Mariners vs. White Sox in Chicago: Pitching, series preview, analysis

April 5-7

Not to shabby Eh Mariners fans? Mike Morse became the first Seattle player since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1997 to hit four homers in his first four games of a season.

Game 1: Matchup | Preview

Pitching Match Ups

Game 5: Blake Beavan (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs Jose Quintana (0-0, 0.00 ERA) – Mariners Win 5-4
Game 6: Felix Hernandez (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs Dylan Alexrod (0-0 0.00 ERA) – Mariners Win 6-3
Game 7: Hisashi Iwakuma (1-0 3.00 ERA) vs Chris Sale (1-0 0.00 ERA) – Mariners Loss 2-4

What you should know:

The M’s continue their road trip by heading to Chicago for a 3 game set. The Mariners were only 1-8 against the White Sox last season including falling victim to Phil Humber’s (Now with the Astros) perfect game.

The Sox finished 2nd in the AL central last season with a record of 85-77. The Sox outscored the Mariners 55-38 last year as well.

The M’s have an advantage with out of date scouting reports of other teams early in the season so it would be good to see them take advantage of misconceptions as much as possible before those reports are updated.

The Windy City will hold an early test in difficulty in cold weather conditions, and time zone travel for the new season as well. One day in Oakland CA, the next in Chicago IL.

How well the M’s travel will be critical to the success this season.

Blake Beavan

Blake Beavan barely squeaked into the fifth spot on the M’s rotation

What to watch for:

Blake Beavan barely squeaked into the fifth spot on the M’s rotation this season and is considered to be a bit of a place holder for several of the M’s starters in AAA Tacoma chomping at the bit to join the team.

Last season Beavan only walked 24 batters the whole year. That could be an indication that he is less of a pitcher than a thrower.

On the other hand if he has learned to use that control to place the ball outside the zone as much as inside we could be looking at a much different dude this go around. Watch his pitch placement and his strike out rate to see if he could go the distance for Seattle this year or not.

The lineup dilemma.

With bench players needing playing time expect Eric Wedge to mix up the order a bit during this series. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Jason Bay get a couple of starts, especially with the team coming east for their first time zone change of the year.

Bay beat out Casper Wells for the job due to to his consistency but if he doesn’t get to play often how will he be able to maintain anything he has gained in the spring?

Small ball.

It was great to see the M’s use the long ball a ton in the spring, but what we need to see now is how well Seattle can move base runners around the diamond without leaving the yard.

Brendan Ryan‘s plate discipline is making me happy thru four games. So far Ryan has been impressive already tallying a handful of free passes.

He is a dynamic player and I have high hopes for a much better season behind “at” the plate for him in 2013.

I am interested in what he will do with each at bat.

NWSB Prediction

My glass is still half empty early in the season here. Forgive me. I’m a lifelong M’s fan. If we can get out of Chicago with two wins I’ll be ecstatic. I’m predicting we only win 1 though.


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