Jamie Moyer’s Notebook: Boston Red Sox vs. Seattle Mariners May 14, 2015


Boston Red Sox (16-18) vs. Seattle Mariners (15-18) 7:10 PM PT

The invasion begins tonight as way too many Red Sox fans will pack into Safeco Field to watch the Boston Red Sox take on the Seattle Mariners in the first of a four-game set. So far in 2015, the Mariners have had really solid home attendance for weekend series’, so it should be an electric several days in Sodo. After splitting a two-game series with the San Diego Padres, the boys in blue are 15-18 and looking for a series victory heading into a nine-game road trip on the East coast.

Pitching Matchup: Joe Kelly (1-2, 6.35) vs. Roenis Elias (0-1, 3.86)

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports

Kelly: Although Kelly’s record and ERA are not impressive, the veteran righty had a nice first couple starts in 2015, before struggling in his last four. Kelly is a solid pitcher and is certainly due for a quality start, which will be easier to do in the pitcher-friendly confines of Safeco Field. That being said, the former St. Louis Cardinal walked a shocking seven batters in 5.2 innings in his last start, so if the Mariners can be patient and make Kelly throw strikes, it could be a long day for the Boston Red Sox.

Elias: Since being called up from Tacoma to replace the injured Hisashi Iwakuma, the 26 year-old Cuban has been the model of consistency, averaging over six innings per start with 19 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.86 over 18.2 innings. Since entering the league last season, Elias has had a problem with home runs, and has allowed three dingers in three 2015 starts. Roenis will be faced with a difficult task in taming the Red Sox offense, but to his advantage, Boston has never faced the lefty. With Iwakuma being shut down for 10 days, Elias will look to give the Mariners a strong start and continue to strengthen his chances of remaining in the rotation when Iwakuma returns.


Red Sox:

Apr 24, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter

David Ortiz

(34) hits a three-run home run during the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

1. Mookie Betts CF

2. Dustin Pedroia 2B

3. David Ortiz DH

4. Hanley Ramirez LF

5. Mike Napoli 1B

6. Shane Victorino RF

7. Brock Holt 3B

8. Xander Bogaerts SS

9. Blake Swihart C

Notes: David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez and the Red Sox enter beautiful Safeco Field looking to do some damage on young lefty, Roenis Elias. Ramirez has 10 homers and 22 RBI on the season after an April that was bested by only one man in the American League, and that man swings a “Boomstick”, so it’s not really a fair competition. Dustin Pedroia has been healthy this season, putting up consistent numbers once again at the top of Boston’s lineup. With Elias prone to giving up the long ball, the Red Sox sluggers will look to attack his fastball and drive some baseballs into the gaps.


May 8, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman

Logan Morrison

(20) looks at his walk off home run as it sails into the stand in the 11th inning against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

1. Seth Smith RF

2. Brad Miller LF

3. Robinson Cano 2B

4. Nelson Cruz DH

5. Kyle Seager 3B

6. Logan Morrison 1B

7. Mike Zunino C

8. Dustin Ackley CF

9. Chris Taylor SS


Every single one of the Seattle Mariners’ left-handed bats has been successful lately, led most recently by Logan Morrison and Brad Miller. The new utility role seems to be working well for Brad, who went 4-7 in the two game series against San Diego with a homer, two doubles and two runs batted in. The story that I have been keeping my eye on is Robinson Cano’s home run drought, which dates back to April 14. Scoring only two runs on Wednesday, I expect the Mariners’ offense to come out swinging tonight, led by Cano and the other lefties in the lineup.

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3 Things to Watch For:

1. Cano Does What Cano Does Best

Although he has hit only one home run in 2015, Robinson Cano has been hitting the ball hard. The All-Star second baseman is third in the American League in doubles with 11, and is hitting a solid .282 in his last 10 games. Cano will look to continue to improve his batting average against the right-hander, Joe Kelly, and I expect him to drive a couple of gappers in this contest.

2. Brad Miller Gets the Start in Left Field

For the first time in his major league career, Brad Miller is starting in left field. The shortstop-turned-utility man has been taking work in the outfield during pre-game warm-ups since losing the shortstop job to Chris Taylor, and apparently Lloyd McClendon feels comfortable with putting him out there. Dustin Ackley made a similar transition in 2014, but he had a background in the outfield, playing centerfield in his early college days at North Carolina. Brad is an excellent athlete with a strong throwing arm, so he should acclimate to the outfield quite nicely. That being said, there are sure to be some growing pains, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Miller makes a mistake if faced with a tough play tonight.

3. Kyle Seager Gets HAWT 

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Seager has been putting up solid, consistent numbers all year, just like you would expect from the $100 million third baseman. That being said, he has yet to hit a hot streak like we have seen Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano do in the first couple months of 2015. Seager hit a three-run jack on Tuesday against the Padres, and hopefully that was a sign that the gold glover is warming up. Against a struggling right hander in Joe Kelly, I think it’s time for Seager to ignite, and I say he collects a few hits, including another dinger.

Last Game’s Predictions (Padres vs. Mariners May 13, 2015)

1. Mike Zunino Does it Again–OUT

Zunino went 1 for 4 on Wednesday, slashing a double down the left field line in his first at bat. Unfortunately, Mike Z struck out in his next three at-bats, continuing to get punched out at a horrifying rate. Zunino does have eight hits and five RBI in his last six games though, so hopefully he can continue to square up some baseballs and get on a tear.

2. The Bullpen Bounces Back–OUT

The ‘pen entered the game on Thursday with a one-run deficit, and were not able to keep it there as Joe Beimel allowed two runs, one earned in one inning of work. The lefty was followed by Carson Smith and Danny Farquhar, who both worked a scorless inning. Beimel is usually very solid, and is not often called upon to work an entire inning, so we don’t need to be too concerned about that. However, Brad Miller’s ninth inning RBI double would have tied the game at two had the bullpen shut the Padres out in their three innings of work. Things are getting better for the M’s bullpen, but there is still some room for improvement as they try to rediscover the magic they had in 2014.

3. Taijuan Walker Turns in a Quality Start–HIT

Walker gave manager Lloyd McClendon just what he was looking for on Wednesday night, allowing only two runs in six innings of work. Walker attacked the strike zone with his fastball, sitting consistently at 94-95 mph. The young righty threw over 80 percent fastballs, which is extremely high, but that is what pitching coach Rick Waits is looking for from Walker. While walks have been a problem for Taijuan in 2015, he cleaned that up last night, allowing only one walk in contrast to his six punch outs. The 22 year-old flamethrower can definitely build on this solid outing as he seeks to establish consistency for the rest of 2015.

Season Tally:

Outs: 6     Hits: 3

Next: Troy Tulowitzki Back On Seattle's Radar?

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