Ah, Cleveland. Ichiro hates it and the city has garnered an increasingly unpleasant reputation over the past half century (due in large part to the faltering manufacturing industry in the US). However, like most places, if you were to ever visit Cleveland, you'd find that this reputation is largely undeserved. For example, I've been to Progressive Field several times, and it's actually a pretty nice place to watch a game. Of all the baseball stadiums I've attended, Jacobs/Progressive Field is probably the one that reminds me most of Safeco (except in Cleveland, the prices for tickets/food/parking are completely reasonable). I know that there's not really much love for the Indians in/around this blog, but if you're ever in Cleveland and have the opportunity to catch a ballgame, I would heartily recommend doing so.
In any case, the Mariners haven't had much success in Cleveland as of late. They haven't won in Northeast Ohio since the end of the 2011 season (when Chris Gimenez started in left field and Mike Carp hit a grand slam), losing their last six games there in fairly dramatic/heartbreaking fashion. The M's rotation is set up well to give them a very good chance to win the series, but if they don't, look for baseball alarmists to once again proclaim that the Cleveland Indians have ruined the Mariners season. This would be highly hyperbolic, but with the trade deadline looming, the results of these next few games have the chance to greatly influence how the remainder of the season plays out.
Jake wrote a nifty series preview, so I don't really have too much more to say... except to point out that Ackley is batting leadoff! This isn't entirely new for him (he accumulated more than 400 PAs in 2012 in the leadoff spot), but it's something that Lloyd hasn't tried this year. Hopefully, Ackley's recent hot streak (150 wRC+ in July, which has been fueled by a super sustainable .450 BABIP) continues for awhile and he helps the Mariners score 3+ runs with a bit more regularity. Also, Lloyd appears to be showing early confidence in Taylor, bumping him up to the second spot, while Jonesy has been relegated to the bottom of the lineup.
- Seattle Mariners @ Cleveland Indians, 4:05 pm PST
- TV: ROOT, Radio: 710 ESPN, Online: mlb.tv
|SEATTLE MARINERS||CLEVELAND INDIANS|
|Dustin Ackley - LF||Jason Kipnis - 2B|
|Chris Taylor - SS||Asdrubal Cabrera - SS|
|Robinson Cano - 2B||Michael Brantley - CF|
|Kendrys Morales - DH||Carlos Santana - 1B|
|Kyle Seager - 3B||Lonnie Chisenhall - 3B|
|Mike Zunino - C||Nick Swisher - DH|
|Logan Morrison - 1B||David Murphy - RF|
|Corey Hart - RF||Yan Gomes - C|
|James Jones - CF||Chris Dickerson - LF|
|Hisashi Iwakuma - RHP||Trevor Bauer - RHP|