May 14 – 15
The Seattle Mariners (16-20) are hoping to take advantage of the struggling Red Sox (15-19). as they head in for a two game set in Fenway Park.
Pitching match ups:
Game 37: LHP – Jon Lester vs. LHP – Jason Vargas (Game pending. RAIN today in Boston)
Lester struggled in his last start against the Royals and will no doubt be trying to come into this game with better focus. The Mariners have very few right handed bats to put against the left so he may be at a statistical advantage moving into this game.
- Mariners right handed sticks against Lester: Brendan Ryan .667, Jesus Montero .400, Casper Wells .000, Justin Smoak .000, Chone Figgins .333
- Lester’s 2011 Numbers at Fenway: 5-5 (in 13 Starts) / 3.49 ERA / 7 HR / 32 BB / 82 SO
- Vargas has pitched very well this season, hisonly real struggles happen when he’s having to hand the ball over to the bullpen
- Current line: 4-2 / 2.79 ERA / 13 BB / 38 SO / 0.97 WHIP
- Right handed batters are hitting only .188 against Vargas this Season
- Vargas has face Boston 3 times since 2009 going 1-1 with a 3.26 ERA
Game 38: RHP – Josh Beckett vs. RHP – Blake Beaven
At 32 Beckett already has 11 years of MLB experience. In that time he has a 3.88 ERA and an incredible winning percentage with 127 victories to only 85 losses. He hasn’t shown quite so much dominance so far in the 2012 season with a 2-4 record and a 5.97 ERA.
The major difference is a major drop in strike out ratio which is at 6.8 per 9 innings (down from 8.2/9 a year ago)
- In his last 31 innings against Seattle he has given up 38 hits, 13 runs (12 earned), and 6 home runs giving him a 3-1 record with a 3.48 ERA
- Beckett has really struggled against left handed batters this season (opponent average .297). The M’s line up is heavy with left handed bats.
- Beaven missed his regular scheduled start due to a contusion on his elbow. Team reports indicate that this was not a major injury and his missed start was a safety precaution more than anything else. Beaven did not want to miss his start and hopefully the extra time will not affect his great control this season.
- The current Boston Roster has a combined .319 average against Beaven.
- Beaven’s 2012 line: 1-3 / 4.32 ERA / 4 BB / 14 SO / 1.23 WHIP
Red Sox Vs. Mariners Series Predictions
It is a left handed pitching battle between Lester and Vargas and the easy money is on Vargas, all things even.
However, Boston does have a more potent offensive threat to back their pitcher up.
Boston has struggled to maintain their leads as they struggle with poor pitching all around this season.
The M’s have very few traditional right handed threats in their line up, so Lester may pitch around Montero and Smoak in the series.
However this could be a chance for both of them to pull a ball over the green monster. Prediction: Win (Mariners 6 – Red Sox 3)
If Beaven gets run support in this game, the M’s line up is likely going to be able to beat down the struggling BoSox starter Josh Becket who only went 2.1 innings in his last start.
The M’s haven’t swept the Red Sox in Boston since 2001… Lets hope to change that stat. Prediction: Win (Mariners 8 – Red Sox 5)
Eric Wedge indicated a displeasure with the Mariners veteran players including Ichiro Suzuki in the number 3 slot in the line up.
If this means moving the M’s superstar back to the lead off spot is yet to be seen, but there is definitely the inklings of change brewing.
Boston outscored Cleveland 23-7 in winning the final three games of the four-game series. Every game of the Mariners’ series at New York ended 6-2. 3.
Lester has not won since beating the White Sox 1-0 on April 28.