Mariners Game Notes: Robinson Cano Not in M’s Lineup vs. CLE


The Seattle Mariners (23-23) will try to break the .500 threshold on Thursday night against the Cleveland Indians (21-25) in the opener of a 4-game weekend series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm tonight from the corner of Edgar & Dave. James Paxton (3-2, 3.52 ERA) has a 1.63 ERA over his last 6 outings, and he will get the ball for Seattle in the opener. Corey Kluber (2-5, 3.49 ERA) stole the Cy Young last year from Felix Hernandez, and he will look to prove himself tonight in what figures to be a very unwelcoming environment. Root Sports Northwest will broadcast the game live, and Subscribers can watch on connected devices.

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The M’s return home to the Emerald City on the heels of a very successful East Coast road trip, and fresh off a 3-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Mariners currently have sole possession of 2nd place in the American League West, and sit 6.0 games back of the first place Houston Astros.

Mariners’ skipper Lloyd McClendon and Indians’ manager Terry Francona have released the following lineups for tonight’s series lid lifter.

Robinson Cano Not in M’s Lineup on Thursday Night

Robinson Cano isa perennial All Star, but he is not in the Mariners’ staring 9 on Thursday night for the first time in 2015. The 32-year-old is hitting .253 with 1 home run and 13 RBI’s across 186 at bats this season. Cano is having a tough season, and a night off might be a necessary reprieve to get him back on track. I would not read much into Cano’s benching tonight. The M’s played an afternoon game yesterday in Tampa, and I think the length of the return flight and the fact that the reigning Cy Young winner is on the hill tonight for the Indians are the main reasons Robby is not in the lineup.

Brad Miller will get an opportunity to strut his stuff at second base in Cano’s absence tonight. Miller is hitting .237 this season with 5 home runs and 14 RBI’s.

Dustin Ackley Makes 2nd Consecutive Start

The Ack-Attack seems to have fallen out of favor in Seattle, and has essentially been relegated to reserve duty over the past week. Dustin Ackley will make just his 3rd start since May 20 tonight at Safeco Field. Ackley is hitting .179 with 3 home runs and 7 RBI’s across 106 at bats in 2015. His .219 on base percentage is nauseating, as is his .302 slugging percentage. I like Ackley, but it appears his tenure with the Mariners is coming to an end. However, a strong showing tonight might spark one of the streakiest hitters in the game.

May 12, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton (65) throws against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Pick to Click

I fully expect tonight’s game to be a pitchers duel of the highest quality. Corey Kluber may not have gotten off to the best of starts in 2015, but he has pitched much better as of late. James Paxton is 3-1 with a 1.63 ERA over his last 6 starts. Pax-man is holding the opposition to a .187 batting average, and has a 29:18 strikeout to walk ratio. The Mariners are going to need a strong outing from the Ladner, BC product to compete tonight, and he is my pick to click in the series opener. Look for Pax to hurl 7 stellar innings of 1 run ball versus the Indians.

Final Score Prediction

The Seattle Mariners have really turned their season around over the past few weeks. On May 7th, the M’s were a mediocre 11-17. In the 17 games since, Seattle has gone 11-6 with a team ERA of 3.47. The offense has failed to give Mariners’ pitchers much run support, but Nelson Cruz is having a historic season for Seattle. I think we will be forced to endure another nail-bitter tonight, but I predict the M’s begin their 11-game home stand with a 2-1 victory.

Be sure to check back with SoDo Mojo after tonight’s game for a full recap of the Mariners’ win. (Fingers crossed!)

Next: Find Out Where the M's Rank in All Star Voting

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