"Already, McLaren has had challenges. Despite fan criticism, he stuck with the underperforming veterans Ibáñez and Sexson instead of playing Adam Jones, the organization’s top prospect, or the popular Ben Broussard. Ibáñez is batting .414 in August with 9 home runs and 21 runs batted in after hitting only 6 homers the first four months of the season."
- He told Ibanez he had the "utmost confidence" in him.
"And Sexson, a .196 hitter as late as Aug. 6, is 17 for 52 (.327) in his past 13 games with 4 homers and 7 R.B.I.
McLaren said (Jose) Guillen, who has 17 homers and 77 R.B.I., “has just been a total joy.” Keyed by balanced hitting (seven players have at least 50 R.B.I.), Seattle is 41-24 at its home park, Safeco Field, and has a major-league-best 24-8 record against left-handed starters. The closer J. J. Putz, who leads the A.L. with 36 saves, anchors the pitching staff."
- D'oh! A writer admits a "closer" can actually "anchor" a "pitching staff!" Memo to Dan Graziano, John Delcos, all ESPN/MLB staff, etc.
"With victories on Monday and Tuesday in Minnesota, Seattle began a demanding stretch of 17 games out of 20 on the road, including a Sept. 3-5 series at Yankee Stadium. The Mariners are 30-28 on the road, but this stretch without days off could tax the Mariners’ tenuous pitching."