Sep 17, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Brandon Maurer (37) walks off the field against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Gameday Preview at the Astros

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Initial Thoughts:

Last night’s game was an experience. The Mariners dropped 8-runs in the 7th inning, only to see the Astros come storming back from a 9-2 deficit. Fortunately the bullpen nutted-up just long enough to preserve the 9-8 victory, giving Hisashi Iwakuma his first win in his first start of the season.

‘Kuma went 6 1/3 giving up 4 earned runs, striking out 3, and walking 1. It wasn’t a dominant performance, but it sure is nice to have him back in the rotation.

Game Details:

Seattle Mariners (13-15). Last 10: 6-4.

Houston Astros (10-20). Last 10: 4-6.

Game time: 11:10 AM Pacific. Location: Houston, Texas. Minute Maid Park.

 

MATCHUPS:

Pitching:

Seattle Mariners RHP Brandon Maurer (0-0, 6.75 ERA) v. Houston Astros RHP Collin McHugh (2-0, .59 ERA)

EDGE: McHugh. This guy has been spectacular in his first two starts as an Astro. He struck out 12 in 6 2/3 innings against the Mariners for his first win of the season. Maurer has looked good to start games, but has been running out of gas, topping out at 77 pitches. He didn’t have Spring Training to build up his endurance, so it’s understandable that he is working his way back to 100%.

 

Projected Lineups:

Mariners:

Michael Saunders 8

Stefen Romero 9

Robinson Cano 4

Corey Hart DH

Kyle Seager 5

Justin Smoak 3

Dustin Ackley 7

Brad Miller 6

John Buck 2

Of Note: Last night’s lineup produced from top to bottom; Hart was the only starter not to reach base. Also, this lineup McClendon trotted out starts lefty, righty, lefty, right, lefty, switch, lefty. This is a nightmare for an opposing manager when deciding when to bring in a lefty specialist from the bullpen later in the game.

Astros:

Jose Altuve 4

Dexter Fowler 8

Carlos Corporan 3

Matt Dominguez 5

Marc Krauss 3

Chris Carter DH

Jonathan Villar 6

Marwin Gonzalez 7

Alex Presley 9

Of note: Altuve at the top of this order is a godsend for the Astros. Their second baseman is smart, aggressive, and leads the league in stolen bases. Unless McHugh continues this hot start through June, Altuve looks to be the Astros lone representative at the All-Star game in Minnesota this season.

 

Other Notes:

Mike Zunino tripled his walk total last night. The Mariners walked 4 times in a row to start the 7th inning. They only struck out 5 times in the entire game.

Miller did not get a hit, and is still batting only .188, but he did reach base twice on a walk and a catcher’s interference.

Final Thoughts:

The Mariners can only hope they get to McHugh early than they got to Dallas Keuchel last night. The M’s need to get McHugh to elevate his fastball and drive up the pitch count without striking out every other at-bat.

For Maurer, it will be keeping the ball low and away in the zone after getting ahead in the count. The Astros lead the league in strikeouts– so getting their young lineup to chase is the Mariners best shot at picking up the win.

Score Prediction:

Mariners 4, Astros 3.

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Tags: Brandon Maurer Seattle Mariners

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