May 21 – 23
Do the Texas Rangers have jurisdiction in Washington State? I think not. Hopefully we see the Seattle Mariners that played the Rockies again.
Pitching match ups: Game 44: RHP – Yu Darvish vs. RHP – Felix Hernandez
As expected, Yu Darvish is a top 100 level baseball player. He throws a lot of pitches and at times it seems as if his intensity works against him. Darvish is with the right team that can back him up with run support, or his record in the MLB could look completely different.
This will be the M’s second look at Darvish.
In their first meeting they were able to get to him for 5 runs, which is the most he has allowed all season.
- * Current line: 6-1 / 2.60 ERA / 26 BB / 58 SO / 1.33
- * The Japanese Media will be out in force for the match up between two Japanese household names of Yu Darvish and Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro is currently hitting .750 in 4 AB’s against his fellow countryman.
Felix Hernandez‘s last outing was memorable for all the wrong reasons. First his team failed him defensively and then he returned the favor. In 3.2 innings of work Felix threw 103 pitches, allowed 8 runs on 10 hits and walked 3.
Despite those numbers Felix still holds a 3.02 ERA for 2012.
- * Josh Hamilton has been hot this year, but he holds a mere .195 Average against Seattle’s ace.
- * Felix hasn’t faced Texas yet this season, but last year he had an 0-4 record against the division rivals and an ERA of 5.04. Yikes!
Game 45: LHP – Matt Harrison vs. RHP – Hector Noesi
Harrison has struggled a bit this season, watch the M’s try and improve those numbers.
- * Right handed batters are hitting .349 against Harrison while lefties have been limited to .125
- * Current Line: 4-3 / 5.21 ERA / 13 BB / 30 SO / 1.45 WHIP
Hector Noesi looks like he may be starting to get his comfort level up as a starter, but the 25 year old still has some jeckyll and hyde tendencies. His last outing against Texas was his first time on the mound for the Mariners and he did not do well giving up 7 runs in 3 innings.
His last outing he gave up 1 run in 6.1 innings. Texas may be in for a surprise with the new Noesi.
- * Noesi may pitch carefully to Nelson Cruz who hurt him the most in their last meeting with a home run and 4 RBI
- * Safeco field plays well for Noesi who has a 3.86 ERA at home opposed to his 6.67 ERA on the road.
Game 46: RHP -Neftali Feliz vs. RHP – Kevin Millwood
The Mariners have never fared well against Feliz, having only 4 hits off of him in his career, all of which came in his first game as a starter.
Feliz may be better suited for a bullpen role, and has bounced back and forth between the rotation and the pen this season, but he will have a lot of confidence approaching Seattle for this game.
- * Current line: 3-1 / 3.17 ERA / 23 BB / 37 SO / 1.20 WHIP
- * Tip to M’s batters. Swing if you are in an 0-1 count, those that do against Felix are hitting .417
Millwood is a National League pitcher, which he proved in his dominate performance in Colorado last week. In his career he has played 9 years in the NL with a .604 winning percentage and a 3.89 ERA, while his 7 years in the AL leave him with a .450 winning percentage and a 4.36 ERA.
Don’t expect a repeat performance.
- * Current line: 2-4 / 4.17 ERA / 23 BB / 20 SO / 1.37 WHIP
- * Good News: Texas was limited to a single run in 6 innings in their last match up against the Mariner veteran.
Rangers vs Mariners Series Predictions
This will be a pitchers duel for sure. Felix digs pitching in Safeco with the good fan support and confidence from his team.
Darvish though has adjusted to the MLB since the last time these team have met and the M’s will no doubt struggle to score runs.
It could be the case of whoever can score 2 runs first will win.
And it will be the bullpen’s fault.
Prediction: Loss (Mariners 1 – Rangers 2)
Noesi vs. Harrison. This is a good match up, the M’s are at a bit of a disadvantage with a southpaw on the hill, but Alex Liddi, Casper Wells, Justin Smoak, and Jesus Montero all have the swings working fairly well in the past few days.
Could be just enough to make it work.
Prediction: Win (Mariners 6 – Rangers 4)
Feliz just has Seattle number and Millwood should have been left in Denver.
Prediction: Loss (Mariners 2 – Rangers 4)
If the M’s walk out of this avoiding the sweep it will be good news.
Texas’ Josh Hamilton had two hits and an RBI Sunday and continues to lead the AL in home runs (18), RBIs (47) and batting average (.389).
Darvish is seeking his 100th career victory – counting his 93 wins in Japan.