Goin’ fishing in Florida
The headline: Seattle Mariners hope for a continued advantage in being away from their home field.
Pitching match ups:
Game 95: RHP – Hisashi Iwakuma vs. RHP – James Shields
Hisashi Iwakuma is still yet to show the stuff that made him famous in Japan. This will be just his third start of the season and he has not shown a lot of control in any of his work this season. It is the walks that have killed him.
However, the Mariners are limited in their options for their starting pitchers this season, so we will see if he can turn himself around against a tough offensive club.
- Current line: 1-2 / 5.13 ERA / 21 BB / 27 SO / 1.46 WHIP
Shields has not been pitching overly well since the all star break, allowing double digit hits in his last 4 starts. There is no doubt he is looking forward to facing Seattle who he held to just 4 hits in their last match up.
- Current Line: 1-2 / 5.13 ERA / 37 BB / 114 SO / 1.48 WHIP
Game 96: LHP – Jason Vargas vs. RHP – Alex Cobb
The Mariners have won 4 of the last five of starts by Jason Vargas. The Mariners manager has dubbed his lefty, Mr. Consistent. The bad news is he seems to consistently give up home runs at the wrong time and his strike out rate is lower than it should be.
It is still expected that the M’s will try and move Vargas before the deadline (maybe even before this start?)
- Current Line: 9-7 / 4.09 ERA / 35 BB / 86 SO / 1.17 WHIP
Cobb is far from consistent. In his last inning he only last through the 4th after throwing 87 pitches. He is especially vulnerable to left handed batter who are hitting .297 against him. This is good news for the Mariners who have a a loft of left handed bats in the line up.
- Current Line: 4-6 / 4.92 ERA / 21 BB / 43 SO / 1.41 WHIP
Game 93: RHP – Blake Beavan vs. LHP – Matt Moore
Blake Beavan is hoping his second run with Seattle will go a little better than the first. He is walking away from a win against Kansas City but Tampa Bay tends to be a more difficult club to pitch against.
He should know – his ERA against the Rays this season is a staggering 8.44
- Current Line: 4-6 / 6.06 ERA / 11 BB / 33 SO / 1.39 WHIP
Matt Moore has pitched decent but his club rarely backs him up when he needs it. He is still considered to be one of the top 100 pitchers in baseball, but numbers like he has wont get him any trophies. The current M’s are batting a combined .364 against this lefty so maybe they have a fighting chance.
- Current Line: 6-6 / 4.39 ERA / 55 BB / 99 SO / 1.46 WHIP
M’s vs. Rays Series Predictions
Shields has a good record against the Mariners. It will be a tough game for them, especially with the lack of confidence the team has with Iwakuma.
Prediction: Loss (Rays 6 – Mariners 2)
If Vargas keeps the ball in the lower half of the strike zone this game should be a win, but the Mariners don’t have a good track record of bailing Vargas out when he is in trouble.
Prediction: Win (Rays 3 – Mariners 4)
Beaven is a better pitcher than his record shows. He will be motivated to keep his job and this is one lefty that the M’s should be able to handle.
Prediction: Win (Rays 3 – Mariners 5)
Steve Delabar was recalled from Tacoma.
The Mariners are 23-27 on the road this season and only 17-27 at home this season. What’s a home field advantage?