Mariners-A’s Bring Out Superstarstar Power for Opener Tonight
From the first inning, and from the very first pitch, the Opening Day matchup between the A's and the Mariners will put some very special talent on display.
Trevor Cahill, a 23-year-old right-hander who burst out to a stellar season in 2010, will throw the first pitch of the 2011 season to Ichiro Suzuki, coming off his record 10th consecutive 200-hit season. And if that's not enough star power, the A's will be facing the defending American League Cy Young Award winner, Felix Hernandez, in the bottom of the first.
The A's, coming off a second-place finish in the AL West a year ago, go in hoping to challenge the defending champion Rangers and the Angels for this year's division title. Oakland's offense was bolstered by the arrivals of Hideki Matsui, David DeJesus and Josh Willingham and the return of much of the staff that ranked second in the Majors last year behind its Bay Area neighbors, the Giants.
The Mariners, meanwhile, might be more challenged to hope for the same, with Ichiro's supporting cast on offense among the issues facing them coming off a 101-loss season.