Well, the Seattle Mariners didn’t exactly meet my expectations for their series against the Los Angeles Angels. In fact, they almost did the complete opposite. Absolutely outmatched at the plate by Los Angeles’ starters, the Mariners couldn’t generate any offensive momentum and saw themselves be embarrassingly swept by the Halos.
Now Seattle must try and rebound against the potent Texas Ranger if they want to have a shot at reaching the .500 mark at the end of the year (although being swept by the Angels didn’t help that cause at all).
Currently leading the AL West by 2.5 games, the Rangers will be playing with a fury as they look to avenge a recent series against the Mariners that saw Seattle take 2-of-3. Should Seattle want to walk away with another series’ victory, they’ll need to generate much more offensive momentum than they did against Los Angeles.
Here’s a brief preview of what to expect when the Rangers and Mariners square off at Safeco Field.
August 26, 2013 – Rangers vs. Mariners – 7:10 pm PT – ROOT Sports/710 ESPN
Safeco Joe Saunders will look to reclaim his nickname as he gets the start on Monday night to kickoff the series against the Rangers. With a record of 10-12 and a 4.91 ERA, Saunders will undoubtedly be looking to close out his season with some better performances compared to his recent starts.
He’ll have to face a tough Rangers’ offense, but if he hits his spots, he could shutdown Texas and notch his 11th win on the season.
Travis Blackley will be given the start for the Rangers, and will be making just his second start of the year. He hasn’t had the best of luck on the hill this year, and he’ll be limited in innings, so let’s hope the Mariners can jump right on him and take advantage of his relative inexperience as a starter.
August 27, 2013 – Rangers vs. Mariners – 7:10 pm PT – ROOT Sports/710 ESPN
One of the advantages of this series for the Mariners will be the fact that they will put both Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez on the mound. Iwakuma will get the start in game two and will look to replicate his recent performance against Texas.
Pitching seven innings against the Rangers in their preview series, Kuma gave up just one run while earning the victory. He’ll likely have an advantage over Texas as he can easily see what worked for him in his prior outing.
Derek Holland will get the start for the Rangers and look to avenge the loss they suffered to the Mariners in their prior series. He’s been pretty dominant this year, and while he recorded a no decision in his recent start against Seattle, he surrendered no runs and will look to be just as dominant on Tuesday.
August 28, 2013 – Rangers vs. Mariners – 12:40 pm PT – ROOT Sports/710 ESPN
Happy Felix day, everybody. Hernandez will look to bounce back after giving up five runs — all earned — in five innings against the Rangers on August 17.
He’s lost his last two games and will be seeking his 13th victory of the year on Wednesday while also attempting to make his case for a Cy Young Award.
Martin Perez will oppose Felix on the hill and have the tall task of beating one of the league’s best. A respectable 7-3 with a 3.62 ERA on the year, Perez will look to remain dominant against the Mariners and secure his second consecutive victory against Seattle.
Fortunately for the Mariners they have their top pitchers going in this home series and have recently handled the Rangers on the road. Look for them to contend in all three games and rebound from their recent sweep at the hands of the Angels.