March 4, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcherFelix Hernandez
(34) pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
With last’s night postponed game the Seattle Mariners will send Felix Hernandez to the mound against Dan Straily of the Oakland Athletics. Last night’s matchup was supposed to be Straily and newly signed Chris Young, but infield conditions were so poor managers Bob Melvin and Lloyd McClendon agreed it was the most prudent decision to postpone the game. The question now is whether or not the field will be ready for today’s 1:05 start time.
Seattle Mariners (3-1) — Previous 10: (3-1)
Oakland Athletics (2-2) — Previous 10: (2-2)
Time of game: 7:05 PM Pacific. Location: Oakland, California.
EDGE: King Felix. There are few pitching matchups where Felix isn’t given the edge. His strikeout-filled performance to start the year, coupled with his 1.31 ERA against the A’s last season, gives Mariners fans a reason to hope he can start the year 2-0 and give the Mariners a 4-1 record.
Of note: Through the first four games of the season Ackley, Cano, Smoak, Miller and Almonte are the only position players to start every day and at the same position. Stefen Romero, Morrison, and Saunders have already split time in right field, and Willie Bloomquist relieved Seager of his duties in their last game against the Angels. Saunders is the only Mariner position player yet to record a hit.
Brandon Moss DH
Of note: The Athletics have the potential for a power lineup. Be wary of Cespedes in the meat of the order– he was squaring up the ball in Thursday night’s game.
Keys to Mariner Victory:
1) Bouncing back quickly from the tough loss. This was the same key for last night’s game, but since that never happened, this is still a bounce back game for the M’s. How will these young players handle the first sour taste of the season?
2) Can King Felix remain on his throne? With his 2013 dominance of the Oakland Athletics, it looks as if Felix should have a dominant showing. If he can continue this trend, the M’s could quickly be 4-1 on the season.
With the postponement of last nights game, the Mariners are avoiding a game against division opponents while less than 100%. Assuming Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker are back by the May 5-7 series in Oakland, this postponed game could very much help the Mariners in their quest for the AL West crown.
Felix will be Felix. These hitters will come out hungry, especially after having to sit on a loss for an extra 24 hours. This game, with the ace on the mound, will say a lot about the character of this team.
Mariners 4, Oakland 1. Vintage Felix.