Seattle Mariners Series Preview: At Cleveland Indians
By Matt Seto
I had initially intended to go into a big rant about how the Mariners are blowing it after the All-Star Break here, but as I took a look at the overall schedule, I noticed a glaring 8-game losing streak right at the beginning of April. Somehow, the Mariners have been able to get to (and stay above) .500 through that, and I see no reason to start panicking, yet. As a positive, of the Mariners’ 7 losses since the break, 5 of them have been one-run games. So at the very least the M’s are still in these games rather then getting smoked to start the second half of the season.
That being said, lets get back on the win train boys! Here’s your Mariners Series Preview for this week’s matchup against the Cleveland Indians.
Game one: Hisashi Iwakuma (8-5, 3.09 ERA) v. Trevor Bauer (4-5, 3.93 ERA)
Kuma is coming off of a pretty weak start by Kuma standards, where he went 7.0 innings giving up 4 runs. That’s the most runs he’s allowed since June 25th. Coincidentally, Iwakuma hasn’t given up a walk since that same start, only handing out 8 walks in over 110 innings of work. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Trevor Bauer, who has issued 30 walks in only 84 innings this year. Bauer has only made it out of the sixth inning once this season, and has never thrown more than 7.0 innings in 14 starts.
Game two: Felix Hernandez (11-2, 1.99 ERA) v. Corey Kluber (10-6, 2.77 ERA)
Felix is still dominant this season. While he’s only been the pitcher of record for 1 of his last 4 starts, he’s on a torrid pace right now. I’m sure you’ve heard he hasn’t given up more than 2 earned runs since May 12th, which was coincidentally the last time he went fewer than 7 innings. This won’t be a cake walk for the offensively struggling Mariners though. Kluber is in search of his 4th straight win after a painful game last week in KC that saw him throw 9 innings of 1 run ball, only to have the bullpen blow it in extra innings.
Game three: Chris Young (9-6, 3.04 ERA) v. Zach McAllister (3-6, 5.65 ERA)
Last week I noted that Chris Young had lost some of the Safeco Magic he had earlier this season. That wasn’t the case Saturday when he threw 7 innings and took the Mariners to their only win in a 4-game home series. Young tied his season high with 8 strikeouts. On the other side of the streak-coin is Zach McAllister, who hasn’t won since way back on April 21st. There are rumors of him heading back to Triple-A very, very soon. He’ll certainly be trying to keep his spot on Thursday.
- Cleveland has scored the 6th most runs in 2014 (470), but have also given up 464 runs against. (Mariners run diff is +51)
- James Paxton threw 78 pitches in a Triple-A start over the weekend, though he did take a liner through the box off of his left ankle, he stayed in the game and seemed fine, but he certainly gave the M’s a scare.
- The Mariners are all over trade-deadline rumors lately. It seems like everyone is on Seattle’s radar. Though, there have been shots taken about Jack Z holding up the process for the entire league. I don’t think this is a big deal, in fact, it seems like Jack doesn’t want to give up any more than he has to and is trying to drive prices down.
- The Fernando Rodney Experience picked up it’s 200th career save, and AL-Leading 28th save of the season.
- Carlos Santana was named AL Player of the week after batting .556 with 6 homers and 10 RBIs. He hit 5-homers in the Indians’ most recent series in KC.
- The Mariners have dropped 2.0 games back of their Wild Card spot after that Baltimore series. While the Blue Jays are just starting to heat up again. Their 3-game winning streak (8-2 in their last 10) has launched them back up the standings.
- The Indians are only 1.5 games back of second place KC in the AL Central, and only 4.0 games out of the second wild card spot now that the M’s have fallen off a bit.
Around the AL West
Not much is changing in the AL-West these days, the A’s and Angels keep winning, and the Rangers and Astros are still bringing up the rear. But here’s your roundup anyways.
- Oakland is halfway through a three-game series in Houston against the Astros, which really isn’t any help to the Mariners at this point.
- Baltimore is continuing their West-Coast swing to visit the Angels. This is an important series for the Orioles to win, the M’s are 10 games back of the Angels right now, and it would be really, really nice to take them down. It’s looking more and more like at least one wild card spot is coming from the West.
- The Rangers are hosting the Yankees, who are in a divisional race of their own. The AL-East has three teams within 4.5 games of each other.