It's always fun when the Cardinals come to town. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like they have been a well-run organization for a long time. They're just about always good, but in a low-key way. Maybe it's because they're a National League team so we don't hear about them quite as often or see them all that much, but it seems like a good team to be a fan of.
You know, other than calling out your OF publicly for not trying, even though a bad decision by one of your own coaches was the reason it happened.
Seattle Mariners Probable Pitchers & Starting Lineup vs St. Louis Cardinals, April 21
Anyway, Both teams head into the opening game of the series with an 8-11 record. One of them is going to get closer to .500, and one will be further away by the conclusion of the series. Let's get into who will be pitching in the opener to see who has the upper hand in game 1.
Mariners vs Cardinals: Probable Starting Pitchers
The Mariners will be throwing George Kirby, who will be squaring off against Steven Matz. The Mariners hold the upper hand here, and do so without question. Matz has more walks through three starts than we might see Kirby have by the All-Star Break. It sounds ludacris, but it's not. Right now, it's a count of 8-1. Kirby just doesn't really walk people, and Matz is coming off of a 5-walk game. This is reminiscient of early in the Rockies series. Be patient, earn baserunners, and capitalize and get to the bullpen.
Kirby will look to continue a strong sophomore campaign. This will be his fourth start, and he carries a 3.78 ERA through 16.2 innings of work, tallying just the one walk and 12 Ks over that time. He didn't look top-tier sharp against Colorado, but is already learning how to pitch around not having your best stuff. He will need a combination of that against a potent Cardinals lineup.
Seattle Mariners Starting Lineup
No Kolten Wong, again, for the Mariners in the opener. I expect to see him soon, and would nice to see a jumpstart against his former team. Caballero is in again, and has been hitting the ball well in his limited time up. Dumper has the night off, as they've done recently after off days to give him extended rest, which I am a big fan of. That means Murphy is behind the plate, and he's got to break out soon... right?
Mariners need to practice patience when it presents
I mentioned this up above. Matz has struggled with his control. The Mariners push a "Control the Zone" philosphy that has an emphasis on patience and taking pitches. Teoscar Hernandez is one who is still struggling with the change in philosophy, struggling with recognizing sliders but still being aggressive enough to do damage. I wonder if he is having early season struggles from missing out on a lot of preseason at-bats, and this is just him working through it later than normal.
With how the Mariners approach at-bats, I'm hoping to see a 5 IP, 4 BB, 98 pitch outing from Matz, one in which the Mariners are able to put 4-5 runs on the board. It's entirely plausible, and a reasonable expectation for tonight's series opener.
How do I watch and listen to the Seattle Mariners game?
You can catch all the Mariners games on Root Sports, while listening to them on ESPN 710. They're also available on the MLB.TV app for those that are subscribed, as well as FuboTV. However you can manage, make sure to tune in and watch the opening game for the Mariners against the Cardinals, and see who can make a turn in the right direction away from 8-11.