Seattle Mariners Series Preview: vs. Texas Rangers


Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The streak is over!

…that’s about all the positive things I have to say about the last two weeks. I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to put my forehead through a wall watching the Mariners jump head first into a shallow pool. A sweep by the Marlins and a series loss to Houston has left the M’s in a tough position. Luckily enough for them it is still early in the season, so I’m saying there’s a chance. The next series will be crucial to getting back into the game.


Game one: Robbie Ross Jr. (1-1, 2.31 ERA ) v. Roenis Elias (1-2, 3.22 ERA )

Ross got pumped in his last start against the White Sox, going 5.1 innings and yielding 4 earned runs, something he has never done in his young career. The majority of Ross’s work last season was out of the pen, so he might still be settling into his new role. The other new guy here is Elias, who had dazzled us early in the season, but was underwhelming in his last start.

Game two: Colby Lewis (1-1, 4.22 ERA ) v. Felix Hernandez (3-1, 2.04 ERA)

Colby Lewis represents a good chance for the Mariners to capitalize on their (very limited) momentum swing. Last time the Mariners saw him they hit him for 4 earned runs over 5.1 innings, so it will be key to rattle him again to plate a bunch more runs. Not that the M’s will need them though, with Felix on the mound and the Kings court in session, you can expect the Mariners to be favored. Felix’s last start was good enough to win, where he gave up 6 runs (but only two earned ones, the rest of the team let him down, hard).

Game three: Matt Harrison (0-2, 11.57 ERA ) v. Brandon Maurer (0-0, 2.08 ERA )

Matt Harrison was sidelined last year with a herniated disk, so this is his first major league start since that injury. He’s been out of major league action for over a year now, but he’s made a few rehab starts in double-A and looks to be back on track. He’ll likely be on a pitch count, so running up the count will be the name of the game. Brandon Maurer is back for the Mariners, but he’ll likely be on a bit of a pitch count too. Supposedly he’s been pretty tired since his last start in Miami when the wheels just fell off. Missing most of the spring conditioning camp was likely a factor.

Mariners Notes

While pitching has been blamed for a lot of the recent Mariners troubles, the fact remains that scoring runs is still a big problem for this team. A big night from Kyle Seager was just what the doctor ordered on Wednesday, and hopefully he can regain some of that confidence from last year.

  • Every preview that I’ve done these last two weeks has included some kind of tidbit on Hisashi Iwakuma. Well, here it is again: Iwakuma is likely making one rehab start for AAA Tacoma on Sunday, at which point it is expected he will be cleared to return to the big club. If all goes well we could be seeing him next week in New York to face the Yankees.
  • Erasmo Ramirez on the other hand has been pretty disappointing over the first month of the season, and he’s on his way down…way down. He’s been sent back down to high-A to get some mound time in. This could be a good move for Ramirez who could use a good confidence boost after getting shelled in each of his five appearances so far.
  • Don’t miss Seattle staple Beard Hat night on Friday. Unfortunately for me it’s blonde and would probably clash with my black beard, but for those of you of Scandinavian persuasion, you can get down to Safeco early on Friday and be the hipster you always wanted to be. Get there early, there’s only 20,000 to go around, and this proved to be popular last year.

  • Nick Franklin made a short trip to Seattle this past week, but he’s on his way back to join Tacoma in Las Vegas today. He was mediocre in his seven games, and the Mariners are making room for their latest call-up Cole Gillespie.
  • Rangers Notes

    • Unfortunately for you Hector Noesi fans, he’s been DFA’d by the Rangers, so we won’t get a chance to see him give up any more Safeco bombs.
    • In big news for the Rangers, Adrian Beltre is set to make his comeback appearance tonight. This is obviously a big threat to the Mariners pitching, but there is a silver lining. The M’s won’t have to face red-hot Kevin Kouzmanoff who has hit .412/.412/.824 against the Mariners so far this season.
    • Kouzmanoff has been sent back to Texas and will miss this road trip because of some nagging back issues.
    • Key to the game: Don’t try to hide pine tar on your neck….I thought this was obvious.
    • The Rangers really need a series win this weekend to keep ahead of Oakland. The Rangers are only a half-game up on the A’s right, now and the A’s are in Houston, so you can bet they’re going to take a few wins home.