Mariners Game Notes: Seth Smith to Hit Leadoff?


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The Seattle Mariners (5-9) will host the Houston Astros (8-6) Wednesday night in the finale of their 3-game set at Safeco Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm this evening from the corner of Edgar & Dave. J.A. Happ (0-1, 2.70 ERA) has been a pleasant surprise this season, and he will get the ball tonight for Seattle. Veteran right-hander Roberto Hernandez (0-1, 3.38 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Astros. Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on Root Sports Northwest, and subscribers can watch on connected devices.

The Mariners have dropped the first 2 games of this series, and they will hope to avoid being swept at home with a win tonight. Seattle is currently in last place in the American League West, 3 games back of the division leading Houston Astros.

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

Seth Smith Hitting Leadoff

Last night, Dustin Ackley was the leadoff hitter in the Mariners’ lineup, and tonight Seth Smith will get a chance to hit out of the top spot. McClendon has been tinkering with the lineup all season, but moving regular leadoff man Austin Jackson into the no.2 hole is a big shift. Smith has hit .280 across 25 at bats in 2015 and he does a great job getting on base, but he is not the typical speedy leadoff man. I’m not sure why McClendon has decided to move AJ down in the lineup. Ideally, I would have Jackson hitting leadoff with Seth Smith hitting second.

M’s Sign OF Carlos Quentin

The Mariners announced they have inked veteran outfielder Carlos Quentin to a minor league deal on Wednesday afternoon. Quentin is expected to be assigned to the Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League. The 32-year-old power hitting corner outfielder will likely serve as organizational depth for the Mariners. It is an interesting move by the M’s, and we will take a more in-depth look at the acquisition soon.

Apr 17, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher J.A. Happ (33) throws against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Pick to Click

It is hard to believe, but the Mariners’ arms are letting the bats down. Seattle was up 3-1 in the 8th inning last night, but ended up losing 6-3 after the bullpen collapsed. The starting rotation has been a disgrace, and the M’s 4.68 team ERA ranks 25th in baseball. My pick to click tonight is J.A. Happ. The 32-year-old southpaw has been the M’s second best pitcher in 2015, and they need a strong outing to avoid the sweep. The M’s have been a huge disappointment during the first 14 games of the season, but a dominant start from Happ could get the Mariners back on track. I’m expecting 7 innings of 2 run ball from the veteran lefty Wednesday night in Seattle.

Final Score Prediction

It is hard to be optimistic after the M’s have played so poorly in the opening 2 games, but I think the pitching matchup works in Seattle’s favor tonight. The Mariners’ offense has consistently provided quality run support in 2015, and I expect that to continue for Happ tonight. Look for the M’s to cruise to a 7-3 win in the series final on Wednesday night.

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

Next: This Day in Mariners History: Chris Bosio Throws a No-No

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