The Mariners took the first game of this series as the Rangers continue to fade off their hot first half, leading me to a question: assuming both teams wind up in the bottom ten to twelve of MLB teams, would you rather have the blistering-hot start followed by the meteoric crash of the 2019 Mariners, or the gradual decline of the 2019 Rangers? Fun questions to think about!
Tommy Milone will make an un-Openered start, which is likely a source of some relief to him. Milone might well be one of the Mariners’ better trade chips, which is quite a sentence to type, so everyone cross your fingers for a good night for him.
We’ve also got some not-good news to pass along: Dee Gordon, who has been dealing with some nagging injuries, is headed for another stint on the IL. Tim Lopes has been promoted from Tacoma to take Dee’s spot, so at least we’ll get to see another career minor-leaguer get a chance for his moment in the bigs. Maybe not tonight, though, as Austin Nola (???) will take over duties at second base. Fun fact: Austin Nola has a wRC+ of 172 and his .6 fWAR currently rank eighth on the team. Jay Bruce ranks ninth. Fun times!
Tonight’s game is at 7:10, available on the usual bat-channels. For those of you who use the minors as a way to blunt the pain of the major-league club, tonight you’re limited to just Modesto or Everett, as Arkansas and Tacoma are both off. Some actual good news: Jarred Kelenic returns to Modesto’s lineup after having the last week off to deal with a slightly sprained ankle.