The Mariners are back home, and I’m hard-pressed to think of a time they ever needed a long homestand more than now. They are coming off of what may be their worst road trip of the season, and need that Homefield rest and relaxation. They’ve got ten games to finish out the season but will start with three weekday games against the Rangers.
Mariners vs Rangers: Pitching Preview
Tuesday, September 27th @ 6:40 PM – Robbie Ray vs Jesus Tinoco
Wednesday, September 28th @ 6:40 PM – George Kirby vs Martin Perez
Thursday, September 29th @ 6:40 PM – Marco Gonzales vs Jon Gray
After getting tossed for literally doing nothing over the weekend, Robbie Ray is set to make the start against Tinoco. A journeyman reliever, this will actually be his first career start, meaning it’s either a bullpen day for the Rangers or they’ll have a start come in after a couple of innings.
Kirby goes up against Perez in the second game, with Kirby looking to bounce back after his second-worst outing of the year and his least accurate outing. Kirby had walked just 15 hitters in 117.2 innings. Then, he walked three in 2.1 innings in Oakland. I’m staying positive and looking forward to a nice, strong five-inning performance from him. On the other side, Perez is easily having his best season. He’s played well against the Mariners with 4 ER in 17 IP, with 23 Ks but 11 BBs allowed.
In the finale, we see Jon Gray. He’s been pitching quite well, with a 2.56 ERA in his last 13 starts and nearly 10 Ks per 9. This will be his third outing against Seattle, and he has given up four ER in each of the first two appearances. Meanwhile, Marco keeps chugging along as a mid-to-back end starter with an ERA right around 4. Throwing out the shortened 2020 season, here are his final ERA’s over the last four seasons.
- 2018 – 4.00
- 2019 – 3.99
- 2021 – 3.96
- 2022 – 4.05 (current)
We see flashes of brilliance from him, and then disappointing games when he just can’t locate. With just two starts left in the year, the hope is to see him get a bit closer to that 3.96 ERA.
Mariners vs Rangers: Hitters to Watch
Mariners – Jarred Kelenic, Cal Raleigh, Ty France
Rangers – Marcus Semien, Nate Lowe, Bubba Thompson
Marcus Semien has been crushing the ball all month, sporting a .337/.388/.589 slash line with 10 2B, 4 HR, and 4 SB. He started slow but is closing in on a 25/25 season and amassing 6.0 WAR. Nate Lowe has been mashing as well, and Bubba Thompson is showing off some great speed, with 17 SB in just 45 games.
On the Mariners side, I really want to see if Kelenic can keep it going. If his bat can play, he provides a massive upgrade to not just their offense, but more importantly the defense. Big Dumper will need to take on a bit more of a leading role with Julio and Geno out, as he looks to set the team record for HR by a catcher. Ty France needs to get back to being that .320 hitter, and this would be a perfect time to do it.
Mariners vs Rangers: Final Thoughts
We are coming down to it. Just ten games left in the season for the Mariners. Eight for the Blue Jays and nine for the Rays and Orioles. I can feel the tension in the air, as the M’s have been struggling lately. They still control their own destiny to get into the playoffs, and we are all going to need to remember to take it a game at a time. Go Mariners!