The Seattle Mariners flexed their offensive muscle against the Kansas City Royals last week. The Pacific Northwest residents will look for a repeat performance when they open a four-game set against the struggling Royals on Thursday.
Seattle, which collected 31 runs and 50 hits in the four-game series versus Kansas City, mustered just three hits en route to a 5-2 loss to the New York Yankees in the rubber match of their set on Wednesday.
The Mariners are feeling lighter, the fans are feeling heavier and a new era has now begun.
Pitching match ups:
Game 101: RHP – Luis Mendoza vs. LHP – Jason Vargas
Mendoza is a mediocre ground ball type pitcher that has had a career of ups and downs, frequenting the minor leagues. The numbers may lie against him slightly as the Royals have not been great at providing a lot of run support for the guy. He is a significantly better pitcher away from the boiling hot temperatures of Kansas City (5.21 ERA at home vs. 3.29 ERA away).
- Current Line: 4-6 / 4.31 ERA / 37 BB / 54 SO / 1.48 WHIP
- The only Mariner ever to face Mendoza is Chone Figgins who has a .000 average against him with 2 walks.
Vargas survived the first line of trades in the Mariners system and will make another start for Seattle tonight. Watch for the stands to be filled with scouts because there is a strong market for consistent left handed pitchers like Vargas, especially with the expanded play off berths this year.
- Current Line: 10-7 / 3.91 ERA / 38 BB / 91 SO / 1.20 WHIP
- Vargas dominated the Royals when he faced them just 10 days ago with the exception of 2 home run balls that wouldn’t have gone out in Safeco.
Game 102: RHP – Jeremy Guthrie vs. RHP – Blake Beaven
Guthrie came to the Royals from the Rockies and he has yet to get a win with his new club. He has faced Seattle once already this season with Colorado and lost that decision after giving up 3 home runs to the M’s.
- Current line: 3-10 / 6.49 ERA / 34 BB / 49 SO / 1.67 WHIP
Blake Beaven appears to have better stuff his second stint with the big league club this season. Lets hope that trend continues. Beaven would gain a lot from learning to mix his pitches better.
So far this season he has thrown his fastball 69.3% of the time. Also he should learn from Felix and keep pitches low in the zone to induce more ground ball outs instead of the fly balls he tends to give up.
- Current Line: 5-6 / 5.54 ERA / 11 BB / 38 SO / 1.30 WHIP
Game 103: LHP – Bruce Chen vs. RHP – Kevin Millwood
Chen received a no decision in last outing against Seattle and for a left hander the M’s hit off of him quite well. Cross your fingers and hope the can pull off a similar performance at home.
- Current Line: 7-8 / 5.54 ERA / 27 BB / 86 SO / 1.37 WHIP
Millwood pitched well against the Yankees in his last start, but not well enough to cover for the lack of offense. Kevin hasn’t won a game in over a month.
- Current Line: 3-8 / 4.13 ERA / 40 BB / 80 SO / 1.38 WHIP
Game 104: LHP – Will Smith vs. RHP – Felix Hernandez
Will Smith. Really – I still can’t take the guy seriously, he should know to go by William or Billy or something other than Will. Plus he stinks as a pitcher.
- Current Line: 2-3 / 6.26 ERA / 11 BB / 18 SO / 1.43 WHIP
Felix Hernandez? He is the King… What else do you need to know?
- Current Line: 9-5 / 2.80 ERA / 39 BB / 147 SO / 1.16 WHIP
Royals vs. Mariners Series Predictions
The Mariners should be able to pull this off, but it will be close. Prediction: Win (Royals 3 – Mariners 4)
The Mariners really should play the Royals more often. Prediction: Win (Royals 5 – Mariners 6)
I think Chen will out pitch Millwood and the offense will be tired. Prediction: Loss (Royals 3 – Mariners 1)
Not a problem for The King. Prediction: Win (Royals 0 – Mariners 4)
Mendoza continued his recent string of good outings last time out against the Twins — going 6 1/3 innings and allowing just three runs on seven hits and two walks for his first home win.
He’s given up three runs or fewer in his last four starts. Vargas equaled his career high with his 10th win Saturday, holding the Rays to one unearned run in six-plus innings.
He’s 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA over his past five starts, including a win at Kansas City last week.