Mariners ballyhooed prospect Dustin Ackley makes his Major League debut tonight when the Phillies visit Seattle for the first time since 2005. First pitch is 10:10 from Safeco Field.
Preview: Ackley, the second overall selection in the 2009 draft, hit 303 with nine home runs in 66 games for Triple-A Tacoma. The second baseman's first at bat will come against Roy Oswalt, who's looking to build on a very strong finish in a seven-inning victory over the Cubs on Sunday. Massive, hard-throwing rookie right-hander Michael Pineda starts for the pitching-strong, offensively challenged Mariners, who carry a 35-34 record into the weekend series. Meanwhile, the 44-26 Phillies are seeking their eighth-straight win, but will need a reversal of fortunes on the road, where they're just 16-14 this season including recent series losses in Washington and Pittsburgh. Chase Utley and Shane Victorino are swinging the hottest bats for the Phillies, but the best work, overall, has come from Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, who starts Sunday, and the back of the bullpen.
Should be an interesting series that unfolds while I'm passed out on the couch.