Jamie Moyer’s Notebook: Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays May 25, 2015


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Seattle Mariners (20-23) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (24-21) 4:10 PM PST

Pitching Matchup: Roenis Elias LHP (1-1, 2.76 ERA) vs. Jake Odorizzi RHP (3-4, 2.43 ERA)

May 20, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher

Roenis Elias

(29) pitches during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Elias: I feel like I am just repeating myself every time I write notes for a Roenis Elias start, but I guess that is just because the guy is so consistent. In five starts this season since being called up to replace the injured Hisashi Iwakuma, Elias has provided the stability that Seattle Mariners Manager Lloyd McClendon was hoping for. The lefty from Cuba has been particularly good in his two most recent starts, allowing only two earned runs across 14 frames of work. Elias will be looking for win number two in 2015, after he finally got his first win of the season in his last start against the Orioles.

Odorizzi: The 25-year-old right-hander has really stepped up for the new-look Rays in 2015, putting together eight quality starts in his first nine outings of the season. Odorizzi allowed four runs over 6.1 innings in his one non-quality start. The key for Jake this season has been command and control, as he has only walked 10 batters in his 59.1 innings of work. The walks have been particularly minimal as of late, as Odorizzi has allowed only two free passes over his last 32 innings. Those two walks came in his most recent outing, which snapped a streak of 28.2 innings without a walk.

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1. Seth Smith RF

2. Brad Miller LF

3. Robinson Cano 2B

4. Nelson Cruz DH

5. Kyle Seager 3B

6. Justin Ruggiano CF

7. Logan Morrison 1B

8. Chris Taylor SS

9. Mike Zunino C

Notes: The Seattle Mariners have averaged only 3.5 runs per game so far on this road trip, which they will look to improve upon in this three-game bout with the Rays. Behind the hot bats of Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz, the boys in blue need a sweep to get back to .500 for the first time since April 12th. Hopefully the offense can explode in this series and put up some big numbers.


May 17, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Tampa Bay Rays second baseman

Nick Franklin

(2) fields a ground ball in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

1. Brandon Guyer RF

2. Joey Butler DH

3. Evan Longoria 3B

4. Logan Forsythe 1B

5. Tim Beckham SS

6. Jake Elmore LF

7. Kevin Kiermaier CF

8. Nick Franklin 2B

9. Rene Rivera C

Notes: Much to the surprise of many, the Tampa Bay Rays are leading the American League East right now. Expected to be below average due to a rebuilding phase, the Rays have hung around the top of the division all season largely in thanks to a consistent offense. Veterans Logan Forsythe, Evan Longoria and David DeJesus have all had solid seasons so far, combing for 13 homers and 59 RBI between the three of them. Steven Souza Jr. has been a very pleasant surprise for the Rays, racking up seven homers, 17 RBI and seven stolen bases in the first two months of his rookie season. Two former Seattle Mariners are rounding off the Rays lineup at eight and nine this evening, so it’ll be fun to watch how our old friends do today against Roenis Elias.

3 Things to Watch For:

1. Kyle Seager Heating Up

The Seattle Mariners All-Star third baseman is currently on a 10-game hitting streak, in which he is batting .378 with three homers. In the series against the Blue Jays, Seager went 4 for 11 with two solo homers. It seems as if things are finally starting to click for Kyle, who now has seven bombs on the season. Against the right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi, I expect Kyle to have another multi-hit game tonight.

May 19, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Nelson Cruz (23) warms up in the on deck circle during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

2. Woah, Nelly!

For some reason, it seems like Tropicana Field is the kind of ball park where guys like Nelson Cruz hit mammoth home runs. Cruz hit an absolute laser out to center field on Friday, and if it would have had some more elevation I can’t imagine how far it would have gone. It seems as good a time as ever for Nelly Cruz to hit a deep homer for the Mariners. I predict a bomb of at least 440 feet.

3. ‘Sergio Millar’ Comes to Play

Brad Miller has shown a great deal of maturity and fight after being transformed into a utility man by the Mariners organization. Since being replaced in the six-hole by Chris Taylor, Miller has been tearing it up at the plate. His power numbers have spiked, and it seems as if Brad is now playing with a new found vigor and focus that he didn’t have before. Miller has four homers and a .294 average in his last 10 games, but has not slugged a four-bagger yet on this road trip. I think Brad will have a nice defensive play tonight in left field and pick up a couple of extra base hits en route to a Seattle Mariners victory.

Last Game’s Predictions:

1. Cup of LoMo–OUT

Logan Morrison did pick up a hit in yesterday’s game, but only went 1 for 4 and did not contribute anything tangible offensively. After getting his average all the way up to .247 on May 5, LoMo has come back down to earth a bit and now sits at .220. However, he will definitely take that after the Mariners first baseman finished the month of April at .197.

2. Dustin Ackley is a Solid Outfielder!–HIT

Ackley had only three plate appearances yesterday as the Mariners were held to only two runs, but picked up a base hit in one of them. In addition, Ackley played adequate defense out in center field, so I will give myself a “hit” on this one. If Dustin Ackley can start swinging the bat and continue to play good defense in the outfield, that will be extremely helpful for the Seattle Mariners moving forward.

3. Robinson Cano Leads the Onslaught–OUT

Robbie Cano’s season long slump continues… Number 22 rolled into two double plays yesterday, each time with runners on first and second. This is so very unlike the consistent Cano that we saw last season, in which he batted a smooth .314. The Seattle Mariners did not pay Robinson $240 million to hit .247, but luckily the second baseman has a career .308 batting average that should put as all at ease until he gets it turned around.

Season Tally:

Outs: 23     Hits: 16     Batting Average: .410