The Seattle Mariners are 6-for-20 in July. They were just swept by the Chicago White Sox--who, to be fair, are tearing it up right now in the American League Central,13 games above .500 and 7.5 games above Minnesota. They demonstrated their power by smashing four home runs last night, in the final game against Seattle.
And so now is the time for the Mariners to pick their weary selves up and travel to Target Field, where just one win in the three games would feel like an incredible victory. Remember Boston? The Mariners tied that series. But in this dismal season, we forget the infrequent joys quite quickly.
To Minnesota, then, where Doug Fister, Felix Hernandez, and Luke French will get the starts. Notice that Ryan Rowland-Smith is missing from this list. He's on the DL for a nagging back, but the guy really just needs a break. He's obviously on his last chance. Instead on Sunday the Mariners will start French for the second time this season, with his last start on June 14th a 9-3 loss against St Louis. But Felix will start on Saturday, and his presence, although shaky at times this season, still brings sunshine and lollipops to Mariner fans.
Should Hernandez have a bad outing, Mariners fans could hope for something, anything from Justin Smoak, another homer from Chone Figgins (what?), or just enjoy the opportunity to work on their creative insults. There's always a reason--even if it's just a faint sliver of hope upon which to rest your dreams--to hang on to a team.