Seattle Mariners Series Preview: v Texas Rangers
That was terrible. A sweep by the Yankees at home was certainly not the way I envisioned a return home to Seattle for the Mariners. But at least we got to see Derek Jeter have a good few days, and it was nice to see all the fans at Safeco give him the honor he deserves. It’s straight back to the grindstone now for the Mariners who need to find a way to win again against their division rivals, here’s your Mariners series preview.
Game one: Nick Tepesch (2-2, 4.91 ERA) v. Felix Hernandez (8-1, 2.39 ERA)
Tepesch faced the Mariners a few weeks ago when he went 6.1 innings with only 5 hits and 3 runs for the win. But his two most recent starts have been pretty abysmal, he’s taken back to back losses to the Nati0nals and Indians and has given up 19 hits and 9 runs over his last 7 innings of work. Felix on the other hand, hasn’t taken a loss since way back on April 21st. Since then he’s 5-0 over 9 starts. Lets not forget about last week’s career night of 15 Ks. The Court should be out in full tonight.
Game two: Joe Saunders (0-2, 3.60 ERA) v. Erasmo Ramirez (1-4, 5.97 ERA)
Safeco Joe is back in the northwest! It’s understandable if you’re not that excited though. Saunders is making his 5th start of the season and is still searching for his first win. He didnt’ have a great start last week when he walked 4 over 5.1 innings without a strikeout. With Erasmo on the mound too, you can expect this to be a shootout. Ramirez hasn’t won since April 1st, though he held the Rays scoreless with 5 Ks through 4.1 innings last week. His spot seems tenuous given that Walker might be back in the coming weeks.
Game three: Nick Martinez (1-3, 4.63 ERA) v. Hisashi Iwakuma (4-3, 2.79 ERA)
Martinez was obliterated in his last start when he was chased after only 2 innings giving up 8 runs on 6 hits. It was a terrible night for Martinez, who is trying to settle back into the rotation after spending some time in the Pen. Martinez is trying to avoid a third straight loss. Iwakuma is trying to get back on the win train after taking one of those losses to the Yankees this week. He’s gone a minimum 6.0 innings in all of his starts this season, which is a nice break for a bullpen that has seen a decent amount of work.
- Speaking of the bullpen, with Felix and Iwakuma on the mound for this series, they should be getting a lighter load this weekend, which is good after Roenis Elias was chased last night through only 3.1 innings.
- Taijuan Walker is scheduled to make another rehab start tomorrow. Which lines him up with Erasmo’s spot in the rotation. Still no word on when we can expect him back, but if Erasmo gets smoked then it could be within the next week.
- The King’s Court is going to be in session tonight, but with all this rain the roof will probably be closed. Dress warm tonight!
- Everyone’s favourite catcher is back in town, Jesus Montero was called back up to the big club yesterday after Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak were placed on the DL.
- James Paxton, who hasn’t pitched since being pulled from the home opener, is set to throw on flat ground on Saturday as part of his rehab. It will still be a while till be see him in Seattle though, so settle in.
Around the AL West
The Rangers really need to pull out a win here this week to make any kind of movement, they’re still 2 games back of the M’s, so this is a good spot for them to start. That being said, the Mariners need to take advantage of a Texas team that hasn’t performed up to expectations at all this season.
- Oakland still leads the division, and are at home to face the Yankees as they continue their West Coast swing. Hopefully the Yankees can take some of that momentum they picked up here and knock the A’s down a few pegs.
- This weeks sweep to the Yanks has left the Angels 2.5 games up on the Mariners. The Angels are in Atlanta for a weekend of interleague against the Braves. The Braves are only one game back in the NL East right now.
- Houston is continuing to exceed my admittedly low expectations of them. They’re 7-3 in their last ten and looking for a third straight win tonight when they host the bottom-of-the-barrel Tampa Bay Rays. The Astros are only 4 games back of the M’s and only 2 games back of the Rangers, so they might be climbing themselves out of the basement if they can keep it up.