Sep 17, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Brandon Maurer (center) walks off the field in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Gameday Preview versus the Texas Rangers

 

Sep 17, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Brandon Maurer (center) walks off the field in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Initial Thoughts:

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.

Game Details:

Seattle Mariners (9-14)

Texas Rangers (15-9)

Time of Game: 1:10 PM Pacific. Location: Seattle, Washington.

 

MATCHUPS:

Pitching:

Mariners Brandon Maurer RHP (0-0, 2.08 ERA) vs. Rangers Matt Harrison (0-2, 11.57 ERA).

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.

Probable Lineups:

Mariners:

Michael Saunders 9

Kyle Seager 5

Robinson Cano 4

Corey Hart DH

Justin Smoak 3

Dustin Ackley 7

John Buck 2

Abraham Almonte 8

Brad Miller 6

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.

Rangers:

Michael Choice 7

Elvis Andrus 6

Prince Fielder 3

Adrian Beltre 5

Alex Rios 9

Mitch Moreland DH

Donnie Murphy 4

Leonys Martin 8

J.P. Arencibia 2

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.

Other Thoughts:

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.

 

Score Prediction:

Mariners 5, Rangers 4.

 

Tags: Brandon Maurer Seattle Mariners

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