May 12, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) reacts after being ejected by the home plate umpire during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Gameday Preview at Twins

Initial Thoughts:

It’s been a tough week for the M’s thus far. After losing 2 of 3 against the Rays at home, they have already lost the first two games in this series to the Twins. To salvage a 2-4 week, the King will need to deliver a sterling performance today and will the Mariners to a win to end the series.

Game Details:

Seattle Mariners 20-22. Last 10: (3-7).

Minnesota Twins 21-20. Last 10: (6-4).

Game time: 11:10 AM Pacific. Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota. Target Field.

 

MATCHUPS:

Pitching:

Seattle Mariner RHP Felix Hernandez (4-1, 3.03 ERA) v. Minnesota Twins RHP Ricky Nolasco (2-3, 5.51 ERA).

EDGE: Felix. Sure King Felix hasn’t been in peak form his last few outings, but he remains one of the best and most electric pitchers to watch throughout all of baseball. Nolasco has struggled a bit through the first month and a half of the season, and the Mariners hitters should be hopeful they can tag him for some runs.

Projected Lineups:

Mariners:

James Jones 8

Michael Saunders 9

Robinson Cano 4

Corey Hart DH

Justin Smoak 3

Kyle Seager 5

Dustin Ackley 7

John Buck 2

Willie Bloomquist 6

Of Note: The M’s managed only 6 hits last night, 2 from Smoak and 1 apiece from Jones, Saunders, Cano and Hart. Since his call-up, Jones has played his way into the everyday centerfielder and leadoff role. Cano has also continued hitting, drawing his batting average over the .300-mark.

Twins:

Brian Dozier 4

Joe Mauer 3

Trevor Plouffe 5

Josmil Pinto 3

Kurt Suzuki DH

Jason Kubel 7

Chris Parmelee 9

Aaron Hicks 8

Eduardo Escobar 6

Of Note: Dozier has had the M’s number this series, last night hitting a 3-run home run off starter Roenis Elias in the 5th inning. The Twins only managed 6 hits last night, just like the Mariners, but they made them count and found their way to a 1-run victory.

 

Other Notes:

Aside from the 2-0 loss to the Rays on May 14th, every game in this Mariners 4-game losing streak has been decided by only one run. For this team to remain above .500 and compete for a Wild-Card in the playoffs, they have to learn to win the close ones and battle out for necessary wins.

If that doesn’t happen, this team will win somewhere between 79-83 victories and remain entirely underwhelming for the duration of the season.

 

Final Thoughts:

King Felix needs to realize how important today’s game is. This team needs a victory, and it should get it from the King today. I expect the M’s to give him a run or two early, then Felix will do his usual thing and give the Mariners a tight, low scoring victory. Because this offense seems apt to disappear for long periods of time.

Score Prediction:

Mariners 2, Twins 1.

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Tags: Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners

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