This is fun again! As it turns out, the Mariners might be a road-team. A two game sweep of the NL East leading Braves, and a quick win in the Bronx, the Mariners are up to 5 in a row. The M’s enjoyed a nice off day on the beach yesterday in Tampa Bay, but tonight they’re back to the diamond to take on the AL-East bottom feeding Rays.
Ordinarily I’d say this is a good matchup for the Mariners, but as I pointed out the other day, the M’s are having some trouble with weaker teams this season, while thriving against good ones. This is a chance to turn that around.
Chris Young’s two latest wins are against the Tigers and the Angels, teams that are doing pretty well at the plate to this point. Young has also notched wins against the Yankees, A’s and Royals. So it’s not like those 5 wins have fallen into his lap. High caliber bats are having trouble with him, and it’s paying dividends for the Mariners. Bedard has been having some pretty serious trouble lately after taking the loss in his last three starts, including a 12 hit, 8 run shellacking against the Blue Jays last week.
Elias is coming off of another milestone win when he notched his first career shutout against the Tigers last weekend. It was a gem that saw the tigers only put up three hits and Elias sat 8 of them down on strikes. It was a good way to see him get back on track after a tumultuous May. Cobb is trying to avoid his third straight loss after taking a painful loss to the Marlins last week. Cobb missed the second half of April and the first half of May and is only making his 7th start of the season tomorrow.
Any questions about Felix losing it after some sorry starts in May have quickly been forgotten. The King is in search of his 6th straight win on Sunday. He’s gone 6.2+ in each of his last 5 starts and has given up only 10 runs over that stretch. More importantly, he hasn’t given up a home run since April 21st. Archer took a hard 1-0 loss on Tuesday to the Marlins. Something the Mariners are all too familiar with.
Game four: TBD v. David Price (4-5, 4.03 ERA)
The last time Price pitched in Seattle I commented about how he was having a rough time, but he certainly made me look like an idiot after he went 9 innings for the win against the M’s. Since then he hasn’t been sharp (again), giving up 31 hits and 18 runs over a 4 game stretch.
- Felix hasn’t given up a homer since April 21st, which is pretty neat. He’s on fire again and is back in early Cy Young discussions.
- Over this 5 game winning streak, the Mariners have outscored their opponents 26 – 9, which is certainly a welcome sight.
- Over those same 5 games, Fernando Rodney has earned three saves, giving him a total of 16 so far this season, tying him for second in the AL behind Greg Holland (17). For all the grief that Rodney gets, he’s only blown 2 saves this season, which is nothing compared to A’s closer Luke Gregerson (5).
- Justin Smoke rode pine on Wednesday while Lloyd gave Willie Bloomquist the start at first. Smoak hasn’t been all that good recently, prompting Mike to question how much longer we’ll be seeing him.
- Perhaps the biggest blow to the Rays is that their young Hot-Shot Wil Myers is on the DL with a fracture in his wrist. He’s expected to miss at least 8 weeks. Myers was last year’s AL Rookie of the year.
- The Rays have been horrendous for the 2014 season, last in the AL East and a full 15 games below .500. This is something that Rays fans aren’t used to seeing from their team. The AL East is pretty tough again this season, and it will take a miracle for the Rays to dig themselves out of this hole.
- While Don Zimmer has been around baseball virtually forever, he was most recently an advisor for the Rays. His passing on Wednesday sent waves through the MLB and the Rays organization.
Around the AL West
This hot-streak has left the Mariners tied for second in the AL West with the Angels, both teams 5.5 back of the A’s. The Angels have been skidding pretty hard and are 3-7 in their last 10, giving the M’s a chance to play catchup a bit. This 4-game set against the Rays certainly presents a golden opportunity for the M’s.
- Oakland is in Baltimore to take on the Orioles for the weekend. The Orioles are second in the AL East, and trying to make up some ground on the Blue Jays, who just won’t stop winning. The Jays are on a 5 game winning streak of their own right now.
- The Angels are at home against the White Sox for a three game set. The White Sox are yet another team fighting out of second in their division. They are trying to capitalize on a Detroit team that has been slumping pretty bad lately.
- The Rangers are at home for a 4-game series against the Indians. As hot as we think the Mariners are right now,the Indians are hotter. They’re riding a 6 game winning streak into Arilington. A few wins down there would give the Mariners some cushion ahead of the Rangers, who have been mediocre all season.
- The Astros, as much as I can’t believe it, are clawing their way back up (for now anyways), they recently took 2-of-3 against the Angels, and are 7-3 in their last 10. They’re a long way back of the M’s (6 games), but it’s nice to see them out of the basement of the league.