The Seattle Mariners scored 28 runs in a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros, then went into their off day feeling justifiably good. Next stop was Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field, where they’d be taking on a bad White Sox team. How could things go wrong? Maybe the way they always do, for starters.
For years, the Mariners haven’t been able to do anything against the White Sox. It’s not like Chicago’s been some perrenial powerhouse - they’ve been good as often as they’ve been bad, with last year’s team qualifying as downright atrocious. There’s been no particular reason why the M’s have struggled so immensely against them. They just have.
Last night it was more of the same, with the M’s getting trounced 7-1 in a stadium where they’ve won just four games since the start of the 2008 season. That’s to go with 22 losses, of course. Overall they’re just 7-28 against the Sox over the last four years, whether it’s at U.S. Cellular or Safeco.
Chris Sale and Jose Abreu led the way for the White Sox, as they are wont to do from time to time. M’s trade target Dayan Viciedo chipped in with a homer and three other hits, and Roenis Elias was shelled in Chicago’s ridiculous stadium. The Cell is an offensive haven, and the Sox capitalized on their home park against a young starter who didn’t have his best stuff. Against Sale, who’s one of the game’s very best pitchers, the Mariners couldn’t do anything.
Felix Hernandez is on the mound today, with an early 11:10am start time. Felix, of course, has struggled at U.S. Cellular Field. He’s also Felix Hernandez, so it’s probably not prudent to bet against him. Now or ever. Jose Quintana is a good starter, and the Mariners offense will have to take advantage of the park they’re playing in in order to have a shot. Not that that ever happens in Chicago, but after what we just saw in Houston, it at least feels possible.