So, the Mariners have been outscored 46-7 during their current four-game losing streak, which included back-to-back games allowing 14 runs or more. That is objectively disgusting, subjectively kind of funny, and somehow not unprecedented. In August 2015 the M’s lost consecutive games in Boston by the middle school lacrosse scores of 15-1 and 22-10. In May of 1994 the White Sox tagged Seattle for 30 runs in two games, in which Julio Franco went 5-for-6 with 6 RBI.
Seattle desperately needs to avoid a similar fate today, as Carlos Carrasco awaits them on Saturday. Luckily for the Mariners, a well-rested Yusei Kikuchi takes the Ohio mound tonight, making the first start of his MLB career against a team he’s already faced. This familiarity could certainly help Kikuchi attack Cleveland’s hitters in a more pragmatic way, but it can also aid those same hitters now that they know his repertoire.
Either way, the three-time defending AL Central champs and their mishmash of a lineup take on an immensely-struggling Mariner team. While looking forward is often a harmful exercise, the combination of Cleveland’s elite pitching plus the upcoming travel to New York and Boston place a little more importance on this Friday night tilt. Starting a long, treacherous road trip on the wrong foot is never prudent, and especially so when a team has spent its last four games getting karate chopped in the throat.
Tyler Naquin and Roberto Pérez get the day off for Cleveland, while the visitors slot Dee Gordon into the leadoff spot ahead of center fielder Mitch Haniger and designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach. Ryon Healy will bat ninth for the first time in 2019.
First Pitch: 4:10 p.m. PDT
TV: ROOT Sports Northwest, mlb.TV for out-of-market viewers
Radio: 710 ESPN, MLB At-Bat app