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Micro-managing a pennant race

9/7/2011

Even if the Angels maximize the use of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana over these final three weeks, they're going to need their fourth and fifth starters to pitch in at least seven of the remaining 20 games. One of those is Wednesday night, with Jerome Williams facing the Seattle Mariners.

Manager Mike Scioscia, who has four extra relievers due to September call-ups, admits he'll manage these games differently than he would earlier in the season or when one of the big three is on the mound. If Williams struggles, don't be surprised to see activity in the bullpen early in the game, more akin to the way playoff games are managed.

"You're not worried about a game three months from now, like you might be in April or May. You're not worried about letting a guy working out problems on the mound like you might do in April or May," Scioscia said. "There could be some quicker decisions, but games are going to come down to the merits of starting pitchers winning or losing games; that's the way we really approach it."

Here are the lineups for Wednesday night's game, and yes, minor league player of the year Mike Trout is playing. Another tidbit: Seattle's Alex Liddi, making his major league debut, is the first Italian-born major leaguer in more than 50 years. He grew up in San Remo and is a product of the MLB European Academy.

Seattle

1. Ichiro Suzuki RF

2. Brendan Ryan SS

3. Dustin Ackley 2B

4. Mike Carp LF

5. Justin Smoak 1B

6. Miguel Olivo C

7. Wily Mo Pena DH

8. Trayvon Robinson CF

9. Alex Liddi 3B

Angels

1. Maicer Izturis 3B

2. Peter Bourjos CF

3. Howie Kendrick 2B

4. Torii Hunter DH

5. Mark Trumbo 1B

6. Vernon Wells LF

7. Mike Trout RF

8. Erick Aybar SS

9. Bobby Wilson C