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2 for 3 with a walk, rbi and 2 runs! Batting Average Alert: .167. Here's to hoping we see .200 by the time I hit the letter L, for Loser. If he does, I'm single-handedly taking all the credit for Richie Sexson's resurgent turnaround.

When he's healthy, I have all the confidence in the world in King Felix's abilities. When he's healthy. When in reality, do I have confidence in his ability to stay healthy? I dunno, I mean, where the hell is this arm problem coming from? This just smacks of Mark Prior Syndrome, even though he ain't all that overworked.

And let's not delude ourselves, Jarrod Washburn is off to a fairly hot start, but he's about as streaky as they come. Same thing goes with Batista, I consider these two guys solid arms who'll eat up innings, keep the era under 5, and generally give you a chance to win just about every game.

Horacio Ramirez, from my understanding - as I've still yet to see him pitch in a meaningful game - is just a nothing pitcher. He throws junk at the plate, throws that junk quite poorly at times, and doesn't do anything particularly well. At the beginning of the season, he was drawing comparisons to Paul Abbott - the Paul Abbott circa 2001 when he won 17 games while pitching in front of the best defense in baseball and behind an offense that knew how to score runs - but I just don't see it. Paul Abbott was always known to have command of his pitch location, and he actually had a decent change up as an out pitch. Ramirez doesn't appear to have any of that. He's a poor man's John Halama in my book, and we all know how that fared for the Mariners.

Today the Mariners play at 1:05pm Eastern (should weather permit, which it almost didn't last night) in Detroit, Michigan. Jeff Weaver goes up against Justin Verlander, which is just so many whammies against us I can't even begin to count. Verlander owns us. He owns us like Pedro Martinez, Paul Byrd, and any rookie pitcher making his first start in the major leagues combined. And this is the same Jeff Weaver who ran into the buzz saw that is Chien-Ming Wang five days ago. The same Jeff Weaver who pitched his best game of the season against Chien-Ming Wang five days ago, going 5 and 2/3 innings, giving up 9 hits, 3 walks, 6 earned runs, while garnering 3 strike outs. By all accounts, everything looks cut and dry. We're going to lose to Detroit today by the score of 10-1, where Jeff Weaver lasts well into the second inning before being yanked, and after today he'll be off our Starting Rotation, off our Roster, and hopefully hitchhiking his way back to whatever unholy alien pod that brought him here from the planet Suckassbitchtoria. This will open the way for Cha Seung Baek to pitch his way to glory and pitch the Mariners right into the American League Playoffs.

So, of course, Jeff Weaver will go 7 and 2/3 strong innings of No-Decision ball and make Mike Hargrove think twice, keep him in the rotation, and set us back another two months. God damn this game.
 
 
Sunday, Sept. 9th vs. Tampa Bay - This is a must-win. I'm not saying it's a lock, that we're GOING to win this game, but we HAVE to win this game. Jeff Garcia or no Jeff Garcia. Tampa has made enough improvements to make a play in that weak NFC South division, with Joey Galloway still catching balls like it's 1999 and with Cadillac Williams running all over the place, this is a key Conference Win that could have tiebreaker ramifications come playoff time.

Sunday, Sept. 16th @ Arizona - This one will be a nice win to steal. Between this game and the game at San Francisco two weeks from now, we're catching division rivals early and in their home stadiums. The first real test for our new-look secondary, it's going to be on the front seven/eight to get it done and force their inexperienced quarterback into some bad decisions.

Sunday, Sept. 23rd vs. Cincinnati - This game should be awesome to see live, should be a scoring fest, should be our first real test of the season. Here's to hoping that our Home Field Advantage actually means something, because this is one of our toughest games of the year.

Sunday, Sept. 30th @ San Francisco - Since San Francisco is the preseason Biggest Threat to our divisional dominance, we need to sweep their fucking asses. The improved defense should mean that Frank Gore doesn't run all over us; watch for Darrell Jackson to burn us deep at least once (if he's still healthy).

Sunday, Oct. 7th @ Pittsburgh - We need to be 3-1 going into this game, and we need that 1 to be against Cincinnati. I'm not buying Pittsburgh as all that much improved; nevertheless, it's the third road game in four weeks, it's all the way across the country, so look for us to come out sluggish and playing down to our opponent. Not making any excuses; just saying that AFC games don't mean all that much until the Super Bowl.

Sunday, Oct. 14th vs. New Orleans - And so begins a pivotal stretch of football games, starting with one of the better teams in the NFC who happens to have one of the more difficult schedules in the NFC. New Orleans will be coming off a tough home game against Carolina; we'll be coming home for three straight weeks (including a bye), with four of the next five games at Qwest Field. Start your engines, this game should be another shootout.

Sunday, Oct. 21st vs. St. Louis - Never an easy game; I wouldn't count on sweeping the Rams two years in a row (or, maybe that's three years in a row now). Still, gotta take care of business at home.

Sunday, Oct. 28th - BYE

Sunday, Nov. 4th @ Cleveland - Now we get to taste some of the Tortured Baby Cow that the rest of the AFC North teams get to feast upon twice a season. I hate calling Upset Alert against such a faggy opponent, but I could REALLY see us looking ahead to the 49ers while not playing at our most focused.

Monday, Nov. 12th vs. San Francisco - After a crushing overtime loss to the Browns where Josh Brown misses three potential game-winning field goals, look for the 'Hawks to shine as they always do on the national non-Thursday Night stage. The Q should be jumping for our only Monday Night appearance on the schedule.

Sunday Night, Nov. 18th vs. Chicago - Nice of the NFL to schedule a night game right after a Monday game; gives us a few extra hours to rest our weary bones after a delightful 49er romp. I know the NFL Gods are hoping as much as Seahawks fans that our stars are healthy for these two games, otherwise the season could quickly unravel under this very stretch of games.

Sunday, Nov. 25th @ St. Louis - This is the third really difficult game in a row, after two on the national stage. If we win these three in a row, I'd consider the Seahawks a mortal lock for a Super Bowl appearance.

Sunday, Dec. 2nd @ Philadelphia - It'd be nice if McNabb went down before this point.

Sunday, Dec. 9th vs. Arizona - It'd be nice if Boldin or Fitzgerald went down before this point.

Sunday, Dec. 16th @ Carolina - It'd be nice if Steve Smith went down before this point.

Sunday, Dec. 23rd vs. Baltimore - It'd be nice if McNair went down before this point.

Sunday Dec. 30th @ Atlanta - You know what I'm going to say here.

(It'd be nice if Alge Crumpler went down before this point.)