Jamie Moyer’s Notebook: Seattle Mariners vs. San Diego Padres June 30, 2015

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Seattle Mariners (34-42) vs. San Diego Padres (37-41) 7:10 PM PST

Pitching Matchup: Mike Montgomery LHP (2-2, 2.04 ERA) vs. Ian Kennedy RHP (4-6, 5.09 ERA)

Lineups:

Seattle Mariners:

Jun 23, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Seth Smith (7) hits an RBI-single against the Kansas City Royals during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Logan Morrison 1B

2. Robinson Cano 2B

3. Kyle Seager 3B

4. Nelson Cruz RF

5. Seth Smith LF

6. Austin Jackson CF

7. Brad Miller SS

8. Mike Zunino C

9. Mike Montgomery SP

Notes: The story has been the same all season for the Seattle Mariners. Despite the off-season acquisitions of Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager, the ball club is still offensively one of the worst in the game, ranking last in all of baseball in runs scored and batting average, and 30th in on-base percentage. Something needs to change for the M’s offense. Perhaps the hiring of Edgar Martinez as hitting coach will be part of that change, but as of right now, the team is not getting the job done at the plate. If the Mariners really want to turn it around in 2015, they are going to need to start scoring more than 3.4 runs per game.

San Diego Padres:

Jun 27, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Justin Upton (10) hits a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

1. Matt Kemp RF

2. Derek Norris C

3. Yadier Alonso 1B

4. Justin Upton LF

5. Yangervis Solarte 3B

6. Jedd Gyorko 2B

7. Melvin Upton Jr. CF

8. Clint Barmes SS

9. Ian Kennedy SP

Notes: The San Diego Padres have done their best Seattle Mariners impression this season, finding themselves four games below .500 despite a bevy of exciting off-season acquisitions. Although exciting, the additions of Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, and several other big name players have not been enough to pull the ball club out of mediocrity. Coming in to tonight’s game, the Padres rank 23rd in batting average and 26th in on-base percentage, although they have managed to score some runs, ranking 12th in that category. Tonight will be a match-up of two slumbering offenses, which means that it will either be a pitcher’s duel, or a volcanic eruption of hits and runs that have been accumulating in the caldera for three months now.

3 Things to Watch For:

1. Cano Knows

All season, Robinson Cano has been the topic of discussion when it comes to Seattle Mariners baseball. The 2014 All-Star and career .306 hitter has batted only .241 this season, with four homers and 24 RBI. Although those are incredibly underwhelming numbers, Cano has begun to turn the page as of late. In the last 10 games, Cano is 10 for 36, batting .278 with two homers and five runs batted in. Those numbers are still not quite where Robbie would like them to be, but there have been some strong signs from number 22 over the last few weeks or so. A pair of hits tonight for the Mariners second baseman.

2. Montgomery Is Solid

Coming off of a break-out performances in his last start, Mike Montgomery will have some high expectations to meet tonight. On June 23, Montgomery silenced the Kansas City Royals in a complete game shut-out, piling up 10 strikeouts on the night. It was the first time all season that any starting pitcher has struck out more than nine Royals. Facing the potent–yet slumbering–San Diego Padres offense tonight, I will not be surprised if Monty has a bit of a shaky start. That being said, I expect the poised young lefty to settle down and put together a quality start tonight at Petco Park.

3. Seth Smith Checks In

Over the last seven games, Seth Smith has posted a .300 batting average, with an OBP of .364 and slugging percentage of .500. This is nothing surprising though, as Smith is batting .261 on the season, tied for third with Austin Jackson, behind Kyle Seager and the leading vote-getter at DH in the American League, Nelson Cruz. The left-handed hitting outfielder has been a pleasant surprise for the M’s in 2015, evolving out of the platoon with Rickie Weeks in left field, and establishing himself as an every day kind of player. Despite his recent success at the plate, Smith’s production numbers have been down in the last week or two, with only one home run and two runs batted in over the last 14 games. Look for Smith to park one at Petco tonight and pick up a couple of RBI.

Last Game’s Predictions (Seattle Mariners vs. Los Angeles Angels June 26, 2015):

1. Robinson Cano Gets Hot–HIT

Cano only picked up one hit, but it was a deep home run to right-center field. If the Seattle Mariners are going to make a run at turning this thing around, they are going to need Robbie more than anybody else. Only time will tell if the 22 million-dollar-man will come up big for the M’s in 2015.

2. Taijuan Struggles Early, Seattle Down–HIT

I nailed this one, as Walker allowed an early run in the first inning before settling in for seven innings of one run ball. Taijuan has been phenomenal as of late, notching a W in five of his last six starts, while allowing only nine runs over that stretch. It seems as if Taijuan Walker, MLB ace, has finally arrived.

3. Logan Morrison Check In–OUT

LoMo did not pick up a hit, going 0 for 3 and reaching base on a walk. No need to worry though, as Logan has been putting together a fine 2015 campaign. This season, Morrison is batting .244, with an OBP of .318, nine homers, and 25 RBI. The 27-year-old former outfielder has been fitting in quite nicely for Lloyd McClendon and the Seattle Mariners.

Season Tally:

Hits: 45   Outs: 70   Batting Average: .391