Back on the Best Coast…
The Seattle Mariners started an Angels hot streak, now they hope to extinguish it.
Pitching match ups:
Game 57: LHP – Jason Vargas vs. RHP – Ervin Santana
Seattle heads west to Los Angeles looking to rectify their record against the division rival Angels. Santana struggled against the Seattle offense, unfortunately the M’s bullpen lost the game for the Mariners.
With Stephen Pryor up from AAA and the bullpen being shaken up a bit, the fate of this game could turn out quite different.
Santana has just a 2-6 record on the Season with a 4.78 ERA.
- Justin Smoak has a good record on Santana, hitting .349 in 18 at bats.
- Santana’s ERA last season was 3.38, so it is quite evident he is struggling.
Jason Vargas is having a career year for Seattle. In his last outing against the Angels he pitched great save the pitch that ended up being a 3 run homer for Albert Pujols. The M’s have to get comfortable with the Angels, who may not be the most legitimate threat in the division this season, but promise to be trouble for years to come.
Of course Vargas may not be wearing an M’s uniform by the end of the month, so maybe he isn’t too worried.
- Current Line: 6-4 / 3.45 ERA / 20 BB / 50 SO / 1.03 WHIP
Game 58: RHP – Blake Beavan vs. RHP – Garret Richards
This will be Richards first start of the season, as he is covering for the injured Jared Weaver. Richards was a 1st round draft pick for the Angels in 2009, he is considered to be one of the Angels top 5 prospects.
Richards was in contention for a rotation spot this spring, but ultimately lost out to Jerome Williams for the number 5 spot.
Now he is taking over for the Angel’s ace.
The M’s have only faced Richards in a single inning of last season during his September call up. He didn’t give up a run, but did give up 2 hits and struck out 2.
- Current line AAA Salt Lake: 5-2 / 4.31 ERA / 29 BB / 48 SO / 1.59 WHIP
- Richards is likely a future strike out king. Watch out Mariners
Blake Beavan will be hoping for the same sort of game as his last outing when the Mariners beat the Rangers 21-8. As exciting as that game was, watching Beavan melt down and give up five runs in one inning was not.
Hopefully he is a bit more on his game and can push further into the game with less damage this do around.
* Current Line: 3-4 / 4.72 ERA / 9 BB / 28 SO /1.28 WHIP
Game 59: RHP – Felix Hernandez vs. RHP – Jerome Williams
Williams faced Seattle on May 26th and won with a 3.81 ERA. Williams is pitching well the season, but the M’s did still get to him for 3 runs. That may be enough with Felix on the mound. (We’ll know if he makes this start today.)
This is a better match up for Seattle than the last time they met. Word of advice, walk Pujols.
- Current Line: 6-2 / 3.68 ERA / 20 BB / 42 SO /1.30 WHIP
Felix is a bit of a question mark for this start as he has been complaining of a stiff back.
That is concerning to say the least, with Erasmo Ramirez ready to start, it could be a good time to give Felix a rest.
Stay tuned for that.
These symptoms may explain some glitches in his mechanics as seen in a few of his starts this season.
- Current line: 4-4 / 3.42 ERA / 26 BB / 81 SO / 1.26 WHIP
Mariners vs Angels Series Predictions
This game should be slightly in the M’s favor just because Vargas is on the hill. He will have to pitch carefully to Pujols, but other than that I think that the M’s are a better team this year over all.
Prediction: Win (Mariners 4 – Angels 3)
The Angels new pitcher will be looking to impress, but his numbers in AAA are not overly dominate and the the nerves of being with the big league club factor a lot into this game.
With Beavan’s good control I think the M’s are the favorite in this match up.
Prediction: Win (Mariners 8 – Angels 5)
If Felix pitches, I think the M’s could contemplate the sweep, if not it is a sure loss.
Prediction: Loss (Mariners 3 – Angels 5)
Other Mariners News:
Mariners manager Eric Wedge believes starter Felix Hernandez (tweaked back) will make his next scheduled start Wednesday, but the final decision will be made later today. The Angels have won 13 of their last 20 home games.
Seattle catcher/DH Jesus Montero is 7-for-18 with two doubles, two walks and four RBIs over the last four games.