Mariners Game Notes: Wilhelmsen on Mend, Ackley to Hit Leadoff


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The Seattle Mariners (5-8) will play host to the Houston Astros (7-6) in game 2 of their 3-game series on Tuesday night at Safeco Field. First pitch is set for 7:10 pm from the corner of Edgar and Dave. Taijuan Walker has had a miserable start to the season, but he will look to get back on track tonight for the M’s. Collin McHugh has been stellar in 2015, and he will get the ball for the Astros. Tonight’s game can be seen on Root Sports Northwest, and subscribers can watch on connected devices.

Seattle dropped the first game of the the 3-game set on Monday night, and enter tonight’s ballgame tied for last place in the American League West with the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels. All 3 clubs are 2 games back of the division leading Astros.

Mariners’ manager Lloyd McClendon and Astros’ skipper A.J. Hinch have released the following lineups for tonight’s game:

McClendon has made a significant chance at the top of the M’s lineup. Left fielder Dustin Ackley will hit leadoff on Tuesday night against the right-handed McHugh. Austin Jackson is the regular leadoff man, but he will hit out of the no.2 spot tonight. Ackley had a hot start to the season, but has cooled off over the last week. The Ack-Attack is hitting .229 with 3 home runs and 3 RBI’s in 2015. Perhaps, a move to the top of the lineup will spark Ackley.

Tom Wilhelmsen on the Comeback Trail

It appears The Bartender will be pitching out of the Mariners’ bullpen again in the near future. Tom Wilhelmsen has been on the disabled list since April 13th after he hyper-extended his elbow in Oakland. According to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, Wilhemlsen is expected to begin throwing on Friday.

Wilhelmsen is currently on the 15-day disabled list, but he is eligible to return next Monday. The Mariners do not hit the road until next Monday, so if Dutton’s report is correct, it appears Wilhelmsen will not be activated until later in the week. The Bartender’s injury has never been considered serious, and I expect to see him in a Mariners’ uniform on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. Wilhelmsen has posted a 6.75 ERA across 2.2 innings in 2015.

Apr 20, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman

Robinson Cano

(22) runs home to score a run against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Pick to Click

It has been hard to go wrong over the last week when it comes to picking Mariners’ hitters who will have great games. The M’s 3, 4 and 5 hitters have been unstoppable, and I am going back to the well tonight with my pick to click. Collin McHugh is a tough nut to crack, but I think Robinson Cano will come through with a home run during tonight’s ballgame. Cano is currently riding a 7-game hitting streak, over which he has hit .448 with 5 doubles, 1 home run and 3 RBI’s.

Final Score Prediction

Honestly, this is not a very favorable matchup for the Mariners on Tuesday night. Seattle hitters have combined to hit just .174 against Collin McHugh, and he has been better than ever in the early going this year. This does not bode well for an M’s team relying heavily on their bats to win games. Tai Walker has been a huge disappointment in 2015, going 0-2 and posting a 17.18 ERA. However, all three of Walker’s career victories have come against the Astros. Call me crazy, but I am expecting a bounce back outing from the 22-year-old right-hander tonight against the AL West leading Astros. Look for tonight’s game to be close, but a late home run from Robby Cano will win it for the M’s. I project a 4-3 game in the Mariners favor on Tuesday night in the Emerald City.

Check back with SoDo Mojo following today’s game for a full recap of the Mariners’ victory over the Astros (fingers crossed!)

Next: What’s Wrong With Taijuan Walker?

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