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8/12/18: Open Game Thread

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Happy birthday to my dad and happy 41 years, 4 months, and 7th day to the Mariners.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Brunch baseball is back and it’s here for Sweepsmas. There is no rhyme or reason to baseball sometimes, but a week ago the Mariners were desperately turning to Mike Leake to fend off a four-game “home” sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays. A week later and Seattle has a chance to shred through the best team in baseball (sorry Red Sox, I’m just not convinced) in a four-game sweep at home. To do so would be, putting it lightly, surprising. Houston will be running out their worst starting pitcher, Dallas Keuchel, who would be about in a dead heat with with Marco Gonzales for the Mariners’ No. 2. Unfortunately, that’s where the “good” trends end.

Erasmo Ramirez returns for his third start of the season and his first since his April 27th disaster against Cleveland. That start, you may recall, featured five HRs allowed and Erasmo’s return to the DL. His fastball velocity was averaging 89-90 mph then, 2-3 mph below his usual 92-93. Reportedly he’s been 92-95 in his rehab starts, which bodes as well as it can for the last remnant of the Bavasi era. Ramirez will be generally limited to around 90 pitches according to Scott Servais. He’ll also be without the aid of Álex Colomé, who has gone three nights in a row, and Seattle would like to avoid Edwin Díaz too.

Nick Rumbelow was sent down to make space for Erasmo, meaning the bullpen will be shortened to Zach Duke, Adam Warren, Nick Vincent, James Pazos, and, of course, Félix Hernández. Dee Gordon will also receive a day off against the lefty Keuchel.

Game Time: 11:10 AM PT

TV: ROOT NW

Radio: 710 AM ESPN

Online: MLB.TV