Jamie Moyer’s Notebook: Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners June 19, 2015


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*Star Wars Night*

Houston Astros (40-28) vs. Seattle Mariners (30-37) 7:10 PM PST 

Pitching Matchup: Lance McCullers RHP (3-1, 2.00 ERA) vs. Roenis Elias LHP (3-4, 3.67 ERA)


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Houston Astros:

1. George Springer CF

2. Carlos Correa SS

3. Preston Tucker LF

4. Evan Gattis DH

5. Chris Carter 1B

6. Domingo Santana RF

7. Hank Conger C

8. Luis Valbuena 3B

9. Marwin Gonzalez

Notes: The dream season continues for the Houston Astros, who have now won six out of their last seven games since losing seven in a row. Boasting a lineup filled with names that you would only know if you lived in one of the cities where Houston has minor league affiliates, the Astros have somehow gotten it done time and time again in 2015. Perhaps the Seattle Mariners should observe, if anything else, as Houston is the epitome of the “it” that the Mariners have lacked all season. They find ways to win ball games, and that is why they have won eight out of ten games against Seattle in 2015.

Seattle Mariners:

May 29, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter

Seth Smith

(7) hits a two-run home run against the Cleveland Indians during the sixth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Logan Morrison 1B

2. Austin Jackson CF

3. Robinson Cano 2B

4. Nelson Cruz DH

5. Kyle Seager 3B

6. Mark Trumbo RF

7. Seth Smith LF

8. Brad Miller SS

9. Mike Zunino C

Notes: The Seattle Mariners had a valiant series against the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants, splitting the four games that took place in San Fran and Seattle. Finding themselves 9.5 games back of Houston in the Al West, they once again have a chance to shrink that number with a three-game sweep of the Astros. After missing last night’s contest, Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano will look to lead a healthy M’s lineup into battle against the imperial forces on Star Wars night at Safeco Field.

3 Things to Watch For:

1. Use the Force, Nelson

Believe it or not, Nelson Cruz has not homered since May 27 against the Tampa Bay Rays, when he hit a game winning three run dinger in the ninth inning. Due to his incredible start to 2015, Nelson is still second in the AL in homers entering today. Guys like Nelson Cruz simply don’t just go a month without hitting a home run, and I expect him to make up for lost time tonight. The force is strong with Nellie, and he is going to use what Yoda has taught him to bring the crowd to their feet tonight at Safeco.

2. Roenis Bounces Back

After allowing three earned runs or fewer in eight of his first nine starts this season, Roenis Elias faltered in Houston last week, allowing  seven earned runs in only 3.1 innings of work. Known for competing extremely hard on the mound, you can count on a comeback performance from Elias. The Cuban left-hander will give the Mariners a strong chance for a victory tonight, going seven innings and allowing three earned runs or fewer for the ninth time this season.

3. Revenge of the Smith

Seth Smith has been fantastic for Lloyd McClendon and the Seattle Mariners in 2015, ranking fourth in batting average, second in on-base percentage, and tied for first in doubles and triples on the ball club. After losing two out of three to the Astros in Houston, the Mariners desperately need a sweep to get themselves back into striking distance in the American League West. Smith has been clutch for Seattle this season, and has been one of the few reliable offensive weapons for the team. Look for Seth to draw his light-saber tonight and pick up a couple of hits, including an extra base hit and a pair of RBI.

Last Game’s Predictions:

1. Mark Trumbo Hits Home Runs, I Swear: Part 3–OUT

Trumbo still has not hit a homer for the Mariners since joining the team in early June. In fact, in his 12 games with Seattle, Trumbo has driven in just one run, boasting a batting average of .182 and a weak OPS of .382. This man was supposed to be the answer for a struggling offense, but perhaps it is becoming apparent that his career .296 on-base percentage is not going to fix anything for the team with the fourth worst OBP in all of baseball.

2. The Kid > The Champs–HIT

No, Mike Montgomery did not get the win last night, and he didn’t actually have a quality start either. But, the kid did show some grit on the mound, putting together 7.1 innings of four run ball after allowing three runs in the second inning. While it wasn’t quite enough for a victory, Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon had to have liked the way that Montgomery competed last night.

3. Get On Your Horse–OUT

James Jones didn’t get any action in last night’s game, as the Mariners compiled only five hits en route to yet another shut out. No pinch-run appearance for Jones, and no runs for the stagnant Seattle offense.

Season Tally:

Hits: 36    Outs: 60   Batting Average: .375

Next: Dustin Ackley Returns To Second Base