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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Mariners, Tuesday 6/12, 7:05 CT

Tonight is Ichiro Suzuki's first appearance at Wrigley Field.

I imagine there will be quite a few Japanese fans at this series, the Mariners' first ever at Wrigley Field -- Ichiro doesn't have quite the buzz he had when he first came to the USA, but he is still a fine player -- currently hitting .337/.392/.447 -- and with an outside shot, even though he didn't hit the major leagues till age 27, of having 3000 major league hits (he enters tonight with 1440, and will be 34 in October).

Ichiro is also the only Mariner left from Lou Piniella's last Mariners team in 2002.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Rich Hill
R. Hill
vs. Jarrod Washburn
J. Washburn
5-4 W-L 5-5
2.71 ERA 3.94
74 SO 40
25 BB 20
11 HR 5
vs. Sea -- vs. Cubs
Neither of these pitchers has ever faced the other team; Washburn missed facing the Cubs in the only year the Angels played them (2004) when he was a member of that team. Washburn has faced a handful of current Cubs in interleague play; the only one who has a significant number of at-bats is Alfonso Soriano (4-for-25). Go figure: Jacque Jones, who can't hit lefties, is 3-for-10 with a double vs. Washburn, although five of the seven outs are strikeouts.

Many here thought the Cubs should have signed Washburn as a free agent last winter, but he had a pretty bad 2006 (8-14, 4.67, 1.35 WHIP); he's been a bit better this year, including a 3-hit shutout of the A's on April 25. Rich Hill was absolutely outstanding last Thursday in Atlanta.

A couple of notes: please check out the splashy, flashy new homepage of the SB Nation -- more featured sites, and links to every one of the more than 100 SB Nation blogs.

And, please check out the Mariners fan site Lookout Landing, for the Seattle point of view. Mediacenter Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version)

Discuss amongst yourselves.