May 11, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Roenis Elias (29) pitches to the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Gameday Preview at the Twins

Initial Thoughts:

After a tremendous run of winning baseball, the Seattle Mariners are 1 and 3 in their last four games, in desperate need of a win tonight to climb back over the .500 mark.

Though Chris Young has been so solid to start the season, it was no surprise that he got shelled a bit in last night’s game. He’s a solid back-end-of-the-rotation pitcher, but not sub-3.00 ERA good. The Mariners offense needs to seriously get rolling again. That needs to start with Brad Miller providing something from the shortstop position– it has been a dead spot in the lineup since the end of the first week of the season.

Game Details:

Seattle Mariners 20-21. Last 10: (4-6).

Minnesota Twins 20-20. Last 10: (5-5).

Time: 4:10 PM Pacific. Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota. Target Field.

 

MATCHUPS:

Pitching:

Seattle Mariners LHP Roenis Elias (3-2, 3.69 ERA) v. Minnesota Twins RHP Samuel Deduno (0-2, 3.64 ERA).

EDGE: Elias. Though he was hit for 5 runs in his last outing, Elias has consistently been a solid starter for the M’s this season. Deduno is still in the process of transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation, though he had a strong outing against the Tigers his last time out. If Elias has control, he should be able to stymie the Twins lineup. However, the way the M’s have been hitting recently, Deduno may end up flirting with a no-no. That’s Mariners baseball.

Potential Lineups:

Mariners:

James Jones 8

Stefen Romero 9

Robinson Cano 4

Corey Hart DH

Justin Smoak 3

Kyle Seager 5

Dustin Ackley 7

Mike Zunino 2

Brad Miller 6

Of Note: Michael Saunders was back in the lineup last night, going 3-5 with a walk and a run scored. Miller continues to struggle at the bottom of the lineup, while Ackley laced a 2-run triple in last nights game.

Twins:

Brian Dozier 4

Joe Mauer 3

Trevor Plouffe 5

Chris Parmelee 9

Kurt Suzuki 2

Jason Kubel 7

Josmil Pinto DH

Aaron Hicks 8

Eduardo Escobar 6

Of Note: The Twins managed 12 hits against Mariners pitching last night with Parmelee being the only position player without a base knock. Joe Mauer continues to be their darling even with his transition to first base, and continues to hit around the .300-mark on the season.

 

Other Notes:

When looking at the lineups and the way this team has been performing thus far, it’s disconcerting to look at the new lineups. In recent weeks the top two hitters have been a combination of primarily Romero, Saunders, and Jones. Saunders and Romero started the season as platoon guys, and Jones didn’t join the team permanently until a week ago. The Opening Day 1-2 hitters? One’s in Triple-A Tacoma and the other isn’t hitting his body weight at shortstop– a joke that used to be reserved exclusively for Brendan Ryan.

Final Thoughts:

I think lefty Elias stymies the Twins lineup just enough tonight that the offense can pull through and take a win before Felix Hernandez takes the mound for a chance to win the series on Sunday. It could be a rough one tonight the way Mariners hitting has gone of late, but look for a few key players to will the M’s to a win.

Score Prediction:

Mariners 4, Twins 3.

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Tags: Roenis Elias Seattle Mariners