mariners

Red Sox vs Mariners In Seattle: Pitching, series preview, analysis & picks

The Boston Red Stockings In Town

June 28-30

The Seattle Mariners end the month by hosting the infamous Boston Red Sox.  Just to gain some perspective the Sox are third in their division and are struggling with winning percentage of .533 while the Mariners are forth in their division with a .416 record.

Sigh.

Pitching match ups

Game 78: LHP – Franklin Morales vs. RHP – Felix Hernandez

Matchup | Preview

Morales started the season in the bullpen but was moved to the rotation after the Sox’s starter Josh Beckett went on the DL with a shoulder injury. He picked up his first win as starter in his last outing against the Braves and is showing off the arm in maintaining his fastball velocity into the middle innings.

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox

  • * Morales has only 2 innings of experience against Seattle with a 13.50 ERA
  • * Opponent batting average against the southpaw is .308

Happy Felix day! The Seattle ace appears to be back on the upswing after a concerning first half of the season.  For those that are concerned, they should realize that Felix’s strike out rate is actually higher this year (at 8.9 strike outs per nine innings) then the year he won the CY Young award when it was 8.4.

However Felix has already hit 7 batters this half of the season which matches his season total in 2011.

There are some obvious control issues.

  • * Current line: 5-5 / 3.36 ERA / 31 BB / 101 SO / 1.27 WHIP
  • * In the last three seasons (09-11) Felix pitched 5 games against Boston with a 2-1 record and a 4.15 ERA.

Game 79: RHP – Aaron Cook vs. RHP – Hector Noesi

Cook is also a fill in due to Clay Buchholz’s bad gas. Despite his 10 years of experience in the pros he has never faced Seattle before.  I wonder if he is worried?

Cook is a ground ball pitcher, in his last outing he had zero strike outs and has not fared well against left handed batters.  Maybe he should be worried.

  • * Cook has only pitched 7.2 innings this season because of a weak knee
  • * Cooks line (2009-2011): 20-24 / 4.94 ERA / 136 BB / 188 SO

Noesi has gone 9 straight starts without a win. He has options left, so he could find himself heading to AAA by mid-season to give another guy some major league experience.  Don’t give up on Noesi yet, it is highly probable he will be a better pitcher next season.

  • * Current Line: 2-9 / 5.50 ERA / 31 BB / 56 SO / 1.30 WHIP
  • * Noesi doesn’t do well in pressure situations opponents are hitting .354 against him when there are runners in scoring position.

Game 80: RHP – Josh Beckett vs. Erasmo Ramirez

Beckett will face Seattle in his first start since June 11.  Hopefully, for Seattle’s sake, he won’t be quite as ready. The last time the M’s faced him (May 15) they were shut out and held to just 4 hits.

  • * Current Line: 4-7 / 4.14 ERA / 17 BB / 56 SO / 1.15 WHIP
  • * Figgins has a career .308 average against Beckett, will he get the start?

The Mariners wasted Ramirez’s last start.  Despite holding the A’s to just 3 hits and striking out 10, the M’s tallied a loss.

  • * The rookie has amassed a total on 28 innings this season and continues to look sharp
  • * Current line 0-2 / 4.18 ERA / 7 BB / 23 SO / 1.21 WHIP

Game 81: LHP – Felix Doubront vs. Jason Vargas

Doubront is a converted reliever who seems to still be in the process of stretching out his arm and gaining experience in difference situations not unlike Noesi for the M’s.

Unlike Noesi Doubront has 8 wins, so the rough starts he has put up in his last few appearance are more forgiving.

  • Doubront has 87 strike outs in 85.1 innings
  • Doubront’s 4.54 ERA is split to 5.86 at home and 3.19 on the road

Vargas is not doing as well as he did to start the season, but it is still turning out to be a banner year for the 29 year old. The current Red Sox roster is hitting only .235 against Vargas so perhaps he can reclaim some respect from the fans in this outing.

  • Current line: 7-7 / 4.54 ERA / 29 BB / 74 SO / 1.19 WHIP
  • Vargas faced Boston last on May 14 and lead the M’s to a 6-1 loss
Felix Hernandez

In the last three seasons (09-11) Felix pitched 5 games against Boston with a 2-1 record and a 4.15 ERA.

Red Sox VS Mariners Series Predictions

Game 1:

The M’s have not fared well against lefties this season but Morales has struggled against left handed bats this season, so they could have a chance to collect some hits.

The problem will be in keeping up with the aggressive Red Sox offense.

Hopefully Felix’s struggles are in the past and the M’s can give him the run support he needs to win this one. Prediction:  Win (Red Sox 1 – Mariners 2)

Game 2:

Noesi pitches better at home, but has not done well in his last nine starts.  Cook has never face the M’s before but I think he will like Safeco.

This game is a toss up, it depends on which Mariners team shows up to the park that night. Prediction: Loss (Red Sox 6 – Mariners 3)

Game 3:

Beckett can win against the Mariners, but may have some mental issues coming off the DL, so that evens the playing field a bit.  If Ramirez can match his last outing he may collect his first Major League win.

Prediction: Loss (Red Sox 2 – Mariners 1)

Game 4: 

Don’t set your hopes high.  The Mariners will struggle against Doubront in Safeco field. Prediction: Loss: (Red Sox 5 – Mariners 2)

Extras

Mariners RHP Kevin Millwood (groin) left Wednesday’s game after 2 1/3 innings, ending the team’s string of four straight quality starts. Ortiz hit his 399th career home run on Wednesday. He is 6-for-23 (.261) with one career homer against Hernandez.

Boston signed first-round draft pick Brian Johnson and now has deals in place with each of its first 12 picks.

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