The past two series weren’t bad for the Seattle Mariners. After struggling in a stretch that had everybody calling for heads and coaches to be fired, it seems, as for now, things are beginning to settle down. The Mariners went 3-4 in their last two series, taking two-of-three from the Chicago White Sox and one-of-four from the New York Yankees.
Looking at the bright aspects of the losses, only one–a 6-1 defeat to New York–was really out of reach. Other than that game, Seattle played very well.
With that said, the Mariners have continued to slip and are now 27-37 on the year. It’s not hard to see that hopes at an AL West Title or Wild Card position are slipping away day-by-day, but Seattle may be playing for a .500 record in the coming weeks. And while some may see a .500 as a so-so record come the end of the season, that is exactly what the Mariners need to shoot for.
Here’s a look ahead at their next 5 games and what they bring.
vs. Houston Astros (June 10, 2013) – 7:10 pm – ROOT Sports/710 ESPN
A game that will kick off a series between the bottom-two teams in the AL West, this should be a good series for the Mariners to make up some ground in the division. They will have a very good shot to get things started off on the right foot in the first contest of the series, too, as Hisashi Iwakuma will take the hill and look to improve his record to 7-1 on the year. Boasting a 1.94 ERA so far this season, Iwakuma is looking like a front-runner for the AL Cy Young and should make easy work of Houston.
The Astros, meanwhile, will put Dallas Keuchel on the mound. He has appeared in one game versus the Mariners this year, a two inning performance on April 10 that saw him walk two batters and strike out one while giving up no runs and no hits.
vs. Houston Astros (June 11, 2013) – 7:10 pm – ROOT Sports/710 ESPN
This game will be a chance for Aaron Harang to continue to improve and really hit his stride as mid-season nears. I’ve never been a fan of him on the hill, but he’s looking like a much better pitcher in recent weeks and he should be able to navigate a so-so Houston lineup.
Bud Norris will get the start for the Astros, looking for his second win of the year against the Mariners. His previous effort of five innings of eight hit, one run, two walk, and two strikeout baseball resulted in just enough to beat Seattle.
vs. Houston Astros (June 12, 2013) – 7:10 pm – ROOT Sports/710 ESPN
Jeremy Bonderman vastly improved in his second start of the year, and did so against the Yankees. A shot at the Astros is just what he’ll need to keep headed in the right direction.
Jordan Lyles, meanwhile, has been impressive in his starts this year and has been very good as of late, improving his record to 3-1 on the year with a 4.03 ERA. This will be his first appearance against Seattle this year.
at Oakland Athletics (June 14, 2013) – 7:05 pm – ROOT Sports/710 ESPN
No starters have been announced for this game but I think it’s safe to say that Joe Saunders should get the start in this one, unless the Marienrs make a move in the next few days. Away from Safeco he hasn’t been great but he has looked like a much better pitcher in his past few outings.
He’ll have quite the task against the Athletics, however, as they have an impressive record of 38-27 on the year and sit just a half-game behind the Rangers. This will undoubtedly be the start of a trying series for the Mariners, but hopefully they can get it done with Saunders on the mound.
at Oakland Athletics (June 15, 2013) – 4:15 pm – FOX/710 ESPN
Seattle’s first true national game of the year, Felix Hernandez will likely get the start in this one, though he hasn’t been penciled in as the starter yet. Though he didn’t get the win against the Yankees yesterday, he still pitched very well in a no-decision effort.
Oakland, meanwhile, has also not announced a starter yet, though this will be another tough game for Seattle to come away with.
I’m always an optimist, but I really believe the Mariners could sweep the Astros and take one of their first two against the Athletics to go 4-1 in their next five. Let’s hope they do so and keep aiming for that .500 mark.