The A’s have somehow played their way to eight games over .500 despite the fact that their pitching staff is made of the equivalent of that basket full of old chargers you keep in the garage “just in case,” but the Rangers are hot on their heels for second place in the AL West. The Mariners have a chance to help (or hurt) the Rangers, who are stuck playing the Minnesota Twins before their All-Star Break, which is like having all your finals done except calculus. Rude, MLB.
This will be Tom Murphy’s first time catching Kikuchi, which will be interesting to watch. Murphy is a better framer and receiver than Narváez, so I’ll be curious to see if the defensive upgrade helps Kikuchi. Another note about Kikuchi: his wife could give birth to their first child literally any moment now. That guy has had like five years in this one year.
News: RHP Matt Wisler has reported to the club. RHP Mike Wright Jr. has been designated for assignment, despite them having an extra 40-man spot (perhaps signaling an impending return for injured reliever Sam Tuivailala?). Wright had a very bad ERA of 7.31 in his 15 innings with the Mariners, but an encouraging 3.15 FIP. He’ll likely remain in Tacoma, unless another club wants to take a chance on him.
Per SB Nation’s FanPulse survey, Mariners fans remain mostly bullish on the long-term outlook for their team:
This graph really tells the story of the first half: denial (“hey this team might be good!”), followed by anger (“oh no this team sucks!”), followed by acceptance (“this team is not a good team. When is the Futures Game on again?”).
For contrast, A’s fans have been on a much rockier ride this season, with moments of doubt punctuated by euphoric joy:
Looks like how Mariners fans might have been feeling in 2018, without the complete falling-off-a-cliff post-All-Star Break part. The baseball might be bad this year, but at least our cardiac health is good.
Want to be involved in the next FanPost vote? Click here to sign up. It’s fast! It’s free!