The bitter end result of last night’s game notwithstanding, it’s fair to say that the Mariners look a lot better than anyone thought they’d look. The hitting has been incredible and the non-bullpen (read: starting) pitching has been pretty good. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that, though the Mariners have played four games, they’ve been able to start one of Marco Gonzales or Yusei Kikuchi in each of them. Tonight, they’ll finally be forced to run out the number three guy, Mike Leake. As far as number three guys go, Leake isn’t bad, but his last “Spring Training” outing against the Padres left a lot to be desired. If last night’s bullpen performance is any sign of things to come, Leake might have to throw a complete game to ensure a Mariner victory.
Feast your eyes on tonight’s lineup!
|Andrew Benintendi - LF||Mitch Haniger - CF|
|Mookie Betts - RF||Domingo Santana - LF|
|Rafael Devers - 3B||Edwin Encarnacion - DH|
|J.D. Martinez - DH||Jay Bruce - RF|
|Xander Bogaerts - SS||Tim Beckham - SS|
|Mitch Moreland - 1B||Ryon Healy - 1B|
|Blake Swihart - C||Tom Murphy - C|
|Jackie Bradley Jr. - CF||Dylan Moore - 3B|
|Brock Holt - 2B||Dee Gordon - 2B|
It seems like, for the foreseeable future, the Mariners will continue batting Mitch Haniger in the lead off spot against left handed pitchers. Notably, Dylan Moore is getting the start at third base. Ryon Healy will slide to first, Jay Bruce will be in right field, and Mitch Haniger will take center field. The reasoning for all of this?
Mallex Smith is available for late game. But he’s out of the lineup as maintenance for his recovery from elbow issues— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) March 30, 2019
I can’t fault the club for being careful with Mallex, though this lineup is about 40% less fun for it. New catcher Tom Murphy will get his first Mariners appearance, which will make the average eye size of the lineup about 40% larger.
The bullpen will also look a little different than last night. Hunter Strickland, the goat of last night’s loss, has hit the injured list, and minor leaguer RHP David McKay will take his place. Cory Gearrin will also be unavailable after his extended outing last night, so the M’s bullpen will be even more thin than usual.
Game time: 6:10 PM PST
TV: Root Sports NW
Radio: 710 AM ESPN Seattle
Let’s go, Mariners. Win another game and let me become even more unhealthily invested into this season.