Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers – Series Preview
Apr 11, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen (54) pitches during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
Happ, King Felix and Pax-Man on Tap for M’s
The Mariners have had spotty performances out of their starting pitchers so far this season, but hopefully the 3 pitchers who have performed the best in 2015 can put a stop to that this weekend. M’s fans are not used to poor outings from Seattle’s starters, and unfortunately, quality starts have been few and far between during the first 9 games.
J.A. Happ (0-0, 2.84 ERA) will get the ball in the opener on Friday night at Safeco Field. Happ has arguably been the M’s second best starter to date, although he has only made 1 start in a Mariners’ uniform. The 32-year-old southpaw allowed 2 runs on 7 hits across 6.1 innings of work last Saturday in Oakland. Happ struck out 1 and walked none against the A’s. Happ will never be a dominant pitcher, but I expect him to fare reasonably well this season in Seattle. The Safe is a pitcher friendly ballpark, and I think Happ has a great chance to start off on the right foot tonight against the Rangers.
Apr 6, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Felix Hernandez (1-0, 3.00 ERA) will toe the rubber for the M’s on Saturday night at the corner of Edgar and Dave. King Felix was brilliant in his debut outing of the season on Opening Day, but was plagued by ankle and quad issues last Sunday in Oakland. Hernandez’s immense ability is obvious, and I fully anticipate a return to greatness for the King this weekend in front of his loyal subjects at Safeco Field.
James Paxton (0-2, 5.11 ERA) will be the starting pitcher for the Mariners in the series finale with Texas on Sunday afternoon. Paxton is another pitcher on the M’s who has struggled with inconsistency in 2015. Pax-Man turned in a quality start against the Angels in his first outing of the season, but was touched up for 5 runs on Monday in Chavez Ravine. Paxton has all the tools necessary to be an elite hurler for the M’s, and I expect the Ladner, BC product to get back on track this Sunday in Seattle.
Next: This Series is Critical for Fernando Rodney