The Mariners won the opening game of this series, but it took an eighth-inning Mitch Haniger homer to tie up a game where they trailed and a ninth-inning rally off the Texas bullpen to do it. Mike Minor looked very hittable, but the Mariners were unable to convert their visits on base to runs. Today they’ll face off against Bartolo Colón, fresh off his almost-perfect-game performance against the Astros. As Jake wrote in his excellent series preview, Big Sexy “relies completely on guile, pitching smarts, and veteran savvy™, commanding his fastball in and around the zone.” A young and aggressive Mariners lineup might struggle against the wily veteran, and it’s easy to feel like this game could go one of two ways: they pounce on Bartolo’s offerings early and pound the ball all over the field, or we see a lot of hopeless swings-and-misses and weak contact like the Astros produced against Colón last time out. “Feast or famine” has been the key phrase to describe these early 2018 Mariners; let’s hope for a Texas-sized serving of runs from the Mariners’ lineup, finally at near-full-strength.
The Rangers are limited by injury to a fairly shallow lineup, meaning they’re running a not-ideal number of lefties out against James Paxton. I was surprised when Oakland DFA’d Renato Nuñez, who I watched rake in the Triple-A All-Star Game last year, but he has one elite skill: he mashes lefties (.967 OPS against last year at Triple-A Nashville). On paper this lineup might not look threatening, but Nuñez definitely could be the trick stair.
Today’s game is the free game on MLB.TV (presented by Flonase! Because when you think allergy discomfort, think of your Seattle Mariners), which does nothing for the vast majority of you who are in ROOT’s broadcast area. You can also listen to the dulcet tones of Ryan Rowland-Smith on the radio as he fills in for Rick Rizzs, who caught a case of Weird Injury Luck.
It’s the first time in Mariners history that fans will go more than two days without either Dave Niehaus or Rick Rizzs on the broadcast, and I don’t know how to not feel big feelings about this— Shane Lantz (@ShaneMLantz) April 21, 2018
Sniffle. Pass the Flonase.