mariners

Mariners preview: Looking ahead to the next 5 matchups

Redemption Road

The Mariners had a tough go-of-it in Cleveland. After heading to face the Indians as one of the hottest teams in the league and just a game under .500, the Mariners were swept in gut-wrenching fashion, losing three games by way of a walk-off.

The last game essentially defining how the series went for the Seattle Mariners (coughing up a lead on an error in the ninth before taking a lead in the tenth only to have a three-run home run by Cleveland end it), Mariners fans are getting that uneasy feeling in their gut that comes around just about this time every year.

But I’m here to tell you that it will be ok. The losses in Cleveland weren’t as bad as people think, and there is still plenty of baseball to be played.

That said, let’s take a look at the next five games for the Mariners and how they can turn things around once again, as they face the Los Angeles Angels for a two game series before returning to Safeco Field for a big three-game series against the Texas Rangers.

Let's hope for some more Morse mashes against the Angels.

Let’s hope for some more Morse mashes against the Angels.

5/21 – at Los Angeles Angels – 7:05 pm
ROOT Sports/710 ESPN

Seattle will get their first shot at redemption against the Angels tonight in the first of a two-game series that will pit Aaron Harang against Jerome Williams.

Heading into play the Angels sit at 17-27 overall while the Mariners are 20-25. Needless to say, Los Angeles was hoping to be in a better position at this point of the season. And though they have so far struggled, they still have an excessive amount of talent in their order that could get things going at any time.

They come in to the contest having won two straight while splitting a four-game series with the Chicago White Sox.

Unfortunately for Seattle, the Mariners have won just nine of their past 33 games at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Williams is currently 2-1 on the season and comes in with a 3.05 ERA. He is 1-1 at home with a 3.72 ERA and has appeared in six games while starting two.

Harang struggled in his prior outing against the Angels, pitching six innings of six hit, five run–all earned–two walk and one strikeout baseball. He gave up two home runs in that outing, which resulted in his third loss of the season.

Seattle’s shot in this game will be based on whether or not Harang can keep improving upon past performances while Seattle’s bats continue to find momentum, especially with Justin Smoak apparently turning things around.

5/22 – at Los Angeles Angels – 4:05 pm
ROOT Sports/710 ESPN

The Mariners will put Brandon Maurer on the mound in game two to pitch against C.J. Wilson, who has surprisingly not been as dominant as expected. Though he does have a 3.72 ERA, Wilson is 3-3 on the year and has been prone to inconsistent outings.  He’s surrendered a run in all of his games and has surrendered more than two in all but one game this season.

The Mariners previously lost to him on April 26, when he pitched 5 1/3 innings while giving up seven hits, three runs–all earned–and two walks while striking out nine.

Maurer, on the other hand, had his best outing of the year against the Angels, pitching 6 1/3 innings while giving up seven hits, no runs, and one walk while striking out six.

He’ll be put to the test against Los Angeles’ tough lineup, however, and will look to rebound after surrendering three runs in six innings of work against the Indians.

5/24 – vs. Texas Rangers – 7:10 pm
ROOT Sports/710 ESPN/ESPN Deportes 1490

After the Mariners finish their brief, two-game series against the Angels, they will return home to take on the high-powered Texas Rangers. Should Seattle put together an impressive two games against Los Angeles, they could very well be teetering at three games under .500 when the Rangers come to town, making this a huge series that could shape the way the rest of the season will go.

The first matchup between the two teams figures to be a good one, as Joe Saunders (AKA Safeco Joe) will look to continue his impressive streak at home against Justin Grimm.

Will Felix reign supreme against the Rangers?

Will Felix reign supreme against the Rangers?

Making two starts against the Rangers this year, Saunders is 0-, losing on the road. In his outing at home, he surrendered just three hits and one run in seven innings of work but the Mariners ended up falling to the Rangers by a score of 3-1.

Let’s hope his Safeco magic is in full force on Friday, as this will be a big game for him and Seattle.

Opposing him on the bump will be Grimm, who is 3-3 on the year with a 4.02 ERA. His start against Seattle on April 21st earned him a no-decision, as he pitched four innings while giving up five hits, two runs, one home run, and three walks in four innings. This was his first start of the year and he has steadily given up 2-5 runs per game throughout his other appearances.

5/25 – vs. Texas Rangers – 7:10 pm
ROOT Sports/710 ESPN/ESPN Deportes 1490

May 25th will be another Happy Felix Day in Seattle, as Felix Hernandez will hold King’s Court in Safeco Field, where he will be looking to rebound from a tough outing against Cleveland that saw him surrender five earned runs in five innings.

Now 5-3 on the year with a 2.07 ERA, Hernandez suffered a loss to the Rangers at home on April 11, giving up 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings while surrendering four runs–three runs–one home run and two walks.

He’ll have to have his best on Saturday to rebound from his prior outing.

Derek Holland will get the start for Texas and is currently 3-2 with a 3.30 ERA on the year. This will be his first start against the Mariners in 2013, so it will be a good time for the lineup to jump all over him at home and give Hernandez a win.

That being said, this game could very well end up like all of Felix’s other games: a 2-1 victory for the Mariners that comes in the eighth or ninth inning.

5/26 – vs. Texas Rangers – 1:10 pm PT
ROOT Sports/710 ESPN

This will be yet another bounce-back game for one of Seattle’s top pitchers, as Hisashi Iwakuma is slated for the start after giving up seven hits, five runs–all earned–two home runs, and three walks in six innings against the Indians.

Boasting a 5-1 record with a 2.37 ERA on the year so far, Iwakuma has been nothing but stellar in most of his performances. His start on April 12th against the Rangers resulted in a 3-1 victory for the Mariners, a game in which he pitched 6 2/3 innings of three hit, one run (on a home run), and one walk baseball while notching six strikeouts.

Texas’ starter has not yet been announced so we’ll wait to see who it will be, but don’t expect Yu Darvish to fill this spot despite him going tonight against the Athletics.

Josh Lindblom could make another start for the Rangers, though his first performance of the year was anything but good yesterday, as he gave up seven hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings of work.

Let’s hope the Mariners can rally after some tough losses in Cleveland and prove to the AL West that they can play good baseball against some of the top talent in the league.

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About Chris Anderson

NWSB Editor. Chris hails from Eugene, Oregon; home of the Fighting Ducks. If he is not viewing, writing about, or attending sporting events, Chris is running on the trails Eugene offers or out-and-about. Aspirations to exceed expectations. Connect w/ Chris today!
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