Mariners v. Mets Series: Great chance to pick up steam

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 24: Jacob deGrom
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 24: Jacob deGrom /

The Mariners (50-51) approach three games with the New York Mets (47-52) coming off a solid series against the Boston Red Sox where they won two of three.

The one game the Mariners lost came at the hands of Chris Sale, but can you blame them?

Let’s leave the past in the past, though, and advance to the part where the M’s enter this home series 3.5 games back of a wild card spot. Ignoring the fact that there are other red-hot teams that are vying for the two spots, such as the Rays, Royals, and Yankees, the Mariners could really make up some ground, or at the least build some momentum as they prepare for an August stretch that will run them ragged.

Seattle is slated to face Rafael Montero, Jacob deGrom, and Seth Lugo. The name that automatically pops out at you is the middle one, and for good reason. In his last eight starts, he’s a perfect 8-0 with a 1.61 ERA. In that stretch he’s posted a strikeout to walk ratio of 58:12 and a WHIP of 0.83. The Mariners will be tasked with making sure deGrom does not become the first Mets pitcher to win nine consecutive starts.

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That task will be difficult, though, as the Mariners send out Yovani Gallardo for Saturday’s contest. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against Gallardo…

Oh wait, yes I have everything against Gallardo.

As a reliever, I rather enjoyed him. He only made four appearances, but the limited viewing of him from opponents kept his edge sharp, and he posted an ERA of 0.79 with a BAA and OPSA of .133 and .469 respectively.

He’s a solid pitcher, but not a solid starter, and when the Mariners send him out in the first innings, all Mariners fans can do is pop some Tylenol and pray he doesn’t dig them into too deep a hole. His first start back from the pen resulted in a no decision. That said, he gave up 3 solo homers in five innings. A pitcher like that has no place in the rotation of a playoff team, and the M’s need to address that.

Also pitching for the Mariners this series, though, are Ariel Miranda and none other than James Paxton. The former has experienced reasonable success this year, and his start can’t come at a better time as the Mets have now shipped off slugger Lucas Duda.

Paxton, on the other hand, is basically the Mariners equivalent of DeGrom. In his last five starts, he’s 5-0 with an ERA of 1.62. He’s been stellar in 2017, and especially good as of late. If he can continue this run of dominance over the duration of the season, we could return to the topic of him winning the AL Cy Young award this season.

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All in all, the Mariners face an intriguing opponent in the New York Mets. You just can’t know what you’re going to get out of them. One thing is certain, though, Seattle needs to get the bats rolling against deGrom and let Gallardo work with a lead. Hopefully that will help him get deeper in the game and set them up for the win. If the M’s can take care of business, they get the Rangers before a really big series with the Kansas City Royals.

But for now, let’s think about the Mets, and see what the Mariners can do this weekend at home.