Aug 6, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Dustin Ackley (13) is greeted by second baseman Robinson Cano (22) after hitting a solo home run against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners Series Preview: v. Chicago White Sox

The Mariners take the season sweep against the Braves! (Sorry Dan).

The M’s are coming off of a huge few wins against the Braves this week, especially with the Jays losing to Baltimore on Tuesday. Now sitting only 1.0 game back of the wild card spot, there’s certainly some excitement brewing in Seattle. This weekend the Mariners are headed into a 4-gamer against the White Sox, and are looking to capitalize on an extended series against a team 5 games below .500. Here’s your Mariners series preview for this weekend’s matchup against the White Sox.

 

Matchups

Game one: Scott Carroll (4-6, 4.36 ERA) v. Roenis Elias (8-9, 4.19 ERA)

Rookie starter Scott Carroll is getting the ball in the series opener tonight. Carroll started the season in the rotation, but was relegated to the bullpen for most of May and June after some pretty terrible outings. He’s on the verge of losing that spot again as he’s lost his last three starts giving up 10 runs (22 hits) over only 18 innings.

The Mariners are fielding a rookie of their own in Roenis Elias, who is trying to avoid a 3-game losing skid of his own. His last outing in Baltimore wasn’t atrocious, but lack of offense really hurt him. The last time Elias faced the White Sox was July 4th, where he was hit for 7 hits, 5 runs over 5.0 innings (and was charged with the loss).

Game two: Jose Quintana (6-7, 3.04 ERA) v. Hisashi Iwakuma (9-6, 2.94 ERA)

Quintana is having the best season of his young career, but is apparently having some serious trouble with his offspeed pitches. As a result, the Mariners might be looking at a lot of fastballs on Friday evening.

On the other side of the diamond, Iwakuma is looking to keep it going. He has dropped his ERA below 3.00 now, showing some of that form that got him in the Cy Young running last season. On a different note, Kuma has gone a minimum of 7 innings in each of his last 6 starts.

Game three: Hector Noesi (6-8, 4.97 ERA) v. James Paxton (2-0, 2.76 ERA)

Here’s a familiar face! Noesi is back in Seattle again after being bounced around a bit early in the season. Hector took a lot of heat from the Mariners and Rangers fans before finding a home in Chicago at the end of April. Since then he’s been eating up innings, and is coming off of a  win against the Rangers last weekend. He’s sure to be looking for some redemption against the Mariners.

James Paxton is making his second start since coming off of the DL. His first was decent against the Orioles, though he was pulled after only 4.1. Look for Paxton to be on a short leash again as he’s still getting back into the groove. MLB thinks very highly of Paxton and notes that he is 5-0, 2.01 ERA in his 7 MLB starts dating back to last September.

Game four: John Danks (9-7, 4.93 ERA) v. TBA

Danks was rocked last week against the Rangers. The White Sox were embarrassed at home in a 16-0 rout, Danks giving up 9 of those runs in only 4.2 innings of work. It was his worst outing since 2011. Danks gives up a fair number of runs, as his ERA is pushing 5, so if the Mariners are still fighting to find some offense by Sunday, this might be a way out of it. (Though things have been looking up lately).

 

Series Notes

  • Felix Hernandez‘s spot in the rotation would normally put him in Sunday’s game, but it looks like he’s getting pushed to Monday for a VERY important game against the Blue Jays.
  • Saturday night is Lou Piniella Hall Of Fame Induction night at Safeco. Complete with Sweet Lou bobble heads and other festivities. If you’re into Bobbleheads (who isn’t), you’re going to want to get to the ball diamond EARLY. The Ken Griffey Jr ones went like hotcakes last year and the lines were around the block.
  • The Mariners lost the first series against the White Sox earlier this year as part of their stumble into the All-Star Break.
  • The White Sox have the second worst ERA in the AL at 4.39 (Mariners first at 3.04). So if there was ever a time to pad the stats a little bit, this would be it.
  • Michael Saunders is headed to Tacoma for a rehab stint today. After some oblique troubles it looks like we will be seeing the condor back in the field before long.
  • On the other hand, Willie Bloomquist is still sidelined with a knee issue suffered July 23rd. Lloyd McClendon noted that he may be destined for arthroscopic surgery.
  • Thanks Noesi!

 

Wild Card Roundup

Things are tightening up in the Wild Card race (as if they weren’t already snug). For now the Indians have been dropped to 3.5 games back, while the remainder have all closed up to within a game of that second spot. It still looks highly unlikely that anyone will catch the Angels for that first spot. The A’s have cooled a bit recently, and the Angels are getting hot, meaning there could be a shakeup at the top in the next week or so.

  • The Blue Jays don’t have it easy as they finish off their series against Baltimore tonight, and then face the AL Central leading Tigers over the weekend at home.
  • The Royals are continuing their interleague swing as they take on the Giants at Kauffman this weekend. The Giants are only 2 games back of the Dodgers for first in the NL West, so there should be some fireworks.
  • In a very important Wild Card matchup this weekend, the Yankees are at home against the Indians. This is pretty much a do-or-die series for the Indians, who will fall well back in the WC race if they can’t find a way to take at least a win or two out of New York.
Team Games Back
LA Angels +7.5
Toronto Blue Jays -
KC Royals 0.5
NY Yankees 1.0
Seattle Mariners 1.0

Tags: Seattle Mariners

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