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*Happy Fourth of July!!*
Seattle Mariners (37-43) vs. Oakland Athletics (37-46) 1:05 PM PST
Jul 3, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners second basemanRobinson Cano
(22) hits a single against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
1. Logan Morrison 1B
2. Austin Jackson Cf
3. Robinson Cano 2B
4. Nelson Cruz RF
5. Kyle Seager 3B
6. Seth Smith LF
7. Mark Trumbo DH
8. Brad Miller SS
9. Jesus Sucre C
Notes: Despite the two-hit shutout spun by Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics on Thursday, the Seattle Mariners have scored 21 runs in their last four games, winning three out of four. While the M’s are going to need a lot more than that to get this season back on track, it seems as if the offense may finally be settling in. In those four games, Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz are 12 for 34, with three home runs and seven runs batted in. If Cano and Cruz can keep up that pace, things could start looking good for the Seattle Mariners.
Jun 17, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielderJosh Reddick
(22) hits an RBI single against the San Diego Padres during the eighth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics won 16-2. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
1. Billy Burns CF
2. Stephen Vogt C
3. Ben Zobrist LF
4. Josh Reddick RF
5. Billy Butler DH
6. Ike Davis 1B
7. Brett Lawrie 3B
8. Eric Sogard 2B
9. Marcus Semien SS
Notes: The scrappy Oakland Athletics gave the M’s a scare last night, scoring twice in the bottom of the ninth, but couldn’t muster enough offense to overcome a six run deficit. Despite their struggles this season, the Athletics have actually put up some solid offensive numbers, the A’s are eighth in baseball in batting average, 1oth in on-base percentage, and fourth in runs scored. In fact, the Athletics have a run differential of +46, which is sixth best in baseball. How the A’s are 37-46, I do not know, but one thing is for sure–this offense can score some runs.
3 Things to Watch For:
1. Slow Start, Big Finish
The entire Seattle Mariners roster has only compiled eight at-bats against Kendall Graveman, and have picked up two hits off the righty. Being a young kid with good stuff, don’t be concerned at all if the M’s bats struggle a bit off of Graveman in the early goings. That being said, the boys in blue have been swinging it well as of late, and I expect them to turn it on the second time through on the Athletics starting pitcher. Another game of at least five runs tonight for the Mariners, and another free medium french fry at McDonalds for yours truly.
2. Felix Lights The Fireworks
Coming off of a cramp-shortened start in Anaheim, Felix Hernandez will be hungry to continue what he had started against the Angels. Felix left the game having allowed only one hit, and the Mariners eventually fell 3 to 2 in the contest. No prediction about innings pitched or runs today, but I do expect Felix to strikeout at least 10 Oakland hitters today.
3. Oh Ya, Robinson Cano Is A Star
Just in case his .250 batting average caused you to forget, Robinson Cano is a perennial All-Star and one of the best players in the game of baseball. Remember when Albert Pujols got off to a terrible start with the Angels in 2012? Ya, nobody else does either, because he turned it around, finishing with a batting average of .285, 30 homers and 105 RBI. Great players with extensive track records don’t just deviate from their career stats as badly as Robbie Cano has in these first three months of 2015, unless their name is Chone Figgins. The point is, the Seattle Mariners second baseman has a career batting average of .307 and has made five consecutive All-Star teams. If you haven’t been watching the games, Cano has picked up SEVEN hits in his last three ball games, including a homer and two doubles. Hopefully this is a continuing trend for number 22, as the Mariners surely need his bat if they are going to make a run. Another couple of hits tonight for Robinson Cano, with an RBI or two as well.
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Last Game’s Predictions (Seattle Mariners vs. San Diego Padres June 1, 2015):
1. Good To See You, Franklin Gutierrez–OUT
Guti let me down on this one, although he has continued to see success since his return to the big leagues. Despite the seven runs scored by the Seattle Mariners, Franklin went 0 for 5, with a trio of strikeouts. Through six games and 14 at-bats so far, Gutierrez is batting .286 with a double.
2. Carson Smith Gets The Save–WALK
No save situation here, as the Mariners picked up a comfortable win for the two-game sweep in San Diego. Smith got the night off, though the bullpen did combine for three scoreless innings.
3. Zunino Stays Hot–OUT
Although Mike Zunino did go 0 for 3 with three strikeouts, he also drew a walk and scored a run. The Seattle Mariners catcher has been drawing more walks lately, and taking those down and away sliders that he usually chases. It looks like Mike Z has begun to hone his approach up there, and I am excited to see what he does the rest of the way.
Hits: 46 Outs: 74 Batting Average: .383