After enduring the sizzling temperatures in Anaheim, the A’s are now adjusting to Seattle, where people are wearing jackets in the press box and it truly feels like fall. It’s actually not that chilly by Pacific Northwest standards, but there’s a bite in the air here that you don’t get in many ballparks (OK, so the Coliseum isn’t exactly balmy during most night games).
Maybe the climate change will help reverse the A’s fortunes on this season-ending road trip. They’ve lost six straight overall, and they’re 0-3 on this seven-game trek. You have to wonder what the motivation level is for both Oakland and Seattle at this point, although A’s manager Bob Geren said his team is still focused on the attainable goals. “We all have the same goal,” Geren said. “We still (want) to finish in second place, and we have to win a lot of games to do that.” The Angels hold a one-game lead on them for second place entering tonight.
The A’s need a four-game sweep to finish at .500 even. They face a tough test tonight in Seattle right-hander Doug Fister, who is 3-1 against them this season. But Oakland catches a break Sunday, as the Mariners announced that ace Felix Hernandez won’t start the last game. He’s already at 249 2/3 innings, and Seattle has decided not to risk an injury with its franchise pitcher. Can’t fault the M’s too much on that one …
One news update from the A’s: Geren said reliever Michael Wuertz could be shut down for the final four games with a lingering right thumb injury. As if the A’s can stand to lose more relievers …
A’s — Davis CF, Barton 1B, Ellis 2B, Cust DH, Suzuki C, Kouzmanoff 3B, Hermida RF, Carter LF, Pennington SS; Gonzalez LHP.
Mariners — Ichiro RF, Figgins 2B, Gutierrez F, Smoak 1B, Moore C, Mangini 3B, Halman LF, Saunders DH, Wilson SS; Fister RHP.