The Mariners have a rare off-day on Monday, which means that it is a good time as any to preview their upcoming series against the Detroit Tigers.
It was just three weeks ago that the Mariners finished up a series against Detroit. I think anyone who is involved with the Mariners, both players and fans, were all glad to see the Tigers go. They whooped up on the M’s, outscoring them 15-3 over the three-game sweep.
You would be hard-pressed to see anything similar to that happening again. The Mariners offense has been better than it was during that series (which, it would be hard to be worse), while Detroit has gone 7-9 since, albeit with a sweep of the Yankees, making their record look a bit better than they have been playing overall.
What can we expect during the second series of the season between these two? Let’s start off by looking at the pitching matchups and start times.
Mariners vs. Tigers: Pitching matchups and start times
Marco Gonzales vs. Matthew Boyd: 06/08 @ 04:10 PM PST
Chris Flexen vs. Casey Mize: 06/09 @ 04:10 PM PST
Justus Sheffield vs. ???: 06/10 @ 10:10 AM PST
Detroit has yet to announce who they are going to be throwing in the final game, so we are going to have to wait till later in the week to find out who will close out the series for them. Sheffield missed Detroit last series but will look to build off of two straight solid outings, where he threw a combined 10.2 innings, with four ER, five BB’s, and eight K’s.
In the second game of the series, we will see Flexen go for the M’s, and I can nearly guarantee it’s going to be an exciting start… but I don’t know if it will make Mariners fans happy or Tigers fans happy. Flexen has either gotten shelled or been dominant, without out much in between. Check out the difference in his five best starts against his five worst.
- 30.2 innings, 0.89 ERA, 7.17 K/9, 0.9934 WHIP
- 23 innings, 9.78 ERA, 4.78 K/9, 1.9565 WHIP
That’s an incredible difference. You are either going to see Flexen dominant, or the opposing hitters dominate. Mize had one of those dominant performances against Seattle, throwing 7.2 innings, giving up one, and striking out seven, while allowing just six baserunners.
Thank your baseballs that Turnbull isn’t throwing again, since he no-hit the Mariners last time they played. Instead, we will be seeing Matthew Boyd in the first game, going up against Marco. Marco will be making his second start since coming off of the IL. In his first game back, he pitched quite well, going four innings, striking out six, walking one, and giving up two hits while throwing just 50 pitches. Expect a short outing again, but more likely in the neighborhood of 60-75 pitches.
Mariners vs. Tigers: It’s time for payback
I already mentioned it a bit, but the Mariners were seriously embarrassed by Detroit last time they played. Now, this isn’t anything against Detroit. They’re feisty, their pitching can be tougher than you would think, and you can see the potential in the team. I mean that anyone who gets held to three runs in a three-game series should feel bad about themselves and their offense, regardless of who you are or who you were playing.
It wasn’t just that the team was shut down, but it was the manner in which it happened. They lost 4-1 in the opener, having just four hits with three walks. Game two was the no-hitter (gross), and in game three they had just five hits, two walks, and scored two runs. That comes to a total of nine hits and seven walks, for a batting average of .102 and an OBP of .167.
I’m sad all over again just looking at that.
Let’s hope for a better outcome this time around. The Mariners offense has been much better as of late, crawling all the way up to .208, now no longer in line to break the record for worst batting average in a season in major league history. They still need to get above .211 to break the American League record though. The team has been doing a lot better as of late, so we should at least see a more competitive series this time around.