The Seattle Mariners are preparing to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in game two of their three game series here in Seattle. The team lost 6-3 last night against the Dodgers with George Kirby taking the loss. Tonight the Mariners are sending Bryce Miller to the mound against Clayton Kershaw. Below is the lineup for Seattle tonight.
Scott Servais met with the media earlier today and he spoke about last nights game as well as going up against veteran lefty Clayton Kershaw tonight. He mentioned that the bigger focus tonight would be on Kershaw's slider and not his big curveball because the slider is more of "his go-to pitch". So hopefully the Mariners hitters will be ready for the slider more often but aren't too caught off guard by the big bender that the experienced lefty throws.
Servais also talked about the development of Bryce Miller and his secondary pitches and how he has been able to take what he has done in bullpens or side sessions and translate that to the mound and find success in different facets of pitching throughout the year.
The Mariners skipper also spoke about how, "we have younger pitchers we have guys that have the ability to do some of those things and our pitching coaches are always trying to turn the screw a little bit" in regards to multiple Mariners pitchers going with a two seam fastball in an era of high spin breaking balls and extreme velocity at the top of the strike zone.
A major on field note that I noticed was that Dominic Canzone took a handful of ground balls with Perry Hill on the side and then he was at first base with Ty France at first base when the rest of the infielders took a full compliment of ground balls. It would appear that playing some first base might be in the future plans for Seattle. Mike Ford was also out taking ground balls, but he was not at first base, he was at third base with Eugenio Suarez.
Mariners legend Ichiro was out on the field playing catch with the rest of the players and running around. Owner John Stanton was also down on the field after batting practice and chatted briefly with Julio Rodriguez, Logan Gilbert, and some fans on the field. Fans in the stands let Stanton know that they wanted him to give Shohei Ohtani a big contract in free agency and Stanton found it amusing but didn't respond.
Finally, Mike Ford was showing off some mammoth power in batting practice launching multiple bombs into the right field seats. He sent a few out to dead center field well beyond the fence. Ford has significant power and hopefully we will see him go deep many more times before the season ends.