I will be honest with you: although I grew up at the tail end of peak Star Wars mania and worked at a movie theatre during the re-release of the original trilogy, I’ve never seen any of the later movies. So this is usually me, trying to fit in to the cultural zeitgeist:
But if a sudden passion for the Star Wars universe will help the Mariners get past the Angels tonight, I will manufacture a Leia costume from items around my home and take to the streets wearing it in jubilant celebration.
It’s early/you don’t win a pennant in May/it’s early, but it’s an objective fact that this series is the most high-stakes series the Mariners have played yet this season, as they have a chance to separate themselves a little from their AL West rivals. The Twins are sputtering, the Blue Jays are soaring now but face a brutal AL East complicated by a surging [checks notes]...Rays team? Okay. The Mariners get to face the Angels at home, on a weekend packed with promotions and hopefully a Safeco packed with fans.
The Angels are rolling out their ace tonight against Seattle’s...not-ace Mike Leake. Richards has currently thrown exactly as many innings as he did in all of 2017, when he posted a 2.43 FIP. After a strong four game stretch where he surrendered no more than two runs but also went no more than six innings in any given outing, Richards imploded against the Yankees in his last outing, giving up 9 runs over just 1.2 innings pitched. His stuff is nasty when it’s on, but Richards has struggled with his control this year; if he wobbles and the Mariners can pounce, they can get to the Angels bullpen, which has struggled with both health and consistency this year. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long, hitless slog for the M’s offense. Also, watch out for Justin Anderson in the back of the Angels’ bullpen; recently promoted from Double-A, he’s an Edwin Díaz-type with a fastball that approaches triple digits and a nasty slider, although he can struggle with command.
In other news, it looks like the Angels will be without their catcher for this series:
.@Angels select catcher Juan Graterol; place catcher Martin Maldonado on bereavement list; transfer RHP JC Ramirez to 60-day DL.— MLBRosterMoves (@MLBRosterMoves) May 4, 2018
Game time: 7:10 PT
Available on: ROOT NW, MLB.tv, 710 ESPN, HoloNet