The Mariners had a much deserved, and needed, day off on Thursday this week. It’s been a rough stretch lately for the Mariners, who have struggled to score runs and win games. How rough has it been? Well, they are 3-12 over their last 15, hitting just .217/.281/.334 with a team ERA of 4.81, leading to them being outscored 71-40 over that stretch.
Things aren’t going to be any easier this weekend as they head to Queens to play the New York Mets. Currently, the Mets have the second-best record in New York… and are tied for the second-best record in all of baseball at 22-11, good for a .675 winning percentage.
The Mariners are going to have their hands full against the Mets
Let’s take a look at the series, from hitters to watch and important storylines. First, though, let’s start with the pitching matchups.
Mariners vs Mets: Pitching Matchups
Friday, May 13th @ 4:10 PM – Marco Gonzales vs Max Scherzer
Saturday, May 14th @ 4:10 PM – George Kirby vs Chris Bassitt
Sunday, May 15th @ 10:40 AM – Robbie Ray vs Carlos Carrasco
The Mariners are going to have their hands full right away, as they are going to go up against one of the most dominant pitchers of this generation. Scherzer may be 37, but he is showing no signs of slowing down. It’s a game worth tuning in to just to watch Scherzer throw. For the Mariners, Marco is going to need to come out with second-half 2021 stuff, keeping the Mets off-balance in order to keep the Mariners in the game.
Game Two will see a familiar face in Chris Bassitt, formally of the Athletics, going up against George Kirby. Kirby is likely coming in with huge expectations from fans after doing something that no Mariners pitcher had ever done in their debut in the history of the franchise, throwing six shutout innings. Please don’t expect this every time out, but with Kirby’s repertoire and potential, he’s going to be throwing a lot of quality games.
Then, supposedly due to roster restrictions when crossing the border, Robbie Ray will be taking the mound in the finale, going up against Carlos Carrasco. I find it a little funny that the Mariners are going up against three pitchers who, at one time or another, were all the best pitchers on their former teams.
Mariners vs Mets: Hitters to watch
Mariners: Julio Rodriguez (DUH), Cal Raleigh, Jarred Kelenic, Jesse Winker
Of course Julio is a hitter to watch. He’s one of the most exciting young players in all of baseball, and I could put him on this list every single time. He’s been hitting incredibly well lately, and should be a force for a LONG TIME.
On the other hand, I have the trio of Raleigh, Kelenic, and Winker. For the Mariners to start winning games, they are going to need to start getting production from someone not named JP, Ty, or Julio. Winker absolutely annihilated RHP last year, but he has been awful this year. It’s really confusing, and doesn’t make much sense. Raleigh and Kelenic are still inexperienced, and I’m not even close to giving up on them.
Mets: Jeff McNeil, Mark Canha, Pete Alonso, Starling Marte
The Mets are one of the best hitting teams in baseball, with a slash line of .254/.334/.378. That is good for 3rd/1st/14th in all of baseball. Side note, how sad is it that a .254 average is the 3rd best in all of baseball? in 2019, .252 was league average. It’s gross. Yet, people still think the shift is good for baseball.
Anyway, McNeil is back to his old self, hitting in the 310s. Alonso is a monster, Canha is trying his next McNeil impersonation, and Marte is starting to get warm. There aren’t a lot of weak spots in the Mets lineup, and the Mariners might need a lot of work from the bullpen to get through the series. Pitch counts could be high as the Mariners try and nibble the strike zone, leading to early exits from the pitchers.
Mariners vs Mets: Important Storylines
I mentioned the trio of Mariners bats earlier. It’s the main thing I’m going to be watching this series, and you can see why when you take a look at these numbers.
- Raleigh – .065
- Kelenic – .140
- Toro – .150
- Torrens – .176
- Moore – .179
- Suarez – .202
- Winker – .204
There are days when all seven of those guys are in the lineup. Most nights, at least four of them are, and five if Raleigh is behind the plate. It’s just not acceptable for that many major leaguers to be hitting so poorly. At least Winker is walking (.311 OBP) and Suarez is hitting home runs and doubles with six apiece.
There are other things we could watch for in the series, but that’s really the important one. For the Mariners to succeed this year, the bats need to show up.
Baseball is odd, the instant you think you know what is going to happen is normally the instant you find out just how wrong you are. The Mariners might be four games under .500 compared to the Mets being 11 games over, but that doesn’t mean you should just give the Mets the series. I’m staying confident all year about this team, and I feel good that the Mariners are going to give the Mets some trouble this weekend. Go Mariners!