ASTROS @ MARINERS
April 10-12, 2017
What happened in the last series?
The Mariners just got swept in Anaheim, and at 1-6 they stand alone as baseball’s worst team. Of particular note is Sunday’s game wherein the M’s headed into the bottom of the 9th enjoying a 9-3 lead and a 99.8% win probability. The Angels sent twelve men to the plate and rallied for seven LOL-inducing (it’s funny when it’s not happening to your team) runs, handing Seattle its second gut-wrenching walk-off defeat in five days.
The Astros narrowly avoided a sweep of their own, overcoming some fairly anemic offensive efforts all weekend that culminated in an extra-inning walk-off walk on Sunday. The pitching has been characteristically excellent (except for some late-inning demons) and people besides George Springer have started to make significant offensive contributions: McCann, Gattis, Reddick, and Beltran are all starting to dig out of their collective funk from very early on. The focus now shifts to the meat of the order as Bregman, Altuve, Correa, and Gurriel are a collective .180/.217/.220 with 2 RBI, 4 BB, and 17 K. This will obviously not continue over 162 games, but it does need to turn around pretty soon.
Monday, April 10 – 4:10pm CDT
Charlie Morton (0-0, 3.00) vs. James Paxton (0-0, 0.00)
It’s easy to forget this was the matchup that started last week’s 13-inning game. Paxton pitched six innings of shutout ball only to have his bullpen cough up the lead. Morton pitched six solid innings himself, dogged only by a 2-run homer. This game starts early enough that another extra-inning effort won’t keep people up too late.
Tuesday, April 11 – 9:10pm CDT
Joe Musgrove (0-0, 3.60) vs. Ariel Miranda (0-0, 3.60)
Here’s another repeat matchup, this time from Thursday’s game when the M’s got over the hump and spoiled a four-game sweep. Both pitchers had nearly identical stat lines for the game: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB; Musgrove allowed more walks (4 vs. 2), Miranda gave up more taters (2 vs. 1).
Wednesday, April 12 – 9:10pm CDT
Mike Fiers (0-1, 1.50) vs. Yovani Gallardo (0-1, 5.40)
Gallardo is the only Seattle starter Houston has not yet faced this season. He gave up three runs on eight hits in his five-plus innings against the Angels last Friday. Correa, Reddick, and Springer have all hit him well, and the Astros beat him in his only start against them in 2016.
Fiers was let down by his offense (no run support) and defense (run scoring on catcher’s interference) in his six innings facing the Royals on Friday. He was 1-0 with a 5.02 ERA in three starts against the Mariners in 2016.