The Great American Baseball Trip

Game 28

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Seattle Mariners

Monday, August 11, 1997 - 7:05pm

Kingdome

Seattle, Washington

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Pre-Game Report
 The Mariners bats have gone cold as the pennant race heats up (Thanks Laura Vescey) while the Brewers are in hot pursuit of the Indians for the AL Central Division title. Even so, the M's have the most potent lineup in baseball -- they just have to keep the Brewers from getting to their bullpen.

Stadium Stats - Kingdome

Surface: Astroturf
Capacity: 59,856
Dimensions: Left Field: 331 feet, Center Field: 405 feet, Right Field: 312 feet

baseball diamond image

Team Profiles
Brewers Logo

Milwaukee Brewers

 This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Milwaukee Braves World Series upset of the New York Yankees. Unfortunately, it appears that the Brewers will not be able to bring a title to Wisconsin like the Packers. However, the early stages of construction of their new stadium last year's late season rebuilding effort have created optimism in the city of Beer. And, while the Brewers are a long way from making the playoffs, manager Phil Garner will keep this team motivated and moving in the right direction all season.

 The Brewers enter the season with four solid starting pitchers. Former Oriole Ben McDonald, Cal Eldred, Scott Karl and Jeff D'Amico are each capable of winning 12 to 15 games. While McDonald and Eldred are proven starters, D'Amico, the youngest starter in team history, and Karl will probably need some time to improve throughout the season. Mike Fetters has been a solid closer for several years, and the addition of Milwaukee native Bob Wickman, Ron Villone and the ageless Doug Jones have made the Brewers bullpen capable of shutting down opponents in the final innings.

 Offensively and defensively, the Brewers roster is extremely talented but inconsistent. Shortstop Jose Valentin had a breakthrough season offensively, but suffered defensively last season committing 37 errors. Joining him in the infield are Fernando Vina and pickup Jeff Cirllo who batted .325 with 15 homers last season. In the outfield, Chuckie Carr is coming off knee surgery and will stand with rifle-armed Jeremy Burnitz, Marc Newfield, who should provide needed pop in the lineup, and Matt Mieske who Garner will count on to terrorize left-handed pitching.

Mariners Logo

Seattle Mariners

 The Seattle Mariners are two years removed from their exciting division title and playoff defeat of the New York Yankees. But, with the excitement of a new stadium under construction, some key additions to their pitching staff, and the most potent batting order in baseball, you'd never know this team was rebounding from missing the playoffs in 1996. Now, as the Mariners begin their fourth season under manager Lou Pinella, they have become the odds-on favorite to win the American League West and capture their first World Series tittle.

 Randy Johnson returns from back surgery to lead the Mariners new and improved starting rotation. Johnson, until his injury, was the most dominant pitcher in baseball, leading the majors ins strikeouts and working on his second Cy Young award. Joining the Big Unit in the rotation is free-agent pickup Jeff Fassero from Montreal, Jamie Moyer, and Scott Sanders, who was traded to the Mariners by the San Diego Padres for Sterling Hitchock. The bullpen continues to be the Mariners biggest concern, lacking a strong middle reliever or set-up man. But, closers Bobby Ayala and Norm Charlton are more than capable of shutting opponents down in the late innings.

 Offensively, the Mariners have the deepest and most talented lineup in the majors. In addition to all-star left fielder Jay Buhner and former batting champion Edgar Martinez (who will play the DH position full time this season), are Alex Rodriguez, the league's fastest rising star and most prolific young hitter, Paul Sorrento, who hit three grand slams last season, and Joey Cora, who has blossomed into the AL's most dangerous lead-off man. Of course, you can't forget about Ken Griffey Jr., who is on track to break Roger Maris' long standing homerun record and lead his team to a World Series title.

Post-Game Report
 There were no cold bats on this night as the Mariners "busted out the whooping stick" against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.

Check out all the details here, including my impressions of the stadium, ,the team management I met, the food, and the game and the fans

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