Today’s rubber match between the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers will decide the series and the makeup of this team.
After Felix Hernandez squandered a 3-0 lead in the 5th inning of last night’s game, the offense went quiet and the bullpen allowed 3 more runs netting a 6-3 loss and a 9-14 record for the M’s.
Seattle Mariners (9-14)
Texas Rangers (15-9)
Time of Game: 1:10 PM Pacific. Location: Seattle, Washington.
Edge: Maurer. Maurer had a good first start despite the pitch count. Harrison is also on a pitch count as he makes his first start in the Majors since last year’s herniated disk. If Maurer can maintain his control– and that’s a big IF– he may be able to subdue Rangers hitters enough to give this team a chance to win. That is if they can find a way to score runs.
Corey Hart DH
Of note: I really think Seager ought to be slated in the 2-hole. And Almonte and Miller, the two youngsters who hit 1-2 in the lineup to start the season, need to be at the bottom of the order where they can get on base and provide RBI opportunities for the top of the order. The two of them have too many strikeouts to continue hitting at the top of the order.
Of note: Beltre is back and already in his old-form: 2-4 last night with a walk and no strikeouts. The Rangers are keeping pace in the division with the Athletics despite having little to no starting pitching. When they come back at full strength it could pose serious issues for the Mariners.
Keys to Mariners Victory:
1) Drive up the pitch count. Harrison, like Maurer, is on a pitch count. What better way to win they chase him early with 30 pitch innings and a few runs plated? If the Rangers bullpen has to pitch more than half of the game, the Mariner should be able to find a way to break through with some success.
2) Aggression at the plate. The M’s hitters struck out 12 times last night. They are seeing lots of strikes and not capitalizing, quickly falling behind in the count and swinging defensively. Like the start to the season, these guys need to be aggressive and make the pitchers pitch.
Hisashi Iwakuma is pitching for Triple-A Tacoma today. If all goes well in that game, we could see ‘Kuma as early as Friday in the Bronx against the Yankees.
Mariners 5, Rangers 4.