Hey look, the Seattle Mariners are playing a split series that doesn’t involve the San Diego Padres! This should be so much fun. The Giants are in town to play two, but before that can happen the M’s have to travel to NorCal, where they’ll play two in the bay. Sounds fair enough.
The San Francisco Giants were widely expected to be mediocre this year, and yes, it’s 100% because they won the World Series last season. This is how every two seasons go for the Giants: someone throws a no hitter, the team wins the World Series, someone throws a no hitter, the team misses the playoffs. They’ve already got their annual no-no out of the way thanks to Chris Heston last week, and now all they have to do is not play in October.
Except they’re actually pretty good this year! Don’t look now, but Nori Aoki might have been the best free agent pickup of the offseason. Buster Posey leads the pack, and he’s flanked by Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford, and Brandon Belt, amongst others. The Giants have a good core, and they’re riding that group to contention yet again. Maybe we shouldn’t believe so strongly in this every-other-year stuff.
The Mariners get to send Taijuan Walker up against Tim Hudson tonight in a battle of starting pitchers who were supposed to be better than this. Hudson’s been undone by an inability to strike anyone out – not to mention crap luck with keeping the ball in the park. The result is an ugly ERA and an identical FIP. Hudson’s not killing the team but he’s part of a rotation that hasn’t at all been what it was expected to be.
The Giants haven’t had a bad rotation, just a weird one. Hudson’s been bad, and Ryan Vogelsong has been terrible, and Jake Peavy only made two (crappy) starts before going down with a balky back. Instead, the team’s number two starter has been… Tim Lincecum? Yeah, that guy’s back, and he’s having his first decent season in years. He’lll throw tomorrow against J.A. Happ.
Heston’s the only rotation arm the M’s will miss, and he’s been a revelation in his rookie season. Madison Bumgarner is having a fine year at the top of the rotation, though perhaps not quite as fine as he’s been in the recent past. Sounds an awful lot like Felix Hernandez, who, like Bumgarner, will be pitching in Seattle on Wednesday night. The King vs. the World Series hero!! New most anticipated game of the year.
The series wraps up Thursday with Vogelsong and potential rookie sensation Mike Montgomery, who has been all that and then some so far with the Mariners. If Vidal Nuno wants a rotation spot, he’s going to have to wait for injuries to take their toll because Montgomery is quickly cementing his spot on the depth chart.
Hate the Mariners right now? Then tune in to watch an exciting Giants team. Or just show up to the ballpark Wednesday night and watch a true battle of the aces. Or just throw your TV in the garbage and go outside. That might be nice.