Opening Day 2.0 is upon us and at a much better hour of the day. Mariners fans will be able to watch Mariners games at times when they’d normally be awake. That’s pretty cool. We also get to see a near repeat of the Mariners matchup with the Oakland A’s in Japan, seeing Jason Vargas and Felix Hernandez face Brandon McCarthy and Bartolo Colon. In Japan however, Felix went first, but in order to ensure that he’ll be the pitcher for the Mariners home opener the team has decided to pitch Jason Vargas first in this series.
Jason Vargas (0-0, 2.94 xFIP in 6.1 IP in 2012)
Brandon McCarthy (0-0, 1.56 xFIP in 7.0 IP in 2012
Vargas and McCarthy are very different pitchers, as McCarthy has become a ground ball pitcher and Vargas is not only left-handed, but an extreme fly ball pitcher. That said, both pitchers are well equipped to pitch in Oakland Coliseum, and this is probably the first of several games where Jason Vargas will end up being aided heavily by the ballpark he’s pitching in.
Felix Hernandez (0-0, 1.69 xFIP in 8.0 IP in 2012)
Bartolo Colon (1-0, 1.69 xFIP in 8.0 IP in 2012)
The old versus the new. Bartolo Colon has revitalized a lost career by injecting some baby body part or some shit into his arm, while Felix Hernandez seems to face concerns that his velocity has dropped. Felix is obviously the better pitcher, but Colon was quite successful last year and this matchup may be better than expected as Colon quieted the Mariners bats in the second game in Japan.
And we’ll just continue from last week’s poll….