Happy Felix Day! It’s finally time for King Felix Hernandez (11-2, 2.02 ERA) once again to take the mound and try to right a quickly sinking Mariners ship.
Now standing at 8-11 in the month of July, the Mariners have lost so much ground that they are no longer 2nd in the Wild Card standings beind the absurdly good Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
After last night’s piss poor offensive performance against the Orioles, both the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees of the AL East leapfrogged the Mariners in the standings. This is no good for a team trying to compete throughout the heat of the summer.
Felix will be facing off against youngster Kevin Gausman (4-3, 4.04 ERA) in a game where the Mariners should be able to score enough runs to back Felix and get back into the win column. Gausman is very hittable, and the Mariners lefty-heavy lineup should have decent production against the righty starter.
The Mariners have scored only 55 runs in the month of July– that’s fewest in the League. But somehow they’ve managed 8 wins in that span. This is all the more evidence that this team needs to invest in more offense if they want to make the playoffs.
He has struggled to start the season, but many are hopeful he will turn it on, especially because he didn’t have a Spring Training and needed these last few months to get back into an offensive groove.
Expect Morales to be in the lineup tonight.
Another concern catering towards the offensive needs of this team: as of today, this team is mathematically on pace to score 5 more runs than they did last season. Only 5. Could you imagine what this team would be without Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano?
The key today will be Felix and his ability to silence the Orioles offense long enough for the M’s to get going. If that happens– if the King can hold the O’s to 2 runs over 8 innings– this offense may have just enough oompf to get back in the win column.
Score Prediction: Mariners 4, Orioles 2.