Years ago, when it was announced the Houston Astros would be moving to the AL West, I was excited because one of the worst teams in baseball was going to forcibly kick a then-terrible Mariners team out of its comfortable spot in the cellar. Having to play the Astros could only be a good thing I would tell my friends. Then games like last night happen.
The Mariners fell one-half game behind of both the AL Central leader for the second wild card spot with the loss. If the Mariners want to keep pace in the playoff hunt, games against bad teams like the Astros need to be victories. A win tonight would salvage the series, and with Hisashi Iwakuma going tonight, there is a good chance of that. Iwakuma had a rough time on the mound in his last start against the Rangers. He lasted just 5.1 innings and gave up seven hits and three earned runs. Iwakuma has had fine success in his career against the Astros, going 4-2 with a 2.56 ERA.
Rookie Nick Tropeano makes his major league debut as the Astros expand to a six-man rotation to close out the season. Tropeano was picked in the fifth round by the Astros in the 2011 draft and has slowly advanced through their minor league system with every passing year. In 20 starts in AAA this year, Tropeano owns a FIP of 3.81 and a 9-5 record. For the Mariners, it won't be a completely blind look at the rookie pitcher.
Saunders faced Tropeano in TAC in June. As did Taylor, Sucre, Smoak, Hart. Only Saunders is in lineup tonight, but the look may help some.— Jason A. Churchill (@ProspectInsider) September 10, 2014
- Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners, 7:10 p.m. PST
- TV: ROOT, Radio: 710 ESPN, Online: MLB.tv
|Seattle Mariners||Houston Astros|
|Austin Jackson (R) CF||Robbie Grossman (S) LF|
|Michael Saunders (L) RF||Jose Altuve (R) 2B|
|Robinson Cano (L) 2B||Dexter Fowler (S) CF|
|Kendrys Morales (S) DH||Chris Carter (R) DH|
|Kyle Seager (L) 3B||Jon Singleton (L) 1B|
|Logan Morrison (L) 1B||Matt Dominguez (R) 3B|
|Brad Miller (L) SS||Alex Presley (L) RF|
|Mike Zunino (R) C||Max Stassi (R) C|
|James Jones (L) LF||Jonathan Villar (S) SS|
|Hisashi Iwakuma - RHP||Nick Tropeano - RHP|