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7/24: Open game thread

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Wei-Yin Chen

Harry How

Sometimes, when a team's offense is struggling, the easiest solution is to face a team that is struggling just as much. That is exactly the luck of the schedule draw the Seattle Mariners pulled as they open a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.

The easy story is the offense because, since the All-Star break, it has done its fair share of sputtering. The issue went from obvious to painfully obvious in a loss yesterday to the Mets, as Bartolo Colon took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning. The Mariners' front office saw the writing on the wall and seemingly had a busy roster moving day. Forcing Kendrys Morales to finally play for the Mariners doesn't exactly inspire confidence, but seeing what Chris Taylor brings to the team will be somewhat fresh.

The Mariners have definitely struggled to put runs on the board since the second half started. The Orioles have struggled to put any men aboard since the second half started, sitting second to last in the entire league with an OBP of .267 since the All-Star break. It won't be any easier for the Orioles, because Hisashi Iwakuma is pretty good at keeping people off base. Iwakuma allowed two runs in seven innings his last start, a bit of an afterthought considering the game ended up going 16 innings. He also last walked a batter 109 at-bats ago.

Despite Wei-Yin Chen's gaudy 10-3 record, he is exactly the kind of pitcher the Mariners needed to open this series against. Chen has been hittable through 19 starts this year and owns a 4.44 FIP. His last two starts haven't been the prettiest of affairs. He picked up the win in both games but logged 10.2 innings and gave up 13 hits and six runs in the process. Historically, in four games against Chen, the Mariners haven't hit very well against him. But that was the 2012 and 2013 Mariners. Hopefully, there is something a bit different with the 2014 Mariners.

Game notes

  • Mariners vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. PST
  • TV: ROOT, Radio: 710 AM, Online:
  • A quick rundown on the roster moves: Kendrys Morales acquired from Minnesota Twins for Stephen Pryor, Chris Taylor and Jesus Montero recalled from AAA Tacoma, Willie Bloomquist sent to the DL

Today's Lineups

Baltimore Orioles Seattle Mariners
Nick Markakis (L) - RF James Jones (L) - CF
Delmon Young (R) - DH Stefen Romero (R) - RF
Adam Jones (R) - CF Robinson Cano (L) - 2B
Nelson Cruz (R) - LF Corey Hart (R) - 1B
Chris Davis (L) - 1B Kyle Seager (L) - 3B
J.J. Hardy (R) - SS Jesus Montero (R) - DH
Jonathan Schoop (R) - 2B Dustin Ackley (L) - LF
Ryan Flaherty (L) - 3B Mike Zunino (R) - C
Caleb Joseph (R) - C Chris Taylor (R) - SS
Wei-Yen Chen LHP - RHP Hisashi Iwakuma - RHP