Mariners Game Preview: M’s Turn to Tony Zych in Rubber Match


The Seattle Mariners (75-83) will host the Houston Astros (83-75) in the finale of a three game series on Wednesday night at Safeco Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Tony Zych (0-0, 3.55 ERA) will make his first career start for the Mariners, and Scott Kazmir (2-6, 3.91 ERA) will get the ball for the Astros. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

Mariners’ skipper Lloyd McClendon has released the following lineup for tonight’s rubber match:

Pitching Preview

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Mike Curto, the voice of the Tacoma Rainiers, tweeted out prior to tonight’s game that this will be Tony Zych’s first start since his sophomore year at the University of Louisville. The 25-year-old right-hander has been pretty effective for the Mariners since being called up last month. Zych has posted a strikeout to walk ratio of 5.13, which is excellent. However, tonight could be quite interesting. Zych has not thrown more than 32 pitches in an appearance this season with Seattle, and I expect Lloyd to keep him on a strict pitch count. Tonight’s start will be considered a success if Zych can make it through 3 innings without allowing more than 1 run.

Scott Kazmir will make his 13th start of the season on Wednesday for the Houston Astros. The veteran southpaw has not been the same pitcher since being traded from the Oakland A’s to the Astros just prior to the deadline in July. Kazmir was 5-5 with a 2.38 ERA through 18 outings with the A’s, but he is 2-6 with a 3.91 ERA with his hometown club. However, Kazmir has been filthy against the M’s in 2015, going 1-0 and registering a 1.46 ERA across 2 starts.

Pick to Click

Aug 16, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Franklin Gutierrez (30) is all smiles as he heads to the dugout after his three-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Franklin Gutierrez has been a great story this year for the Mariners. After missing the entire 2014 season, the 32-year-old outfielder has posted a .310 batting average with 15 home runs and 35 RBI across 158 at bats. Guti has registered 2.4 WAR in just 55 games this season. I have to admit that I never expected him to make it back to the big leagues, but I am happy I was wrong. Gutierrez has hit .435 with 3 home runs during his career against Scott Kazmir, and I expect him to carry the load offensively once again tonight. I predict he will contribute couple of hits and a pair of RBI to the M’s cause tonight.

Final Score Prediction

The Mariners fought back to even the series last night at Safeco Field. This season has been a disaster, but it is good to see the team still trying to win games. New GM, Jerry Dipoto has suggested that this week will likely decide McClendon’s future with the ball club. Last night proved that the players want to see Lloyd brought back in 2016. Look for the solid play to continue tonight, but I predict the M’s will lose 5-2 in the series finale.

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