today. But considering that Petit hits right-handed and Patterson from the left side, I could see Petit getting some pinch-hit opportunities.
Not to state the obvious, but the absence of Eric Chavez AND Nomar Garciaparra has a pretty bad ripple effect on this lineup. Guys such as Kurt Suzuki get bumped up in the order (he’s hitting sixth tonight), and that weakens the bottom third of the order. It’s a pretty good situation when you can afford to bat a red-hot hitter like Suzuki as far down as the No. 7 spot, as the A’s did before the recent rash of injuries hit …
The good news: Jason Giambi is back at first base, though his hamstrings aren’t quite 100 percent.
Brad Ziegler is still under the weather. I didn’t see him in the clubhouse, but it looks like the A’s will have to go with other alternatives at closer tonight. Santiago Casilla (right calf) was scheduled to throw long toss before the game to see whether he might be available tonight. If he’s not, that leaves the A’s with five healthy relievers to back Dana Eveland.
A’s starting nine (plus Eveland)
Sweeney CF; Cabrera SS; Giambi 1B; Holliday LF; Cust DH; Suzuki C; Buck RF; Crosby 3B; Patterson 2B.
Mariners starting nine (plus Carlos Silva)
Suzuki RF; Endy Chavez LF; Sweeney DH; Beltre 3B; Branyan 1B; Lopez 2B; Johjima C; Gutierrez CF; Betancourt SS.