Seattle Mariners (1-3) @ Texas Rangers (1-2), three game series
Game 1: LHP Jason Vargas (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Game 2: RHP Felix Hernandez (0-0, 4.05 ERA) vs. LHP Matt Harrison (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Game 3: RHP Ian Snell (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (0-0, 3.86 ERA)
So after a rough series against the Oakland A’s, the Mariners enter a stadium, The Ballpark at Arlington, that is perhaps the worst fit in the American League for the variety of skill sets their already-struggling offense possesses.
The home of the Rangers features light air, and rewards hitters that elevate the ball. Milton Bradley had his best season there, but only hit 22 home runs (16 in at the Rangers home park). The power-hitting lefties in the Mariners lineup (maybe power should be in quotes), may succeed.
We may see Griffey and Casey Kotchman’s first homers of the year. We may however, see an return-to-reality for Ian Snell.
While the Mariners offense has struggled, the addition of Chone Figgins, Milton Bradley, and some other notably patient hitters, the Mariners are receiving 3.96 pitches per plate appearance this year, compared to 3.78 last year.
The Mariners, at least as things are scheduled, will miss Rich Harden, the Rangers big offseason acquisition. Whether that is a good thing is up for debate.
Harden struck out eight in 3.2 innings in his first Rangers start. That means that eight of his eleven outs were made via strikeout. The problem of course, is that he only got eleven outs.
He also threw 89 pitches.
Being able to work late in games, or his lack thereof, has been one of Harden’s biggest issues. But he’s always had electric stuff when on the mound and healthy.
Colby Lewis will be an interesting pitcher to watch. He’s been very successful in Japan the past two seasons. His return to America is widely anticipated (at least by dorks like us). However, his abilities will cater to what the Mariners like to do.
Matt Harrison, on the other hand, is a hard-throwing lefty. He could give the team the same problems as Brett Anderson did last night.
Scott Feldman, the Rangers opening day starter by default, should be a good matchup for the Mariners. In his career against the Mariners, the M’s have batted .230/.266/.345. His skill set seems to be a good fit for the Mariners, but only Franklin Gutierrez has any success against the righty (.400/.600/1.000)