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Detroit Tigers (41-40) vs. Seattle Mariners (38-44) 7:10 PM PST
Jul 4, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielderAnthony Gose
(12) receives congratulations from left fielderYoenis Cespedes
(52) after scoring in the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
1. Ian Kinsler 2B
2. Yoenis Cespedes LF
3. Victor Martinez DH
4. J.D. Martinez RF
5. Alex Avila C
6. Nick Castellanos 3B
7. Anthony Gose CF
8. Andrew Romine 1B
9. Jose Iglesias SS
Notes: The Detroit Tigers will be without their MVP Miguel Cabrera, which will give the Mariners a much better chance in the series. However, even without Cabrera the Tigers have a potent offense, led by the blossoming young bat of J.D. Martinez, who has already matched his home run total from 2014, with 23 longballs to go with 56 RBI and a .285 batting average in 2015. In addition to Martinez, Hisashi Iwakuma will need to be careful with Yoenis Cespedes, who used to hurt the Seattle Mariners on a frequent basis when he played for the Oakland Athletics. The point is, even without Miggy, the Tigers can put up some runs if they get pitches to hit.
Jul 3, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners first basemanLogan Morrison
(20) celebrates with catcherMike Zunino
(3) after batting him in on a two run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
1. Austin Jackson CF
2. Kyle Seager 3B
3. Robinson Cano 2B
4. Nelson Cruz RF
5. Seth Smith DH
6. Logan Morrison 1B
7. Dustin Ackley LF
8. Brad Miller SS
9. Mike Zunino C
Notes: The Seattle Mariners offense saw some very good signs in the recent road trip, but have still struggled to find consistency. In the nine game road trip, the M’s averaged 3.3 runs per game, scoring five runs or more three times, but finding themselves with a goose egg twice. We have seen this far too many times from the 2015 Mariners, one day seeming to be a playoff worthy team, and the next day looking like the neighborhood beer league softball team. Facing the Miguel Cabrera-less Tigers to start a seven game homestand, perhaps the time is now for the Seattle Mariners to find a groove and bring their record close to .500 going into the All-Star break.
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3 Things to Watch For:
1. Seth Smith, The Legend
In the last three games, Seth Smith has hit a go ahead two-run homer, and a go ahead, game winning two-run single. The off-season acquisition has been nothing but consistent for the Seattle Mariners, and I expect him to have a good night off the former National Leaguer Alfredo Simon. A pair of hits for Smith, with a couple more runs batted in.
2. Iwakuma Raises His Stock
With a plethora of young arms in the folds, I have my doubts that Hisashi Iwakuma’s time in Seattle is going to last. That being said, if he wants to land himself on a playoff team, he will want to pitch well in his three or four stars before the trade deadline. Look for Iwakuma to be a bit shaky in his first start back from injury, but I say he settles down and records a quality start tonight.
3. Sergio Millllaaaaaaaarrrrr
If you don’t know, that is Brad Miller‘s seldom used nickname. Miller is actually having quite a nice year, hitting .240 with an OBP of .314, eight homers and 24 RBI. Top that off with Miller’s 12 doubles and three triples, and we’ve got ourselves a nice offensive shortstop. It’s never been a secret that Miller can hit the ball a little bit, but he has really gotten himself together in 2015 thus far, after being bounced around as a utility guy early on in the season. Miller has plenty of extra-base hit power, and I say he picks one up tonight, along with a run batted in or two.
Last Game’s Predictions (Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics July 4, 2015):
1. Slow Start, Big Finish–OUT
More like “Slow Start, Slow Finish” as the Seattle Mariners were shut-out once again on Saturday. Athletics starter Kendall Graveman allowed only five hits over seven innings, striking out only one but getting outs regardless. Perhaps my hopes were a bit too high for the Mariners offense, but I would like to believe that the bats have turned a corner, regardless of this most recent shut-out.
2. Felix Lights The Fireworks–OUT
Although he got the loss on Saturday, Felix had a strong outing, scattering 10 hits over seven innings and allowing only two runs. Unfortunately, he only racked up six strikeouts, four short of the prediction of 10. The Mariners offense was unable to provide the King with any amount of run support, as the club fell to Oakland, 2-0.
3. Oh Ya, Robinson Cano Is A Star–WALK
Cano continued his steady trend of late, going one for three with a walk on Saturday. Although he didn’t pick up two hits as I predicted, he was the only Seattle Mariners hitter to reach base twice, and it seems as if Cano’s plate discipline is on its way back to where it was in 2014. Robby has one more home stand before the All-Star break to get his bat sorted out, and for the sake of all things Mariners, lets hope that he does.
Hits: 46 Outs: 76 Batting Average: .377