*Welcome to Jamie Moyer’s Notebook! This is a new installment we will be doing here at Emerald City Swagger, published two hours before first pitch, every game for the remainder of the Seattle Mariners’ season. Within the notebook, you will find a quick breakdown of the pitching matchups, our thoughts on the lineups for that day, and three predictions for the game. Starting today, we will keep a running tally of how many predictions we get correct. Be sure to let us know what you think about this new daily column, your input is important to us! *
Jamie Moyer’s Notebook: Athletics vs. Mariners May 10, 2015
Pitching Matchup: Jesse Chavez (1-2, 1.80 ERA) vs. Felix Hernandez (5-0, 1.73 ERA)
Apr 18, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Athletics pitcher Jesse Chavez (30) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Oakland defeated Kansas City 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Chavez: The 31 year-old right hander started 2015 in the bullpen, but has now started three games for Bob Melvin’s Athletics. In those three starts Chavez has posted a 2.45 ERA in 18.1 innings. Chavez is a solid arm for the A’s, who are also searching for answers after their 12-20 start. Look for Chavez to give Oakland a solid outing and a chance to avoid being swept out of Seattle.
Hernandez: The King just seems to get better and better every year. 2015 has certainly been no different, and Felix is off to the first 5-0 start of his fantastic career. After getting snubbed out of a second Cy Young award in 2014 (A 0.915 WHIP!?!?) King Felix is pitching like he’s got a chip on his shoulder, sporting a 1.73 ERA, a 0.84 WHIP, and a K/9 of 9.5. He’s already got a complete game shut-out this season, and he has been locking down his stuff more and more with each outing. Don’t be surprised if King Felix gives 40,000-plus an absolute gem on Mothers Day at Safeco Field.
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Reddick has been hitting the ball well since returning from the DL. Look for him and Billy Butler to get a base hit or two, but get left out to dry as Felix Hernandez is too much for the scuffling Athletics.
With a fireballer like Jesse Chavez on the mound for the A’s, look for the middle of the lineup to do some damage if Chavez starts to elevate in the strikezone. Between Cano, Cruz, Seager and now Logan Morrison, lets hope for a couple bombs to get Felix his sixth win. That being said, the Mariners need production up and down the lineup. Mike Zunino has been hitting some balls hard and Dustin Ackley has put together some solid at bats as well. Manager Lloyd McClendon will be looking for a few crucial hits from the bottom of the lineup this afternoon.
3 Things to Watch For:
1. Nelson Cruz Goes Deep:
Nelson Cruz didn’t waste much time in answering everybody’s question; Can he hit homers in Safeco Field? Well, if you haven’t been watching much baseball lately, the answer is yes. The slugger has already hit 14 bombs, 3 of which have come during one of the 14 games the Mariners have played at home thus far. One of them went into the upper-deck in left field. Power is not something that Nelson Cruz lacks, and I look for him to prove that if Jesse Chavez leaves a fastball up to last year’s home run king.
May 8, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison (20) hits a walk off home run in the 11th inning against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
2. Logan Morrison Stays Hot:
Since borrowing one of Nelson Cruz’s “Boomstick” bats, Morrison has been absolutely on fire. In the last 10 games, Morrison is batting .395 with 4 homers, 7 RBI and an OPS of 1.307. Don’t be alarmed by LoMo’s season batting average of .238. He has been hitting balls hard all season, with many of his shots going right at defenders for the first few weeks of April. With Morrison’s walk-off dinger in the bottom of the eleventh inning on Friday night, I think it is safe to say that Morrison has awoken at the plate.
3. Mariners Get to Chavez Early and Often:
If the Seattle Mariners can strike hard on Sunday afternoon for a few runs early in the ballgame, it could be a short day for Athletics starter Jesse Chavez and the entire Oakland ballclub. Coming off of their first win by a margin of more than three runs on Saturday, the Mariners offense is hungry for more. The lineup has done much better with runners in scoring position in this series, and will look to continue to build on what has been a major difficulty in 2015 as a whole.
Our Predictions Record: 0-0