Seattle Mariners Series Preview: v. Atlanta Braves
By Matt Seto
Things continue to be a bit bumpy for the Mariners post All-Star-Break. Taking one from the Orioles last weekend was nice, but now it’s time to get back on the win-mobile and chase down the Blue Jays for that second Wild Card Spot. Here’s this week’s series preview for a short two game interleague rematch against the Atlanta Braves.
Game one: Alex Wood (7-8, 3.30 ERA) v. Felix Hernandez (11-3, 2.01 ERA)
Alex Wood is coming off of a decent start against the Dodgers where he was matched up against Zach Greinke. He went 7.0 with only one run allowed (a homer). However, his previous start was rough. He gave up 12 hits to the Padres on route to a loss, his 8th of the season.
He’s got to have his A-game this week again as he faces King Felix. The King is now sporting an AL Best ERA of 2.01, and is still on that streak of 7+innings and less than 2 earned runs allowed. He threw another good game against the Indians last week but the sputtering offense let him down again and the M’s were shut out 2-0.
Game two: Julio Teheran (10-7, 2.69 ERA) v. Chris Young (9-6, 3.19 ERA)
Teheran is having a fantastic year. He was selected to the NL All-Star team (his first all star appearance), and is rapidly transforming into a premiere pitcher. He has already thrown two shutouts this season (Milwaukee and Philadelphia).
MLB notes that when his slider is on, he’s wildly successful. Chris Young is coming off of one of the weaker starts of 2014. He gave up 4 runs to the Indians in 5.1 innings and took a no-decision. The Mariners eventually went on to win that game thanks to some timely homers. The M’s would like to see some of that Safeco magic he was spinning up earlier this year.
- Michael Saunders was initially rumored to be headed to the minors for some rehab starts this weekend, but the latest reports are that the Condor will be sticking around Safeco for a few extra days instead. Lloyd McClendon mentioned the possibility of him hitting DH later this week.
- The Braves are on a 6 game losing skid right now. Which is very poor timing as they have fallen 3 games back of Washington for the NL East lead. They are also 2.0 games back of St. Louis for the second wild card spot.
- King’s court is in session tonight, but bear in mind that tomorrow is an afternoon game, so you should try to book work off now.
- The last time the M’s saw the Braves was June 3-4 in Atlanta. The Mariners swept the two game series as part of a 5-game win streak.
- Dan Hughes, our fearless leader, is a lifelong Braves fan. No word yet on if he’s coming into the city for a game, but if you see him try to keep the heckling to a minimum.
Wild Card Roundup
By some miracle the Blue Jays took three straight losses in Houston this past weekend, leaving the Mariners only 2.0 games back for that second wild card spot. It’s not ideal, as there are still 5 teams within 2.5 games of that one spot, but at least it’s manageable for the M’s. Games are getting very, very important from here on out.
|Toronto Blue Jays||–|
- The Blue Jays are headed back home to face the Orioles in an AL East title bout. This is going to be a hard fought series for these two teams as they settle the division.
- At the same time, the Yankees are at home to face the Tigers for a four game series.
- The Royals are also playing some interleague this week as they are in Arizona to take on the Diamondbacks. Arizona is well below .500 this year and is basically playing spoiler now.