Seattle Mariners @ New York Mets Series Preview

In what should be a very interesting interleague match up this weekend, the New York Mets (26-32) will be like David of the East entertaining the Goliath of the West, the Seattle Mariners (40-18). The series opens on Friday evening at Shea Stadium with young Jae Weong Seo (2-2) meeting Ryan Franklin (4-3) of the Mariners.

The Mariners are currently very hot due to the fact that second baseman Brett Boone is sizzling. Boone, Carlos Delgado of Toronto and Alfonso Soriano of the Yankees are now the frontrunners in the AL MVP race. Boone, who had a career year in 2001, and a solid, if not spectacular 2002, is the catalyst of the Seattle line-up. Also ageless Edgar Martinez, who is also having a fantastic season as a 40-year-old, will be relegated to pinch-hitting for the series, since there is no DH used in the NL parks.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for first baseman John Olerud, who had three fantastic seasons for the Mets from 1997-99. It was Olerud's desire to return to the great Northwest that arguably sent the New York franchise in a downward spiral. John set the all-time Mets single season batting average record of .354 in 1998.

On Saturday, it will be a meeting of struggling aces. Freddy Garcia (5-6), who has been quite ordinary so far this season, will go for the Mariners. Al Leiter is 6-2 for the Mets, but also has had his ups and downs with a WHIP of 1.55. Al needs to come up big in this game, especially with Tom Glavine very questionable for his next start.

Finally on Sunday, it will be the old junkballer Jamey Moyer (9-2), who is still mesmerizing after all these years, against youngster Mike Bacsik (0-0), who will just be trying to tread water in this game.

Also noteworthy is the fact that Japanese import Ichiro Suzuki will be making his first appearance at Shea this weekend. With the Big Apple already having hosted Hideki Matsui of the Yankees this year, plus two-time Met Tsuyoshi Shinjo who is once again home at Shea, means that there should be a noticeable Japanese presence at Shea this weekend.

In a nutshell, it will help the Mets that the Martinez at-bats will be greatly reduced. If the Mets can cool off Boone, their chances for success will increase, but if the Mets can take two of three from this juggernaut, it will definitely be one of the highlights of their checkered season.

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