In an attempt to fit as many teams into a 10-game road trip as possible, the Mariners will be stopping briefly in Boston for a 2-game series, flying to Cleveland for another 2-game series, and stopping over in Colorado for their final three games.
Here are your series pitching matchups. Today, Jason Vargas takes on LHP Jon Lester. Tomorrow, Blake Beavan (or Beavin, as the Red Sox’ game notes would have you believe) faces RHP Josh Beckett.
Current record: 15-19
Last game: vs. Indians. The Red Sox lengthened their winning streak with yesterday’s 12-1 win, effectively pummeling Cleveland and taking 3 of the 4-game series. RHP Daniel Bard pitched 6.0 innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 earned run, 4 walks and striking out 2 of 26 batters. He was backed by the flawless bullpen relief of Rich Hill, Matt Albers, and Scott Atchison, as well as a generous handful of run support from Will Middlebrooks, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Daniel Nava.
Including last week’s win against the Royals, the Sox are 8-4 in the month of May.
Last series against Seattle: August 12 – 14, 2011. The Mariners took two of three games, picking up wins with Charlie Furbush and Felix Hernandez against Tim Wakefield and Josh Beckett. Ichiro hammered a first-pitch leadoff home run, Casper Wells went yard twice, and Brandon League picked up his 28th and 29th saves of the season.
Over the past five years, the Mariners hold a 14-20 record against the Sox; 8-11 at home and 6-9 on the road. The last time they made an appearance at Fenway, the M’s were swept for losses #13 – 15 of the infamous 17-game losing streak.
Toughest player: David Ortiz. Over 33 games and 144 PA, Ortiz has batted .349/.410/.620, crushed 7 home runs, and maintained a wOBA of .430. In other words, he’s a beast, and in an already loaded lineup, I’m starting to feel a little scared of this team.
Weakest link: Darnell McDonald. To be honest, this is the first I’ve heard of McDonald. He holds a .179/.277/.357 slash line over 26 games and 65 PA, and has not reached base in his last four starts.
Expected results: Usually, this is the easiest part of a preview. The good teams lay claim to the bulk of the series, leaving a leftover game for Seattle, if they want it. The bad teams are a toss-up, depending on the current state of the Mariners.
This time around, the Red Sox are hugging the bottom of the AL East standings, while the Orioles are on a 22-win rampage. I can’t make heads or tails of that division, and I’m not going to try to sort through it now. May the Mariners be lucky in Boston, and the Red Sox hold off on their campaign to claim a division title just a short while longer.
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