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4/7: Open game thread

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James Paxton vs C.J. Wilson

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Well we made it through opening day and felt all the good feelings and cheered all the new Mariners and Felix, and now we're back to just playing some good old baseball games. And really, it's kind of for the best. Lloyd even said as much in his postgame comments--that he and the rest of the M's were simply ready to get back to playing baseball everyday without the fireworks and the hype, because they have a lot of work to do--even though each and every one of these games matters just as much as the next.

Tonight, it will be James Paxton taking on C.J. Wilson and the Angels again, and while we knew that Felix was going to be Felix, it's going to be exciting to see what our Canadian southpaw is capable of doing this season. And just as interesting will be to see what Wilson can put together after having a bit of a rough spring following his worst full season since 2008. It's amazing, when you really think about it. This is a team that handily won the AL West last season, and is at least projected to win the first Wild Card spot if not the division this fall. And yet, their pitching behind Garrett Richards--who is still rehabbing in minor league starts--consists of a run-down beachcomber who can't throw over 85 mph and a pitcher who is only barely weathering the storms of being on the wrong side of thirty. And that other guy, but come on we need to have good narratives here, don't we?

Now sure, Wilson is by far from finished, but as he tries to rebound from a terrible 2014, he still seems to find an inability to spot up his fastball in the strike zone, losing both velocity and command as age takes its eternal toll on a body that isn't supposed to do what major league pitchers make it do. The result is that his walk rate skyrocketed to 4.35 BB/9 last year, and that he simply isn't as in control of each at bat in the way he used to be. Does this mean he'll be a mess tonight? No, but if Rickie Weeks, Nelson Cruz, and Justin Ruggiano are able to make him suffer then we will be seeing the M's get to the Angels bullpen and...god I love baseball you are just the best.

Only other really interesting thing here is that Lloyd has moved Jackson down to the two hole by starting Rickie Weeks off, which he had done in spring a few times with Cruz in right field. Will we have any fun defensive blunders? A Mike Trout dinger? Let's go for neither and a bunch of K's from the dadliest of guts today, how about it?

Game info

  • Mariners, Angels 7:10 PM PST
  • TV: ROOT, Radio: 710 ESPN, online: mlb.tv

Today's Lineups

LOS ANGELES ANGELS SEATTLE MARINERS
Kole Calhoun - RF Rickie Weeks - DH
Mike Trout - CF Austin Jackson - CF
Albert Pujols - 1B Robinson Cano - 2B
David Freese - 3B Nelson Cruz - RF
C.J. Cron - DH Kyle Seager - 3B
Erick Aybar - SS Justin Ruggiano - LF
Chris Iannetta - C Logan Morrison - 1B
Collin Cowgill - LF Mike Zunino - C
Johnny Giavotella - 2B Brad Miller - SS
C.J. Wilson - LHP James Paxton - LHP