Current record: 40-35
Last game: vs. Blue Jays. The Sox clinched the series with a 10-4 blowout by Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Aviles, and Cody Ross, polishing off their fifth consecutive series win.
They are currently riding a two-game winning streak, having surrendered the first match-up in a 9-6 loss, after Felix Doubront handed over 11 hits and 7 runs in just 6 IP.
At the conclusion of this last series, Boston slipped into a third-place tie with Tampa Bay.
Last series against Seattle: May 14 – 15, 2012. The Mariners are 0-for-2 against the Red Sox this season, swept in a brief two-game interlude last month. They eked out just 12 hits and 1 run during the series, falling short against Jon Lester’s 6K complete game and Josh Beckett’s 9K shutout.
Pitching matchups: Thursday — Felix Hernandez vs. LHP Franklin Morales. With just two starts under his belt, Morales comes into this series armed with a 2.98 SIERA, 2.80 FIP, and 4.11 K/BB. He last made an appearance on Saturday against Atlanta, fanning 8 of 25 batters, walking one, and allowing 7 hits and 2 earned runs.
Friday — Hector Noesi vs. RHP Aaron Cook. Cook’s numbers are equally as unreliable after just two major league games this season. He last pitched against the Braves for a quick 5 inning start, giving up 6 hits and 2 earned runs in 21 batters. It was a considerable improvement over his Red Sox debut, which aired on May 5 for a disastrous 2.2 innings, during which he surrendered 8 hits, 7 runs, and a walk to 16 Orioles. He has yet to log a strikeout in 2012.
Saturday — Erasmo Ramirez vs. RHP Josh Beckett. As mentioned above, Beckett pitched his way through 27 batters for a 4H, 9K shutout of Seattle in May, aided by relievers Rich Hill and Alfredo Aceves. He sports a SIERA of 4.01 in 12 starts, with a 3.29 K/BB and 3.78 FIP.
Sunday — Jason Vargas vs. LHP Felix Doubront. Felix has kept respectable numbers over his 15 appearances, earning a 3.61 SIERA and 4.13 FIP for a current WAR of 1.3. Despite a K/BB of 3.00, Doubront recorded just 2 strikeouts in his last start, after an 11-hit, 7-run beatdown from the Blue Jays on Monday. That outing featured the most hits given up by Doubrount this season, as well as the fewest strikeouts since May 7.
Expected results: The Mariners may be wedged in last place right now, but their behavior against top-seeded teams and struggling franchises never fails to puzzle me. I don’t know whether to predict another combined no-hitter or expect them to roll over again, as they did this week against the Athletics. Felix on the mound is always a sure thing; however, the anemic offense we’ve seen in this homestand is equally as predictable.
For up-to-date news on the Sox (or Sawks, as the Mariners PR department would have you believe it’s spelled), check out Fenway Fatales.