Jamie Moyer’s Notebook: Seattle Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers July 21, 2015


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Seattle Mariners (42-51) vs. Detroit Tigers (46-46) 4:08 PM PST

Pitching Matchup: Taijuan Walker RHP (7-7, 4.84 ERA) vs. Shane Greene RHP (4-7, 6.32 ERA)


Seattle Mariners:

Jul 20, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Seattle Mariners second baseman

Robinson Cano

(22) hits a home run in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

1. Austin Jackson CF

2. Kyle Seager 3B

3. Nelson Cruz DH

4. Robinson Cano 2B

5. Seth Smith RF

6. Dustin Ackley LF

7. Brad Miller SS

8. Logan Morrison 1B

9. Mike Zunino C

Notes: Needing a great run coming out of the All-Star Break, the Seattle Mariners have gotten off to a 1-3 start, with all three losses being one-run games. If anything, Mariners fans should be grateful that the M’s aren’t leading them on. They haven’t wasted much time in letting us all know that this season is probably a wash. Hopefully I am wrong, but for the sake of my own sanity, I am expecting to see many more 4-3 losses before the season is said and done.

Detroit Tigers: 

Jul 11, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder

Yoenis Cespedes

(52) bats against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Twins win 9-5. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

1. Ian Kinsler 2B

2. Yoenis Cespedes LF

3. Victor Martinez DH

4. J.D. Martinez RF

5. Marc Krauss 1B

6. Nick Castellanos 3B

7. Alex Avila C

8. Jose Iglesias SS

9. Anthony Gose CF

Notes: Despite the absence of their Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers have been getting it done. They certainly got it done yesterday, with Ian Kinsler leading the charge. Kinsler has a history of hurting the Mariners dating back to his time with the Texas Rangers. With a fastball pitcher in Taijuan Walker facing a Tigers lineup full of guys that can turn a fastball around, the young Seattle Mariners starter will need to keep his stuff down in the zone, or it could be a long night.

More from Seattle Mariners

3 Things to Watch For:

1. LoMo Has Been Waiting

Earlier this season, Logan Morrison got incredibly hot, emerging as a potential impact bat in the Seattle Mariners lineup. However, in the last 30 games Morrison has cooled down significantly, batting only .157 during that span. Lloyd McClendon and the M’s need LoMo to do a little better than that if the team is going to make a run at a winning season. With a right-hander on the mound for the Tigers tonight, I figure now is as good a time as ever for Morrison to start heating up again. A pair of hits for Logan today, including an RBI or two.

2. The Bullpen Is Key

It is no secret that the 2015 Mariners bullpen has not been the league-best that it was in 2014. The thing that seems to be more of a secret is WHY. On paper, the Seattle Mariners bullpen looks solid, with guys like Fernando Rodney, Charlie Furbush, Tom Wilhelmsen and Mark Lowe with his 1.20 ERA. Here is the bottom line: If the M’s can’t hold on to leads late in ball games, they will not be able to put together the run they need to fix this season. Tonight, the bullpen needs to buckle down and shut the Tigers out. No runs allowed by the pen.

3. Dustin Smackley

Back on June 23, I predicted a good game from Dustin Ackley. Well, he delivered, going 3 for 4 with a double, a homer and two runs batted in. Going in to that game, the collegiate baseball legend was batting only .189. Currently, his batting average is up 27 points to .216. In those 17 games, Ackley is 11 for 33 with two doubles, a triple, two homers and seven runs batted in. With the Mariners scuffling since coming off the All-Star Break, they need some magic to right the ship. I’ve got a feeling that Ackley steps up again tonight with a big game, picking up an extra base hit and at least two runs batted in.

Last Game’s Predictions (Anaheim Angels vs. Seattle Mariners July 12, 2015)

1. Taijuan No-Walker–WALK

Walker got shelled a bit by the Angels, allowing six earned runs over just five innings of work. However, his command was still decent, striking out seven batters and once again walking zero opposing hitters. Taijuan’s control has been markedly better in the last couple of months, which is very encouraging to see from the young talent.

2. Zunino Poised For Second Half–OUT

Mike Z put up an o-fer in four at bats, including two punch-outs. The struggles have been continued for Zunino this season, as he searches for some offensive consistency to compliment his exceptional defense. Zunino has been looking a bit better in July, picking up some extra-base hits and driving in runs. Hopefully the recent success will continue for Mike.

3. Action Jackson–HIT

Although he didn’t get the extra-base hit that I predicted, Jackson did go 2 for 4 with a run scored in an otherwise lackluster performance by the Seattle Mariners offense. A-Jax has been excellent since returning from the DL, raising his batting average from .240 to .256 since May 26. Austin is a great offensive centerfielder, and I expect him to continue to show that in the rest of 2015.

Season Tally:

Hits: 50     Outs: 79     Season Average: .388

Next: The Seattle Mariners Are What They Are