Jamie Moyer’s Notebook: Boston Red Sox vs. Seattle Mariners May 16, 2015


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Happy Felix Day!!

Boston Red Sox (17-19) vs. Seattle Mariners (16-19) 6:10 PM PST

After a Nelson Cruz walk-off RBI single on Friday night, the Seattle Mariners will turn to their King for another victory. After starting the current home stand with a record of 11-17, the Mariners look to take the last two games of this four-game set with Boston and move to a much more manageable 18-19. King Felix is seeking his seventh win in 2015, which would put him atop all of the major leagues.

Pitching Matchup: Rick Porcello (3-2, 4.50 ERA) vs. Felix Hernandez (6-0, 1.85 ERA)

Porcello: A new face in Boston after coming over from Detroit, Porcello has not quite been the top-quality starter that he was for the Tigers. Porcello certainly has some good stuff, and if he can channel what Clay Buchholz did last night, he could have a nice outing. In his last three starts, the right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.90 ERA and only three walks.

Hernandez: There’s really not much to say. If you haven’t realized it, King Felix is one of the greatest of all time. Every day he steps on the mound, he competes as hard as anybody ever has. People will be telling stories about Felix Hernandez many years from now, and we are all incredibly lucky to be bearing witness to his majesty and dominance. This is the best start that Felix has ever had in his already superb career, and the Mariners really need a win behind the big arm of their highness.

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Red Sox:

1. Brock Holt RF

2. Dustin Pedroia 2B

3. David Ortiz DH

4. Hanley Ramirez LF

5. Pablo Sandoval 3B

6. Xander Bogaerts SS

7. Daniel Nava 1B

8. Blake Swihart C

9. Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Notes: Jackie Bradley Jr. will be playing with a chip on his shoulder, as rumors surfaced earlier this week that the Mariners rejected a trade from the Red Sox that would have made Bradley Jr. a Mariner. The Red Sox are a scrappy team, and you can bet that veterans Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz are doing all they can to help their team improve on their 17-19 record. Although Felix is on the mound for the Mariners, I expect the Red Sox lineup to make him work hard for what he gets tonight.


May 15, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder

Nelson Cruz

(23) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk-off RBI single against the Boston Red Sox during the ninth inning at Safeco Field. Seattle defeated Boston, 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Seth Smith LF

2. Brad Miller DH

3. Robinson Cano 2B

4. Nelson Cruz RF

5. Kyle Seager 3B

6. Logan Morrison 1B

7. Dustin Ackley CF

8. Chris Taylor SS

9. Jesus Sucre C

Notes: The first six hitters in tonight’s lineup have been solid for the Mariners, led by Nelson Cruz and his American League leading .358 average, in addition to 15 homers and 30 RBI in mid-May. That is pretty special stuff, but the Mariners are going to need contributions up-and-down the lineup if they want to start seeing some sustained success. Jesus Sucre has hit some balls hard, but has essentially nothing to show for it. If the M’s can get a couple of hits out of “Sweet Jesus” then they will be looking good in this contest.

3 Things to Watch For:

1. Shoot the Arrow

In the first game of the series on Thursday, Seattle Mariners closer Fernando Rodney threw 31 pitches and allowed a run in the ninth inning to break the 1-1 tie. A lot of controversy has arisen from manager Lloyd McClendon‘s decision to use Rodney without a lead, as he has struggled in that role all season long. Well, Tom Wilhelmsen turned in a much needed outing for the bullpen last night, giving everybody else out there a night to rest. I expect Rodney and the rest of bullpen to throw the ball well tonight.

2. Hitting in the Clutch

In the last three games since scoring 11 runs on six homers against the Padres on Tuesday, the Mariners are 2-21 with runners in scoring position. That numbers is a bit haunting, and can pretty much sum up the Seattle Mariners’ entire 2015 campaign so far: Close, but no cigar. If the boys in blue want to get a big hot streak going, that number needs to improve. Hopefully, the guys in the lineup can have themselves a day off Porcello, and give Felix the run support he needs for a comfortable, seventh victory.

May 14, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison (20) hits an RBI against the Boston Red Sox during the sixth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

3. LoMo Parks One

So far in 2015, Logan Morrison has hit a ton of balls hard, and doesn’t have much to show for it. On April 28, Morrison’s batting average was .149… Well, since then he has been a dangerous bat for the Seattle Mariners, bringing his average up to .231 currently and slugging five homers so far in the month of May. Ever since borrowing one of Nelson Cruz’s “Boomstick” bats, LoMo has been having a much better go of things. It’s been three games since his last homer, which for Logan Morrison of late, means he’s due.

Last Game’s Predictions (Red Sox vs. Mariners May 16, 2015):

1. Revenge of Rickie–OUT

Weeks went 0-3 last night with two strikeouts, and totally didn’t redeem himself. He is not in the lineup tonight, so the former Brewer will have to wait until at least later on tonight to prove that he doesn’t suck as much as everybody has been saying he does.

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2. Justin Ruggiano??–OUT

Maybe I should have put three question marks, or even four? Ruggiano struggled just as much as Rickie Weeks, going 0-3 with two strikeouts as well. Ironically, last night’s game brings Ruggiano’s batting average to .182, the exact same clip as his fellow veteran outfielder.

3. A One-Run Game?? No Way!–HIT

Yes way. The Mariners lead all of baseball in one-run games with 17. Last night’s walk-off win brings their record to 9-8 in one-run contests, which is actually quite puzzling considering their 16-19 record. If the M’s can continue to play well in close ball games, that will help them greatly in getting the ship sailing smooth after a slow start to 2015.

Season Tally:

Outs: 10     Hits: 5

Next: Mariners Winning In The Ninth Versus Losing In The Ninth

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