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5/2/21: SEA vs LAA open game thread

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Justus Sheffield and the Mariners face off against Dylan Bundy and the Angels

Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros
Justus looks to recover from a stumble in his last start against the Astros
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Last night’s game was maybe a winnable one for the Mariners if not for Ljay Newsome surrendering eight runs in the first two innings. Now the Mariners face a taller task in needing to best Dylan Bundy, the Angels’ best starter, in order to come away with a series win. Per Jake’s series preview, this isn’t a game the Mariners are favored to win—they weren’t favored to win any of the games—but the odds are a lot closer than I thought they might be given how dominant Bundy has looked against better-hitting Mariners teams than this one at times.

Here’s how the two teams line up:

Trammell is on the bench and Mitch gets a day off in the field, which means the Mariners are playing 13 legitimate outfielders in the outfield spots. I will say Sam Haggerty at least makes it exciting out there with his natural athleticism, and I understand trading his bat for Trammell’s against a tough pitcher in Bundy. There’s always the possibility TT replaces Haggerty later in the game if the Mariners can get to the soft underbelly of the Angels bullpen.

Justus Sheffield will look to bounce back from a rough start against the Astros and spin some slider magic against the three-headed monster of the Angels’ lineup. It’s important that he turn in a solid performance today, as the bullpen is strained both from last night’s game and some bad news that came down the pipe today: Casey Sadler is headed to the 10-day IL with shoulder inflammation. That is a super bummer because Sadler has been one of the rocks of the Mariners’ bullpen, stunning opponents into submission with his curveball and providing multi-inning relief when called upon. He’ll be replaced with the less rock-like, more meatball-like Erik Swanson. Could we cool it with the pitching injuries, baseball gods? I think the Mariners have had more than their fair share.

Today’s game is at 1:10 PT and you’ll find it on all the usual channels (710 ESPN for radio, ROOT NW for TV, or follow along on Mariners dot com; out-of-towners can watch the game on MLB TV). It is a lovely day here in the Seattle area, so my suggestion for locals is fire up the radio and go find a patch of grass somewhere (but not at one of our ten most crowded parks, please). At the very least, at least today we get to see the back of Mike Trout for a while, and that’s always something to celebrate.