In lieu of a normal series preview, this one is going to be a bit more fanboy-ish. Usually, I’ll talk about the pitching matchups, hitters to watch from each side, and then give some final thoughts. well, for the four-game set between the Mariners and the Athletics, I wanted to try and do something a bit different.
Maybe I’m still a bit fired up from the series against the Clowns last weekend. Maybe I’m stoked for the long fourth of July weekend, and watching my kids enjoy fireworks. Or maybe, just maybe… it’s because the Mariners are starting to show some life and a push towards .500.
The Mariners are set to play Oakland in Seattle in a big-time four-game series
Sure, Oakland doesn’t have a good record. In a way, that’s something that you can straight up throw out the window when you are playing a division rival. Sure, there are games that you are “supposed” to win, but it doesn’t always work that way. Think about the Mariners vs the Astros lately. They have had the M’s number for quite a while, but in the last two years we’ve started to show life.
Even though Oakland heads into the series with a record of 25-52, the Mariners cannot overlook them. I’m sure Oakland would love to split the series, and even more so, win the series after the beatdown that Seattle laid on Oakland last year… especially on Cole Irvin.
The Mariners are going to be throwing Gilbert, Marco, Kirby, and Tight Pants in the series. Other than the start by Kirby, Mariners starting pitchers have been utterly dominant this month. Flexen has a 4.09, but has been incredibly consistent. Kirby had thrown 23 innings and given up seven runs in four starts, before giving up seven runs to Baltimore in just four innings.
Meanwhile, Ray, Gilbert, and Marco all have ERA’s in the 2’s on the month and are making for quite the formidable rotation. As long as the Mariners can score runs, it’s going to be hard to beat this team (when healthy and not suspended, that is.)
The Mariners offense seems to be heating up, and the pitching has been fantastic. The team is sitting at 36-41, and cannot afford to let an opportunity like this slip away. It’s almost the halfway point of the season, and a series win (or even dare I say… sweep) would be massive. To come out of the series at 40-41 or 39-42 would be a great position heading into the second half of the season.
Things were rough, ugly, and unlucky over the first half. As they take on Oakland at home (two night games, then two afternoon games) the Mariners have a great opportunity to take it to the Athletics and get back into the talks of teams that need to be watched (for good reason) as the trade deadline approaches.