Mariners Game Notes: Bloomquist Starts in LF, Kuma Plays Catch


The Seattle Mariners (11-16) will take on the Los Angeles Angels (12-15) in the rubber match of their 3-game series Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Cuban southpaw Roenis Elias (0-1, 3.86 ERA) will make his 3rd start of the season for the M’s tonight. Veteran lefty C.J. Wilson (1-2, 2.73 ERA) will get the ball for the Halos. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live, and subscribers can watch on connected devices.

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The M’s enter tonight’s game sitting in 4th place in the American League West. Seattle trails the division leading Houston Astros by 7.0 games.

Mariners’ Skipper Lloyd McClendon and Angels’ Manager Mike Scioscia have released the following lineups for tonight’s series finale:

Willie Bloomquist Draws Start vs. Lefty Wilson

Veteran utility man Willie Bloomquist will get the nod tonight in left field for the Seattle Mariners. Bloomquist has played the outfield in 332 career games, but tonight will be his first action there this season. He is likely getting the chance to play tonight due to his ability to hit from the right side of the plate against a tough lefty in C.J. Wilson. Blomquist is hitting just .238 this season, but he has a .333 average against southpaws in 2015. The 37-year-old Port Orchard native came through with a number of clutch hits a year ago, so hopefully he is able to replicate that success tonight in Anaheim.

Hisashi Iwakuma Plays Catch

The Mariners have been without the services of Hisashi Iwakuma since he was diagnosed with a lat strain on April 25. According to Greg Johns of, Kuma is a making progress towards returning to the M’s starting rotation, as he played catch from 75 ft. Wednesday in Seattle.

It sounds as through the Mariners are not going to rush Iwakuma back into the rotation, which is probably wise given his recent struggles with injuries. Kuma has gotten off to a rough start in 2015, going 0-1 with a 6.61 ERA across 16.1 innings pitched. All hope is not lost however, as Iwakuma remains one of the top right-handed hurlers in baseball when he is on his game.

Tom Wilhelmsen Pitches Simulated Game

Tom Wilhelmsen has been a fixture in the Mariners’ bullpen over the past 3 seasons, and it sounds as though he is nearly ready to come off the disabled list. The Bartender has been working his way back from a hyper-extended elbow for a while now, and he reportedly looked good pitching a simulated game on Wednesday afternoon in Anaheim.

It is encouraging to hear Wilhelmsen is on the mend, especially after the M’s bullpen blew a 2-run lead in last night’s ballgame. Someone will obviously have to go down to Tacoma when WIlhelmsen returns from the DL. The favorites right now have to be Mark Lowe or Dominic Leone, however veteran Danny Farquhar is another name being tossed around.

Pick to Click

Apr 29, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Rickie Weeks (25) bats during the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Rickie Weeks will get an opportunity to hit leadoff tonight for the M’s with Austin Jackson on the shelf. Weeks had an abysmal start to the season for Seattle, but he has turned things around as of late. The 32-year-old is hitting .303 with 1 home run and 3 RBI’s over his last 6 games. Weeks also boasts a .333 batting average with 2 home runs and 7 RBI’s against lefty pitching in 2015. Weeks is my pick to click tonight against C.J. Wilson. Look for Rickie to go 2 for 4 with a double as he sets the table for the heart of the M’s order.

Final Score Prediction

The Mariners have done a great job hitting home runs over the past week, and I think that trend will continue against Wilson tonight. However, it would be nice if Seattle could get a few runners on base before launching their homers. I predict Roenis Elias will be effective against the offensively challenged Angels. I expect the Mariners to win the rubber match 4-2 on Wednesday night in the big A. Winning the series tonight could set the Mariners up nicely as they return home to face the Oakland A’s in a 3-game weekend series at Safeco Field.

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