Jamie Moyer’s Notebook: Seattle Mariners vs. Baltimore Orioles May 19, 2015


4Jamie Moyer‘s Notebook is the most in-depth Mariners game preview on the internet! The daily JMN will be posted here at Emerald City Swagger two hours prior to the first pitch. Make Jamie Moyer’s Notebook part of your game-day routine.

*A big thanks to James for covering for me on Sunday! You’ll be hearing from him again here in Jamie Moyer’s Notebook so stay tuned!*

Seattle Mariners (17-20) vs. Baltimore Orioles (16-19) 4:05 PM PST

Pitching Matchup: Taijuan Walker (1-4, 7.22 ERA) vs. Miguel Gonzalez (4-2, 2.93 ERA)

May 18, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker (R) jokes with pitcher

Hisashi Iwakuma

(18) after defeating the Minnesota Twins 6-2 at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Walker: Remember when Taijuan Walker’s ERA was 17.18 after two starts and the world was ending? Well, in his five starts since then Tai’s ERA is a much more manageable 4.44, and that is including seven earned runs in three innings against the Astros on May 2. If you throw out that outing as well, in his other four starts this season Walker’s earned run average is 2.31. Obviously, the young flamethrower needs to find some consistency, which he began to do in his most recent outing when he threw over 80 percent fastballs. Manager Lloyd McClendon said after the outing that they want Taijuan to establish his dominant fastball, which is hard to hit at upwards of 96 mph. While this fastball approach could result in a dinger or two, if Walker can limit his walks this evening, he should be able to give the Mariners a strong chance for a victory.

Gonzalez: Veteran right-hander Miguel Gonzalez is putting together a nice season for the Orioles thus far, and will be looking to earn his fifth win tonight. Gonzalez will have his work cut out for him, as the Mariners will be the first team outside of the AL East that he has faced all season. In his last four starts, the 30-year-old has allowed at least four runs twice, and zero runs in the other two outings. Gonzalez’s most recent start was against Toronto, in which he shut the Blue Jays out over 7.2 innings on only three hits. The Seattle Mariners will hope that the other, more generous Miguel Gonzalez shows up to Camden Yards tonight.


May 16, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder

Nelson Cruz

(23) shatters his bat during the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners:

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. Mike Zunino C
8. Dustin Ackley CF
9. Chris Taylor SS

Notes: Despite Nelson Cruz’s efforts to transform the Seattle Mariners offense, the bats are still hiding in a corner somewhere in Peoria. Coming into tonight’s game, the Mariners offense is 11th in the American League in batting average, tied for 13th in runs scored, and 13th in batting average with runners in scoring position. It has been a struggle all season for the M’s to score runs when it matters, but with guys like Brad Miller and Kyle Seager heating up, it seems about time for that to change. The other storyline for the Mariners offense tonight is the return of Nellie Cruz to Baltimore. The slugger led all of baseball in homers last year, helping the Orioles to an AL East Division title. Cruz will be looking to hit some dingers out of the familiar grounds tonight, and if the Mariners can get a few runs across early off Gonzalez, look for an offensive onslaught from the boys in blue.

Baltimore Orioles:

1. Manny Machado 3B
2. Jimmy Paredes DH
3. Adam Jones CF
4. Chris Davis 1B
5. Steve Pearce 2B
6. Travis Snider LF
7. J.J. Hardy SS
8. Alejandro De Aza RF
9. Caleb Joseph C

Notes: Facing the club that brought him up through the minors, Adam Jones will look to continue his success this season. The All-Star centerfielder is hitting .336 with six homers and 25 RBI, but has faltered slightly in the last 10 games with a batting average of only .225. Manny Machado has also been a hot bat for the Orioles, with a .308 average over the last 10 games and a season OPS of 821. If Jones, Machado and Chris “Crush” Davis can get their lumber going tonight, it could be a long outing for young Taijuan Walker.

3 Things to Watch For:

1. Miller Time!

Since being deemed the new Willie Bloomquist plus power, Brad Miller has been playing with a newfound vigor, slugging four homers in five games en route to an American League Player of the Week award. With a friendly right field wall at Camden Yards and a righty on the hill for the O’s, look for the Mariners’ “new utility man” to park one onto Eutaw Street and continue to blossom in front of our very eyes.

2. Walker? More Like, No Walker…

Control has been an issue for Taijuan Walker in 2015, averaging over two free passes per start thus far, fueled by two particularly bad four-walk performances. In his last start, Walker pounded the zone with his high-velocity fastball and seemed much more poised on the bump. It will be very important for the top-ranked prospect to establish his fastball early tonight, and I expect him to make the Orioles hitters earn their way on base. I say Taijuan throws a lot of strikes tonight and gets his first walk-less outing of the season.

3. Sweet Lloyd?

We all know that former Seattle Mariners manager Lou Pinella could lose his cool like the best of them, giving us many laughs over the years with his volatile temperament towards umpires. Well, current Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon has thrown a base or two in his time as well. *You can see them both in action here* With the Mariners off to an inconsistent, frustrating start in 2015, I’m going to go out of left field on this one and call a Lloyd McClendon blow-up to give his ball club a shot of adrenaline.

Last Game’s Predictions:

1. Zunino Goes Yard–OUT

Mike Z did have a solid game though, going 1-3 with an RBI single on a liner into center field.

2. Paxton’s Tear Continues–HIT

James nailed this prediction, as Paxton tossed eight scoreless innings for Lloyd on Sunday. That gives the Canadian lefty 20 straight scoreless innings currently. Remember when people were worried about him?

3. Seager Takes Things Into His Own Hands–HIT

The first two hit night for the JMN (Jamie Moyer’s Notebook) crew, nicely done James! The Seattle Mariners third baseman launched his fifth long ball of the season on Sunday with a line drive two run shot to right field in the eighth inning. Seager also scored two runs and notched another base hit in the ball game.

Season Tally:

Outs: 13     Hits: 8

Next: Seattle Mariners At Baltimore Orioles Series Preview