With the Mariners seemingly on the brink of having the wheels fall off, they desperately need a good showing this weeknd. The San Francisco Giants come to town – a team that is just two years removed from a World Series title and a team that is looking to earn a playoff berth this year.
Current Record: 36-27
Last game: vs. Astros. The Giants lost this game, but it seemed insignificant due to Matt Cain’s brilliant perfect game the night before. The Giants’ offense backed him up with 10 runs in their first perfect game in franchise history and the Giants cemented themselves as a force in the National League.
Last series against Seattle: May 22-24. Randy Johnson made his last start in Safeco Field and pitched into the sixth, leaving to a standing ovation in what was one of the most memorable Mariners games I’ve ever attended. The Mariners won the game in extras, finishing the Giants in walkoff fashion. The Mariners took the series 2-1 – they lost the second game to Matt Cain but gave Felix Hernandez a win in the third.
Pitching matchups: Friday - Jason Vargas vs. Ryan Vogelsong. Vargas is quietly putting together an impressive year, already at the 7 win mark with a sub-4 ERA. Unfortunately for the Mariners, Vogelsong has had his own share of success, posting a 5-2 record and allowing only one run to the Rangers in 7.2 innings in his last outing.
Saturday – Kevin Millwood vs. Tim Lincecum. One of these pitchers is struggling mightily, carrying an ERA of 6.00 while only winning two games. The other has been a part of a no-hitter and has had tremendous success as of late. Hopefully, for the Mariners, upside-down world extends at least one more day.
Sunday – Felix Hernandez vs. Madison Bumgarner. The only sure thing going into this game is that Bumgarner is good. What used to be a sure-thing in Felix Hernandez has turned into a question mark. Felix recently had a rough outing against the Padres following a skipped start and a couple other rough outings in 2012. Bumgarner is among the league leaders in wins with 8 and is emerging as one of the top starters not only in the National League but in the majors.
Expected result: I’m not sure what to expect here. If all goes well for the Mariners, Vargas will continue his decent season and keep rolling. Millwood will continue where he left off during his no-hitter and Felix will show us why we shouldn’t ever doubt him. Vargas could come back down to earth though, Millwood could prove to still be hindered by the injury that took him out of his last start, and Felix could give us yet another reason to worry. One thing is for certain, however – the Mariners’ bats will need to start producing if this team wants any shot of taking even one game in this series.