Two years into a five-year, $64 million contract, Adrian Beltre has produced a .262 average, 44 home runs, and 176 RBIs. However, after the All Star break in 2006, Beltre slugged .552 with a whopping 18 home runs. Does this strong second half bode well for a turn-around in 2007, or will Mariners fans have to deal with 'A-Drain' once again? This blog intends to follow the 2007 season for Adrian Beltre, and the Seattle Mariners, and promises to hold no punches.


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The M's bested the A's 9-5 yesterday for their third win in a row, and eighth of their nine games in Oakland this year. It's nice to see the M's winning again after losing 17 of 24 games, even if it is three weeks too late. There are going to be some contrarians that will hold a negative perspective on this season, calling it disappointing as the M's will come up short of the play-offs. How could it possibly be disappointing when the playoffs haven't even been a topic of discussion since 2003?

Six Mariners picked up multiple hits in yesterday's game, including four knocks from Yuniesky Betancourt, who has to be the most productive #9 batter in the league as he also had three RBIs and his 38th double, as the M's picked up 16 hits for the day. Unfortunately, Beltre went hitless in five at-bats as his average dropped to .276. Ichiro went 2-for-3 to bring his average to .354, and now leads Magglio Ordonez by one point for the league lead. This offensive barrage gave support to Felix Hernandez who didn't have exactly a very strong start, as he allowed seven hits and four walks in five innings, which was a far cry from the numbers he had against the A's, in which he had allowed one run in 23 innings in his prior three starts this season against Oakland.

It's amazing how there can be such a difference in the results between the A's-M's match-ups this season as opposed to last. The A's still playing the same brand of baseball they always play, making opposing pitchers throw strikes and if they don't get them, they don't swing. This put the M's relief corps in a tight spot in yesterday's game, when, with a three-run Mariners lead in the eighth inning, the first three Oakland batters reached on base via the walk. With a bases loaded, no-out situation, Shannon Stewart hit a sacrifice fly to bring in one, but that's all the A's got as George Sherrill was able to get the last two outs of the inning, which sandwiched another walk. So that's four walks, and just one run. I think Mariners fans were able to breathe a collective sigh of relief when that inning was over, especially when the M's were able to get that run back an inning later and then some, when both Betancourt and Ichiro had RBI singles in the ninth.

The M's continue on the road to meet this seasons' nemesis, the Angels, who have taken a page from the A's book and have beaten up the M's all season to ride their way to a division crown. The Angels have won 11 of 15 games between the clubs, with a sweep last month that effectively took the air out of the M's season. Jered Weaver, who has won three of four decisions against the Mariners over six starts, takes the hill for the Angels in tonight's game. Weaver has allowed two runs or less in six of his last eight starts, and in his last start during last month's sweep of the M's he allowed two runs- one earned- in eight dominating innings of an 8-2 victory. Although many Mariners have good numbers against Weaver- such as Beltre (.313 average in 16 at-bats), Ben Broussard (.412 average, .974 OPS in 17 at-bats), Raul Ibanez (.500 average, 1.368 OPS in 16 at-bats), and Ichiro (.353 average with a home-run in 17 at-bats)- Weaver always somehow manages to pull out a win.

And there's little to doubt that he'll be able to pull out another victory, as he's facing Ryan Feierabend for the M's. Feierabend is making his first start since he allowed two runs in five innings against the Rangers on July 24. Feierabend has been hit pretty hard in a number of starts this year, but in his start against Los Angeles last May he pitched one of his few fairly good starts, as he allowed four runs over 6.2 innings in a 4-1 Angels victory. Feierabend's attempting to make a case for himself to be back in the M's rotation, but don't expect things to break his way in today's game against the Angels. With Weaver on the mound, and Feierabend's tendency to give up the big inning, all bets have to be on the Angels to roll over the M's in today's game. Final score I'm predicting is the Angels will come out on top, 11-2.

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