mariners

Angels vs. Mariners in Seattle: Pitching, series preview, analysis, predictions

Wildcard 9 Games Back

31-September 2

The Seattle Mariners return home with hope that Safeco Field is still a field of dreams.  The Mariners sitting at 64-68 are only 9 games out of a wild card slot.  Could they pull off a miracle?

Pitching match ups:

Game 132: RHP – Dan Haren vs. RHP – Kevin Millwood

Matchup | Preview

The Mariners have tallied 210 career at bats against Angles starter Dan Haren and have combined for a .233 team average against the 6′ 5″ 31 year old out of California.

Los Angeles Angels

Haren vs. Millwood

A bright spot in the line up is Dustin Ackley‘s .375 average in 16 at bats.  A low light would be Justin Smoak‘s .077 in 13 at bats.  Haren has not been the pitcher that the Angels expected he would be this season.

There isn’t a single aspect of his game that can be pointed to as the problem, he is simply giving up more hits than ever in his career.  Infield hits are up from 5.4% last year to 7.7% this year, which may mark the real problem are actually the guys behind him than in front of him.

* Current Line: 8-10 / 4.82 ERA / 33 BB / 108 SO / 1.39 WHIP
* Haren had a complete game shut out in his last appearance in Safeco Field.

For the month of August Kevin Millwood has given up 37 hits in 29.2 innings including 5 home runs resulting in 20 runs allowed, 19 of them earned.  His ERA for August 5.76 up from his July total of 3.66 and he has won only 1 decision since May.

While Eric Wedge loves Millwood for his mentoring role on the team.  It would be better for that role be done as a Bullpen coach instead of a starter.

Time to hang up the cleats  old man.

* Current Line: 4-11 / 4.28 ERA / 48 BB / 100 SO / 1.39 WHIP
* Surprisingly Millwood has not faced the Angels once this season.  Maybe he can surprise them.

Game 133: RHP – Ervin Santana vs. RHP – Felix Hernandez

Santana may try to blame the defense for his poor numbers this season in the same way that Dan Haren can, but the reality of it is the stats show that his ERA of 5.45 would be more likely at 5.70 without his defense.

Looks like the blame can stay squarely on him.  His issue seems to be control.  He is striking out few batters while walking more.  Not a good trade off.

This of course leave him vulnerable to leaving balls over the plate and hitters have taken advantage of that.  He gives up long fly balls hits or home runs 18.9% of the time.

The Mariners should be aggressive with Santana in this match up and score runs early, although Felix Hernandez probably only needs a couple of runs to get the job done.

* Current line: 7-11 / 5.45 ERA / 53 BB / 100 SO / 1.33 WHIP
* Santana is 0-1 in three starts against Seattle this season with a 8.44 ERA

King Felix is putting a bid in for another Cy Young award for his mantle though he has struggled against Los Angeles this season.  His record against the Angels is a staggering 6.23 ERA in 13 innings, which is held in stark contrast to his overall ERA of 2.43.

Still the Angels must have gotten lucky because even with those numbers the Angels hitters collectively are still only hitting .248 against the Seattle ace.

King Felix

Would you expect anything less than a Cy Young performance on a Saturday?

I think that he can shut them down this time around.

* Current Line: 13-5 / 2.43 ERA / 46 BB / 184 SO / 1.03 WHIP

Game 134:  RHP – Jared Weaver vs. RHP – Hisashi Iwakuma

Weaver was once the front runner for the Cy Young award, but the second half of the season has not been kind to him.  In August his ERA has risen 2 1/2 points for a monthly total of 4.91.

It was the Mariners that started his demise just a few weeks ago when they used 4 hits (and 2 home runs from Jesus Montero) to climb over the top of the dominate Weaver for the win.

The Mariners have a chance to win this game, but still it would be nice to have Felix on the mound for this game instead of the previous one.

* Current Line: 16-3 / 2.85 ERA / 34 BB / 118 SO / 0.99 WHIP

Can Iwakuma continue his hot numbers against the dangerous L.A. offense?  Against the Angels Iwakuma’s numbers  are impressive, with 2.70 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP, this game could prove to be more of a pitchers battle than originally anticipated.

* Current Line: 5-3 / 3.40  ERA / 39 BB /  73 SO / 1.30 WHIP

Angels vs. M’s Series Predictions

Game 1: I’m not feeling to hopeful about Millwood tonight. He just gets no luck from the bats when he takes to the mound.

Prediction:  Loss (Angels 6 – Mariners 4)

Game 2: Would you expect anything less than a Cy Young performance on a Saturday?

Prediction: Win (Angels 0 – Mariners 5)

Game 3: Iwakuma has been decent of late but he’s going against Weaver. I expect after the game 2 loss he’ll be motivated to show Felix what he can do. Halo’s win.

Prediction: Loss (Angels 3 – Mariners 2)

Notes:

Seattle OF Michael Saunders is going to return to the lineup on Friday. Saunders has been sidelined a week with a groin injury.  Los Angeles 2B Howie Kendrick exited Thursday’s contest with a sore right knee, bringing about the end of his 15-game hitting streak in the process.

The Mariners have certainly been flexing their muscles in August. Seattle’s 28 homers are its most in a month since going deep 29 times in September 2009.

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