Seattle Mariners Series Preview: at Houston Astros


How about that Logan Morrison homer last night?! If that wasn’t the most exciting home run of the season, then I don’t know what would be!

The Mariners took a split against the Angels this week, which wasn’t too bad considering that the Angels have signed their ticket to the post-season already by locking up the AL West. We saw a brief flash of offensive power in a 13-2 win on Tuesday, but were treated to 3 runs in the next two games, all on one homer from LoMo.

The Mariners are still right in the hunt for that Wild Card spot, as the Oakland implosion continues. The M’s are making a stop in Houston for the weekend before heading way up north to round out their road season. The M’s should be in search of some redemption against the Astros, as they lost a series to them barely a week ago at Safeco. Get all the info you need from the Mariners series preview.


Game one: Taijuan Walker (1-2, 2,96 ERA) v. Brad Peacock (4-8, 4.80 ERA)

Tai Walker is getting the ball in place of Roenis Elias for tonight’s start. Now that Elias is shut down for the season, we should expect to see Tai in this spot for the rest of the year. Oddly enough, Walker is making his 4th start against the Astros stretching back to last August, and sports a 2-0 record against them. Walker has been working out of the bullpen for September, throwing 9.1 innings with a 1.93 ERA.

Brad Peacock is winless in three starts against the Mariners this season (0-1), but has been pitching well recently. In his last four starts, Peacock has an ERA of 1.66 and an oppBA of .187. His last start was in Seattle on September 8th, where he went 5.0 innings of scoreless ball with 6 strikeouts.

Game two: Chris Young (12-8, 3.33 ERA) v. Dallas Keuchel (11-9, 3.00 ERA)

I’m getting pretty sick of waiting for Young’s 13th win. He’s been looking to post a new career-high 13th win since August 17th, but since then Young has been 0-2 in 4 starts. Even worse is that he’s been rocked with an ERA of nearly 6 since then, and an oppOPS of nearly 1000 (.963). His last start against the A’s should have been enough to win as he held Oakland to 2 runs over 6 innings, but the M’s were shut out 4-0.

Dallas Keuchel is about to hit 200 innings for the first time in his career, he’s currently at 192.0, and probably has 2 starts left this season. The Mariners didn’t see Keuchel in their most recent matchup with the Astros, but they did face him three times in the first 2 months of the season. The M’s are 1-2 against Keuchel on the season. On May 25th Keuchel threw a complete game against the Mariners allowing only 4 hits and one unearned run.

Game three: Hisashi Iwakuma (14-8, 3,42 ERA) v. Collin McHugh (10-9, 2.66 ERA)

Things haven’t been going great for Iwakuma lately. He’s trying to avoid his third straight loss on Sunday after stumbling out of the gate in his last two starts. His troubles go back farther than that though, in September Kuma has thrown only 13.0 innings and is sporting an ERA of 9.69. Moreover, he has allowed 5 walks. Prior to September he had allowed only 13 over 23 starts. Kuma took a 4.1 inning loss to the Astros when they were in Seattle last time around.

When McHugh last started against the Mariners on September 9th, he was absolutely dealing. He went 8 innings of 2 hit ball and allowed only 1 run en route to his 9th win of the season. He carried that momentum with him and beat Cleveland in another 1-run effort last week. McHugh hasn’t taken a loss since July 27th, and is in search of his 7th straight win. The hottest pitcher in Houston right now.

Series Notes

  • As I said, it’s been a tough stretch for Chris Young, who has been sitting at 12 wins for the last month. His comeback season has been something that players dream of after returning from injury, so seeing him mark a new win record would be oh so satisfying.
  • Austin Jackson hasn’t been all that fresh at the top of the lineup recently. He’s batting only .200 in September including 20 strikeouts. I was at the game September 10th where A-Jax put on the ol sombrero and took 4 strikeouts.
  • Now that Elias has been shut down for the season, I expect to see Tai Walker take that slot for the next 10 games, likely only one more start.
  • Our own Felix Hernandez was nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award this past week. The RC is awarded annually to a player who makes positive contributions to the game both on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
  • Also up for that award is Astros catcher Jason Castro.

Wild Card Roundup

With the A’s stumbling, and the Tigers and Royals continuing to duke it out in the AL Central, it’s looking like a 4 horse race for that second Wild Card spot. The Jays shot themselves in the foot when they got swept in Baltimore last weekend and are virtually eliminated (again). While the Indians and Yankees need to make up 4 and 5 games over the next 10, meaning they’ll need nothing short of a miracle. But I’m saying there’s a chance.

  • Detroit currently holds the Central division, bit only by a half game over the Royals. Luckily for them, they’re in KC for a weekend series against those same Royals. This is going to be a good series to keep an eye on this weekend, as it has some serious implications on the playoff picture.
  • The A’s are coming off of a three game sweep by the Rangers (ouch), and are facing the Phillies in their last interleague matchup of the season. The Phillies are 13 games under .500, and are 4-6 in their last 10, including losing 3 of their last 4 to the Padres.
  • The Indians took 3 of 4 against the Astros and are now off to Minnesota to take on the Twins. As I said, the Indians and Yankees pretty much need to win-out in order to have a legitimate shot, which will be tough as the Indians are hosting the Royals next.
  • The Yankees have it even worse though, as they are looking at back-to-back four game series against the Blue Jays and then the Orioles.
TeamGames Back
KC Royals+0.5
Oakland A’s
Seattle Mariners1.0
Cleveland Indians4.0
NY Yankees5.0