Mariners Game Notes: The Bartender is Back!
The Seattle Mariners (11-17) return home on Friday night to square off against the Oakland Athletics (12-18) at Safeco Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Taijuan Walker (1-3, 8.74 ERA) is running out of chances in the M’s starting rotation, and tonight’s outing could be key to his future with the club. Sonny Gray (4-0, 1.67 ERA) has been one of the best hurlers in baseball in 2015, and he will get the ball tonight for Oakland. Root Sports Northwest will carry Friday’s game live, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch on connected devices.
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The M’s enter tonight’s ballgame having lost 6 of their last 7 contests. The slump has seen them drop all the way to the bottom of the American League West, 7.5 games behind the first place Houston Astros.
Mariners’ boss Lloyd McClendon and A’s skipper Bob Melvin have released the following lineups for tonight’s series opener:
Brad Miller Returns to M’s Lineup
The Mariners have been very open about their plans for Brad Miller. Seattle is hoping their former shortstop can develop into a super-utility player in the mold of Ben Zobrist. Miller has been resistant to the idea, and it is hard to say whether he has the versatility to field 7 positions. However, Miller is back in the Mariners’ lineup on Friday despite the negativity surrounding him and McClendon. The 25-year-old Orlando, FL native will bat 2nd in the order and function as the M’s designated hitter.
Tom Wilhelmsen Activated from DL; Dominic Leone Reassigned to Tacoma
The Bartender is back! Tom Wilhelmsen was officially activated from the 15-day disabled list on Friday. He ended up missing close to a month after hyper-extending his elbow last month in Oakland. It was originally thought he would require a couple of rehab outings, but apparently the Bartender is ready to serve some nasty pitches to A’s hitters tonight.
Dominic Leone was sent down to triple-A in a corresponding move. Leone struggled during his stint with the Mariners this season, going 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA. The 23-year-old right-hander was a very effective reliever for Seattle last season, and I expect him to be re-called at some point this summer.
Pick to Click
Apr 29, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison (20) bats during the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
There have been very few positives over the last 7 games, but the performance of Logan Morrison has been encouraging. LoMo was snake bitten early in the season, but he has been on a roll over the last week. Morrison is hitting .433 with 3 home runs and 5 RBI’s over his last 8 games. He is one of the hotter hitters on the team, and he is my pick to click tonight against the A’s. I hope to see LoMo record another multi-hit game, and I predict he will drive in the go-ahead run on a double in the 8th.
Final Score Prediction
Tonight’s matchup is a tough one for Seattle. Sonny Gray is on fire this season, and he has always fared well against the Mariners. Throw in the fact that Taijuan Walker has been awful, and it is hard to be overly optimistic about Friday’s game. However, I will always stand by the M’s. Despite losing 2 games in Los Angeles, Seattle played much better against the Angels this week. The Mariners’ bullpen blew both games in the 9th inning, but the bats did not quit, and came through with some timely hitting. Look for the M’s to squeak out a 4-3 win Friday night in the series opener.
Make sure you check back after the game for a full recap of tonight’s victory against the Oakland A’s (fingers crossed!)
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