I’m back! Sorry that I have been away, I had things. If you are curious about the things, too bad, mind your business.
Friday: Brent Suter (MLB Debut) v. Wade LeBlanc (4.68 ERA, 4.97 DRA, 6.8 K/9)
If you have been following me and my writing for any length of time, you have known from some time that the Brewers haven’t had a left-handed starting pitcher since Tom Gorzelanny very nearly three years ago. If you follow MLB sources other than myself, you have been aware of this since earlier this afternoon. There have been 3893 starts made by lefties since Milwaukee last sent a southpaw to the bump to start a game, an average of 134 starts per teams over that period. His debut is extraordinarily well timed against a Mariners team whose lineup features six(!!) left-handed hitters. LeBlanc is also left-handed, but no one cares. Call me when your K/9 goes up a tenth, pal.
Saturday: Wily Peralta (6.00 ERA, 5.61 DRA, 6.1 K/9) v. Felix Hernandez (3.34 ERA, 3.60 DRA, 7.7 K/9)
Look, this seems bad, I know. Peralta has been one of the league’s worst starting pitchers this season, and Hernandez is, well, the king. And it is bad! But it could be worse. Hernandez hasn’t quite been his dominant self this season — his strikeouts are way down, walks are way up, and his performance this season appears to be buoyed by a BABIP that is more than 40 points off his career average. Peralta, meanwhile, has had some success since being recalled earlier this month, though of course those two starts have come against two of the league’s worst teams in Atlanta and Cincinnati. His fastball velocity is up nearly a tick and a half, his slider has generated a 56% whiffs per swing rate and an .083 batting average against. If one were to extremely irresponsibly throw small sample size and opponent quality issues out the window, however, it would then be fair to say that Peralta is 100% back as the Brewers ace!
Sunday: Matt Garza (4.87 ERA, 5.62 DRA, 5.0 K/9) v. Ariel Miranda (5.79 ERA, 5.02 DRA, 7.7 K/9)
Ariel Miranda started his rookie season in Baltimore before deciding that life would be better down where it’s wetter over in SEA. Miranda is a rare exception to the rule that you can’t trust anyone with two first names, since both of his are girl’s names which in fact makes him doubly worthy of admiration. He is making his third start in four appearances for Seattle, having been forced into relief duty in a 15 inning affair against Detroit two weeks ago. You know who Garza is and what he’ll do, who cares. Whatever.
Last meeting: Milwaukee took two of three from Seattle in Safeco in August of 2013, Milwaukee’s only previous trip to Safeco Field, which opened in 1999. The Brewers and Mariners have played just three series this century, and Seattle has not won a series against Milwaukee since 1997. Friday’s pitching matchup will be a rematch of the last game these two teams played, a 2-0 win for the Mariners.
All-time: 121-115 (56-62 in Seattle)
Are the Mariners Good?
Maybe! The Mariners are seven games back from the Rangers, who likely have the AL West on lock, but are just three back of the Red Sox and Orioles, who are tied in the Wild Card standings. The Mariners have of the American League’s best run differentials (+45), buoyed by a starting rotation that lacks recognizable names outside of Hernanadez and Hisashi Iwakuma. The middle of the lineup is as potent as anyone’s in the league, but the tip-top and bottom of the order leave a lot to be desired.
Mariners Players to Watch:
RHP Edwin Diaz: The 22-year-old Diaz made his major league debut in June, getting the call straight from Double-A, and took over closing duties from Steven Cishek at the beginning of the month. He has collected eight saves (not a thing but you know, you dorks care about that sort of thing probably) and surrendered just two runs over that span. He’s striking out a ridiculous 43.4% of his batters while walking hitters at just a 6.3% rate. Doing all this and recording a 1.85 ERA while sporting a bloated .409 BABIP, Diaz has effectively forced opposing offenses to find themselves ahead after eight innings or face certain doom. Cishek was activated the from DL today, but it’s not likely that he’ll ever see regular ninth inning work in Seattle again.
C Mike Zunino: Zunino was something of a pariah last season, hitting .174/.230/.300 with a 34.2% strikeout rate over 386 plate appearances. He was demoted to Triple-A and spent the season’s first three months with Tacoma before a brief two game call up in July. He was again recalled on July 16th, this time for good, and he’s been the best hitter in the Seattle lineup this season based on a variety of stats — he leads the team in wOBA (.430), wRC+ (178) and OPS (1.039) and has already amassed more fWAR than Chris Ianetta, who has more than three times as many plate appearances as he does.
If the Mariners were a Taylor Swift GIF, which one would they be?
Milwaukee Broadcast Information:
Friday: 9:10 pm on FS Wisconsin and WTMJ 620
Saturday: 8:10 pm on FS Wisconsin and WTMJ 620
Sunday: 3:10 pm on FS Wisconsin and WTMJ 620
Let’s Talk To A Mariners Fan!
No! I asked my friend Kate to talk to you guys about the Mariners, because she is very funny and good. She rudely refused, telling me to go to dang heck already! Sad!
Actually, she just was busing actually attending the baseball match on Friday, and I am a sad loser who doesn’t do things until like four minutes before I’m supposed to. If you want to see what Kate thinks about the Mariners, just follow her on Twitter dot com (@1nceagain2zelda) becuase folks, she will tell you.
Can I Hang Out with Travis at the Baseball Game?
No! My friends asked me to come out to Seattle to hang out and watch the baseball games with them this weekend, and I would have had I not been in Boston just a week ago. If you go though, make sure you say hi to my pals Kristin, Kenne, Nick, Brad and Kris. Just shout those names over and over throughout the ballpark and everything should work out fine. Thanks. Also tell Brad that he sucks at Pop-A-Shot. Thanks.