Mariners Face Tigers, Try Not To Get Eat Up
By Matt Seto
Remember when I said that the Mariners had to outright win both series against the Astros and the Angels to make us believe again? Well, in classic Mariners fashion they didn’t, but they did manage to string us along long enough to see two ninth-inning rallies fall short. So I guess we should be happy now? I suppose .500 ball isn’t terrible, but I expect more from such a long home stand.
The Tigers are in town to close out this home stretch, and while the Tigers are always a team to be wary of, they’re 3-7 in their last 10 games and haven’t looked good recently. So here’s the Mariners series preview against the slumping striped ones from Detroit.
Game one: Justin Verlander (5-4, 4.04 ERA) v. Hisashi Iwakuma (3-1, 2.39 ERA)
Verlander is slumping, hard. MLB notes that he’s given up 16 earned runs in his last 13.1 innings, and that he’s been messing with his delivery a bit. His last outing against the Rangers was his shortest of the season at 5.1 innings, he gave up 11 hits and 9 runs (6 earned) in that start including three walks. ‘Kuma is coming off of his first loss of the season when he took a loss against the Astros last week. It wasn’t a horrendous start for him, giving up only 4 runs in 7 innings, but the ol Mariners-lack-of-offense continues to let him down, in three of his five starts so far the Mariners have only gotten him one run.
Game two: Drew Smyly (2-3, 3.86 ERA) v. Chris Young (4-2, 3.30 ERA)
Drew started the season in the bullpen, but make his way back to the rotation by mid April. Since then he’s gone 1-3 with a 4.46 ERA over 7 starts. He hasn’t been bang on to say the least. Pretty much all of his May starts have been bad, but he go crushed in his last outing against Oakland last week for 6 runs over 5 innings, four of those being homers. Yet again I’m pumping Chris Young’s tires a bit here, but it’s just such a pleasant surprise to see him play so well. Young has gone a minimum 6 innings in all of his May starts, and notched a quality start earlier this week against the Angels when he went 6.1 with only 2 hits and 1 run.
Game three: Max Scherzer (6-1, 3.00 ERA) v. Roenis Elias (3-4, 4.02 ERA)
While the rest of the Tigers’ rotation has been having troubles, Scherzer certainly hasn’t. Scherzer’s only loss of the season came way back on April 13th, since then he’s gone 6-0. His last two starts have been no decisions. His last two starts have yielded 20 hits and 12 runs, so he’s not invincible, but it’s going to be tough. Elias is looking to get back on the win-mobile after two losses and two no-decisions in his last four starts. His ERA and WHIP have been climbing steadily as the league gets to see him for the second time around now, so it’s going to take a lot of work from here on out.
- Remember when we all hated Brad Miller? It’s wasn’t that long ago that we were jeering the M’s calling for a Franklin promotion. Miller has been getting moderate playing time lately, but last night he went 2-for-3 with a run scored. This extra time off might be just what the doctor ordered.
- On the other hand, Nick Franklin stunk the place out last night when he put on the ol’ Golden Sombrero. He now has only 6 hits in his 15 MLB games this season, inlcuding 18 strikeouts.
- Robinson Cano was a last minute scratch from the lineup last night as it was reported that he was feeling ‘under the weather’, whatever that means. During that short rally in the ninth Cano took the hoodie off to stretch and it looked like we might see him pinch-hit, but nothing came of it. Expect him to be back tonight.
- Taijuan Walker threw a rehab start in Tacoma the other day, and while it wasn’t good, he still managed to throw 60+ pitches and said that things feel fine. Expect one or two more rehabs before he’s back to the big club.
- James Paxton didn’t get good news though. If you haven’t heard by now, Paxton was shut down again after inflammation was found in his shoulder, extending the timetable on his return.
- This will be the first time manager Lloyd McClendon faces his hold cub, the Tigers, since leaving them for the big job in Seattle. It’s not like he left on bad terms or anything, but we’re making a big deal out of it anyways.
- Base-stealing machine Rajai Davis already has 16 snatched bags this year, but was held out of the lineup yesterday because of a sore shoulder. It doesn’t look like he’ll miss much, expect to see him as a pinch runner tonight before he comes back full time later this weekend.
- Something the Mariners and Tigers have in common this season, no complete games. Anibal Sanchez (who we won’t be seeing) made it into the ninth in his last start, but was pulled after 8.1.
- Miguel Cabrera is still a threat this season, as he’s got a .323/.367/.538 triple slash going and has already smacked 46 RBIs. He’s definitely someone to be careful around at the plate.
Around the AL West
The Mariners, God-Bless-em, are trying really hard. There’s still a lot of work to do after splits to the Angels and the Astros though. The M’s are still in 4th in the West, 1.5 games back of the Rangers. S0 they’re definitely still in the hunt.
- Oakland is hosting the Angels for a three game set. Best case would be a 2-1 Angels victory to make sure the A’s don’t get to far ahead in the west.
- The Rangers are in Washington for some interleague play against the Nationals. The Nats are just below .500 right now, which seems lower than I expected. Hopefully the Nats can pull out a sweep to help the M’s out.
- The Astros are now only 4 games back of the Mariners, but they’re at home vs. the Orioles this weekend. The Orioles are currently 3rd in the AL East, 4.5 back of the red-hot Blue Jays. If the Mariners get caught by the Astros any time soon I’m gonna lose my mind.