Why does it always seem like a great day is immediately followed by a sucktastic one? Is that just because the great day is such a high that any day would feel like a disappointment after? Some kind of fun-hangover? And why do the Mariners’ great days always seem to be followed by them playing the Astros? SIGH.
Okay, let’s set some realistic expectations for tonight: Ariel Miranda has been one of the Mariners’ more consistent starters, despite getting roughed up by the Royals in his last outing. That being said, the Astros have hit against him pretty well, especially Correa (.273 in 11 AB with a home run). He’s already had to face them three times this season, because stupid AL West, although he’s never given up more than four runs against them. The difference is that at the beginning of the season, Miranda was only lasting five-plus innings against the Astros; in his last time out, he went 7.1. The big problem is in the longball: Houston loves to hit it out and Miranda has been especially susceptible to that this year against the Astros, allowing 7 HR in those three games. Miranda is still going to give up some dingers in that tiny bandbox of a park; the key for him will be limiting damage and keeping runners off the bases when the balls do go out. The good news is Miranda, after walking three batters in his first game against Houston, walked only two the next time, and just one over his 7.1-inning outing. There’s a reason Mel Stottlemyre raves about Miranda and his work ethic. The results don’t always show up immediately, but between May and June, Miranda shaved 4% off his walk rate. That will need to continue as we enter the second half of play against some very tough teams who have the ability to knock the ball into space.
|SEATTLE MARINERS||HOUSTON ASTROS|
|Jean Segura - SS||George Springer - RF|
|Ben Gamel - RF||Jose Altuve - 2B|
|Robinson Cano - 2B||Josh Reddick - LF|
|Nelson Cruz - DH||Carlos Correa - SS|
|Kyle Seager - 3B||Yulieski Gurriel - 1B|
|Danny Valencia - 1B||Carlos Beltran - DH|
|Jarrod Dyson - CF||Brian McCann - C|
|Guillermo Heredia - LF||Alex Bregman - 3B|
|Mike Zunino - C||Jake Marisnick - CF|
|Ariel Miranda - LHP||Lance McCullers - RHP|
The Mariners’ bats have struggled mightily against McCullers and his Curveball of Death, so it’s going to be extra-important that Miranda is able to limit the damage to just a few runs. The more the offense can grind against McCullers, too, the more they can set themselves up for success later in the series, as the Astros are currently without Will Harris, giving them one less option in a bullpen that’s...still pretty full of scary options, gdi Astros.
5:10 PM PST; on ROOTNW, 710 ESPN, and MLB.tv
Go forth and just don’t embarrass us, you mothball-stuffed Yankee Candle jars.