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*Another shout out to James for the last several JMN posts. One of the awesome things about writing for Emerald City Swagger is that we can do our work from a distance, which means that I can still contribute from New Zealand. However, the one downside is that often times I don’t have wifi while I am over here, hence the occasional swap of JMN writers. But, I am back, and hopefully just in time for the Seattle Mariners to figure it out after a disappointing 1-6 start to this 11 game home stand.*
Tampa Bay Rays (28-26) vs. Seattle Mariners (24-29) 7:10 PM PST
Pitching Matchup: Erasmo Ramirez (3-2, 5.53 ERA) vs. Roenis Elias (2-2, 3.07 ERA)
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Tampa Bay Rays:
1. Brandon Guyer LF
2. Joey Butler DH
3. Evan Longoria 3B
4. Logan Forsythe 2B
5. Steven Souza Jr. RF
6. Jake Elmore 1B
7. Asdrubal Cabrera SS
8. Mikie Mahtook CF
9. Rene Rivera C
Notes: The Mariners managed to avoid the bats of Steven Souza Jr. and Asdrubal Cabrera in their recent series in St. Petersburg, but both are now healthy and in the lineup once again for the Rays. Tampa Bay is playing some solid ball in 2015, but will have their work cut out for them against tough lefty Roenis Elias.
May 30, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners second basemanRobinson Cano
(right) celebrates with teammate right fielderNelson Cruz
(23) after Cano hit a two-run home run in the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
1. Austin Jackson CF
2. Robinson Cano 2B
3. Nelson Cruz DH
4. Kyle Seager 3B
5. Mark Trumbo 1B
6. Seth Smith RF
7. Brad Miller SS
8. Mike Zunino C
9. Dustin Ackley LF
Notes: Although Mark Trumbo may indeed be “the most Mariners Mariner there’s ever been“, there is no doubt that he will provide a solid power bat for the Seattle Mariners struggling offense. I remember watching this guy play for the Angels right before Mike Trout became Mike Trout, and man does he hit some balls hard. I am pretty sure that one of the homers Trumbo hit in the 2012 home run derby did not go more than 10 feet off the ground. That being said, now that he is playing for the good guys, those “Trumbombs” will be a bit more fun to watch.
3 Things to Watch For:
May 30, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Roenis Elias (29) throws out a pitch during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
1. Elias Bounces Back
In his last start, Roenis Elias went only 5.1 innings, allowing four earned runs and ending a run of 16 straight starts with three runs or fewer allowed. The Cuban lefty has allowed an uncharacteristic seven walks in 11.1 innings over his last two starts, so command will be important for him tonight. Control is not usually an issue for the stoic Elias, so I expect him to go deep into tonight’s game and turn in a great outing for his ball club.
2. Deuces Wild for Robbie Cano
For the second time in the last few games, Robinson Cano will bat in the number two spot in the batting order. With the acquisition of slugger Mark Trumbo and number 22’s .244 batting average, Seattle Mariners Manager Lloyd McClendon is shaking things up a bit. Since coming to Seattle, Robinson Cano has made an obvious effort to sacrifice power for consistency, and hopefully his line drive approach will fit well in the second spot behind Austin Jackson. I really like the looks of today’s lineup, and I think that it just might be the every day order than Lloyd has been searching for. I’ve got a feeling that A-Jax and Cano put the team on their back and produce a few runs tonight.
3. I Don’t Have to Cry Anymore When Mark Trumbo Hits the Crap Out of the Baseball
From 2011 to 2013, I had to watch Mark Trumbo hit mammoth homers off of my pathetic Seattle Mariners far too many times. Well, now we can all jump for joy whenever there is a “Trumbomb” instead of beating our heads against the wall repeatedly until the pain is gone–OK maybe that was just me. Anyways, remember Richie Sexson‘s Seattle Mariners debut? I say Trumbo pulls a Big Sexy today and hits one, or maybe even two, out of the yard. And then of course also goes on to be more for the M’s than just a tall dude with a disgusting soul patch.
Last Game’s Predictions:
1. Your Love is All I Need–OUT
Seth Smith went 0 for 2 yesterday before giving way to Justin Ruggiano‘s for what was likely his last appearance with the Seattle Mariners. Unfortunately for Smith and the M’s, Masahiro Tanaka wasn’t feeling any love for his opponent, as the Mariners were only able to amount one run on five hits.
2. LoMo Loves Leadoff–WALK
For the sake of our season average I am going to give this one a walk, as Logan Morrison went 1 for 4 yesterday with three strikeouts. The only reason I am giving this one a walk is that LoMo accounted for 20 percent of the M’s base hits in the game.
3. At Least Three References to Lloyd’s Tirade–HIT
I didn’t even watch the game and I know I can give this one a hit. Describing Lloyd’s tantrum as anything other than epic would be an egregious understatement. McClendon has had some pretty awesome eruptions in his day, but I would say that this most recent performance is his coup de gras thus far. Usually so calm and collective, I think this show of emotion from the skipper could be a spark for a still slumbering Seattle Mariners ball club. If you missed it, this is definitely worth a couple minutes of your time.
Hits: 22 Outs: 41 Batting Average: .349