After a thriller last night the Mariners look to secure a series win tonight. Unfortunately, to do that they’ll have to get past Patrick Sandoval, who replaced José Quintana—who gave up the game-winning dinger last night—in the rotation. As Jake noted in the series preview, Sandoval took the loss the last time these two teams met up, but his changeup is a serious weapon and there’s a chance the Mariners can’t get a lot going against him. However, command can be an issue for Sandoval, who’s got a double-digit walk rate—he walked five batters in five innings against the Orioles in his last outing, and didn’t get a decision—and the Mariners batters are really good at taking walks, so if they can lay off the changeup and force Sandoval to throw strikes and work his pitch count to get into that Charmin-soft Angels bullpen, that could be a good recipe for the M’s.
Chris Flexen, who is conversely very good at throwing strikes and not walking people, gets the start tonight; Shed Long returns for more outfield adventures (plz no adventures Shed) as the Mariners run out their righty-heaviest lineup possible. My kingdom for a right-handed power bat [gazes longingly at Nelson Cruz].
Tonight’s game is on the same old bat-channels (ROOT Sports NW on TV, 710 ESPN on the radio) and starts at 7:10 PT. As I detest the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, Disneyland, USA with my whole and entire heart, I would really like them to please win this one and take the series, even though I recognize it is very greedyguts of me to ask for such a thing after last night’s thrill ride. But please, Mariners. Do the thing.