Sep 13, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino (3) is congratulated by starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (18) after hitting a solo home run off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Sattle Mariners Gameday Preview at the Astros


Sep 13, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino (3) is congratulated by starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (18) after hitting a solo home run off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Initial Thoughts:

Try something depressing on for size; the Mariners are 12-15 on the season. Against teams not called the Houston Astros or the Miami Marlins, they are 11-9. Against the Astros and Marlins? 1-6.

There is something seriously wrong with those numbers, seeing as the Astros and Marlins are slated to be two of the worst teams in baseball this season.

Game Details:

Seattle Mariners (12-15)

Houston Astros (10-19)

Game time: 1:10 PM Pacific. Location: Houston, Texas; Minute Maid Park.

 

MATCHUPS:

Pitching:

Mariners RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (0-0, -.– ERA) vs. Astros LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-1, 3.56 ERA).

EDGE: Iwakuma. Even though ‘Kuma is making his season debut after being sidelined with an injured tendon on the middle finger of his throwing hand, he is still a reigning finalist for the 2013 Cy Young. Keuchel has had a good start to the season, but even with a pitch count and a first start, Iwakuma has the stuff to win most pitching matchups in the AL.

Projected Lineups:

Mariners:

Michael Saunders 8

Stefen Romero 9

Robinson Cano 4

Corey Hart DH

Justin Smoak 3

Kyle Seager 5

Mike Zunino 2

Cole Gillespie 7

Brad Miller 6

Of Note: Zunino and Seager continued their hot hitting in the losing effort in last night’s game, each with 2 hits and 2 RBI in the contest.

Astros:

Jose Altuve 4

Dexter Fowler 8

Jason Castro 2

George Springer 9

Marc Krauss DH

Jesus Guzman 3

Alex Presley 7

Matt Dominguez 5

Jonathan Villar 6

Of Note: Hyped rookie callup George Springer went 1-6 in last nights game with 4 strikeouts. However, in the bottom of the 11th inning, he provided the game-winning single.

 

Other Notes:

If you haven’t heard by now, or didn’t read the pitching matchup section of this post, Iwakuma is making his 2014 pitching debut today. He had one Triple-A rehab start where he gave up 2 earned over 4 innings of work. Look for him to be on a pitch count, maybe somewhere around 90.

Even if he is only 80% with stuff and location, ‘Kuma gives the Mariners a great chance to even up this series and get the Houston Astros monkey off their back.

 

Final Thoughts:

It still drives me nuts that the Mariners are 1-3 against the Astros. It’s almost like this team is actively willing to play down to its competition on a nightly basis.

If they want any shot at a Wild-Card this year, they need to do what good teams do: beat lesser teams and pad their win-loss record.

Score Prediction:

Mariners 3, Astros 2.

 

 

Tags: Hisashi Iwakuma Seattle Mariners

  • lee cousins

    Keuchel looks very good on the mound, if Iwakuma can regain is form coming of D.L. then we have a reasonable chance, you have to remember were talking about the ASTROS here.

  • Bob Gordon

    The thing is, the Marlins aren’t a bad team at all. Two everyday regulars above .300, four more above .280. Stanton NL RBI leader by large margin. .752 team-wide OPS. This team doesn’t suck (offensively at least). Yeah, they’re in NL East 4th place, but they’re also 15-14 (.517), a record that would be good enough for 2nd or 3rd in most other divisions. It shouldn’t be surprising at all that they were a tough opponent for the Mariners.

    I do share your frustration, however, regarding the Astros. I do think Houston, while still bad, is not quite as bad as many say/think they are. That said, it is rather bewildering that we’re 1-3 against them. Particularly since two of those games have been Felix starts. I think the young Astro lineup will eventually be pretty good, a couple of seasons down the road. But right now, seems a batting order tailor-made for Felix to toss a no-hitter with double-digit K’s. Just hasn’t happened. Likewise, their pitching staff *looks* like a “get well” opportunity for Mariner batters…but that hasn’t happened much either, other than Kyle Seager breaking out of his funk last week.