When Jack Zduriencik and Eric Wedge discuss The Plan that they have referred to over and over, this is what they are hoping the end result would be. If you ask Eric Wedge how this team is going to play in a couple years, he would direct you to tonight’s contest against the Oakland Athletics.
Jason Vargas finished what he started on the mound tonight, going the distance in his first complete game of the year. He scattered seven hits and gave up one run on a homer to Josh Reddick, who is quickly developing into one of the best players the A’s have had in a long while.
Tonight’s lineup had a different feel, with the struggling Dustin Ackley inexplicably moving back into the leadoff spot in the lineup. The experiment didn’t exactly pan out tonight as Ackley went 0-5 on the night. Ichiro moved down to #2 and went 2-5, raising his average to .260.
Michael Saunders, John Jaso and Casper Wells, who have solidified themselves as the three most consistent players int he lineup, all reached base twice tonight. Brendan Ryan contributed with two hits, including a two-run double. Carlos Peguero didn’t surprise anyone with an 0-4 night that included three strikeouts, but the seven runs put up by the Mariners’ offense were more than enough to send the A’s into the night, once again below .500.
There is still a ton of work to be done, and it is more than disheartening that Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak, Kyle Seager and Jesus Montero are all riding pretty tough streaks at the plate.
Games like tonight, however, make it clear why there is hope to be had for the future.
Oh, and tomorrow? Felix Hernandez. Enjoy it, Mariners fans.