Opponent: Anaheim Angels
When: 3:35 p.m.
Where: Safeco Field
TV: Fox Sports Net (cable)
Radio: KIRO (710 AM)
Pitchers: Seattle right-hander Aaron Sele (13-5, 3.71) vs. left-hander Jarrod Washburn (11-8, 3.50).
Dilemma of the day: For a team that seems to have everything going its way, there’s a dilemma facing the Mariners in their final 17 regular-season games. The relief pitchers need some work.
Going into Wednesday night’s game, no member of the bullpen had pitched in at least nine days, and Jose Paniagua had gone 15 days without an appearance.
“That’s our biggest job, to get our bullpen sharp over the next 17 days,” manager Lou Piniella said.
He could have started on Monday by lifting Freddy Garcia, who threw 119 pitches in a complete-game shutout.
“I didn’t see any need last night,” Piniella said. “But we’ll probably shorten him up on Sunday.”
Garcia is scheduled to start Sunday in Oakland.
Backing in: Piniella was asked Wednesday afternoon if it would bother him if a victory by Texas over Oakland would allow the Mariners to “back” into the division championship.
“Regardless of how we clinch it, we’ve earned it,” Piniella said. “I’d like to back in every year with 105 wins.”
An old softie: As if the television camera didn’t prove it on Tuesday, Piniella said Wednesday that he was choked up with emotion during pregame ceremonies.
“I got a little teary-eyed,” he said. “I’m easy, especially when the people started yelling ‘USA!’ That hit me.”
Injury report: Mariners third baseman David Bell, who strained a muscle in his left rib cage last Friday, is expected to play catch today and, if that goes well, may swing a bat on Sunday or Monday. Trainer Rick Griffin would not predict when Bell would return, but he is hopeful he’ll play late next week.
Outfielder Al Martin, out with a strained left (throwing) elbow, will take batting practice on Friday in Oakland. He could begin throwing soon afterward depending on how the elbow responds to Friday’s swings.
Manager of year: Dan Rohn, manager of the Mariners’ Class AAA farm club in Tacoma, was named the Pacific Coast League’s manager of the year Wednesday after a vote of league managers and media.
The Rainiers were named PCL co-champions after winning the Northern Division regular-season championship, then beating Sacramento in the first round of the playoffs. The league championship series with New Orleans was called off because of the terrorist attacks.
Rohn, in his first year with Tacoma, managed the Rainiers to an 85-59 record, best in the PCL. He managed the Mariners’ Class AA team in New Haven, Conn., to the Eastern League championship last year.
Relief auction: Wives of Mariners players helped volunteers from the American Red Cross to collect about $26,000 in donations Tuesday night and will continue to raise money through today to benefit relief efforts from last week’s terrorist attacks.
They will conduct a silent auction at today’s game with many of the items donated by Mariners players. The auction table will be set up near section 128 on the main concourse and bids will be accepted through the bottom of the sixth inning.
Little League honors: Members of the Bainbridge Island baseball team and the Kirkland girls softball team, both of which played in their respective Little League World Series, were honored before Wednesday’s game.