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7/21/21: Open Game Thread

Welcome to the bigs, Darren McCaughan!

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners
this one is just for connor
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

After a fun but not entirely stress-free win last night, the Mariners are running a bullpen day today, which it’s admittedly hard to get excited about. With everyone’s eyes on the NHL expansion draft today, though, what better day to slip in a little interleague play and a bullpen day before the team returns home for some decidedly more important series against two division rivals.

There is some excitement here, or at least novelty, in the form of RHP Darren McCaughan (Mc-CACK-en). Middleton will handle opener duties but after that McCaughan will take over in his MLB debut, which is always fun. If you don’t know about the McCack Attack, here’s the skinny: a former LBSU Dirtbag drafted in the 12th round in 2017, McCaughan is a pitchability righty who doesn’t have big stuff—his strikeout rate hovers around 20% for his career—but doesn’t issue free passes (important in Coors) and typically generates a lot of weak contact (also important in Coors). He got a long look with the big-league club this spring training even though he only got into a couple games, and once Newsome went down with TJ I expected we’d see him at some point. Take his ugly Triple-A numbers with a grain of salt, as he’s mostly been solid in Tacoma’s more neutral park, but his propensity to give up flyballs has stung him in the league’s more bouncy houses (3.18 home ERA vs. 4.80 road ERA; 0 HR at home, 4 away).

Cal Raleigh gets a day off after his big night last night, which is a shame because he’s probably the most familiar with McCaughan of all the catchers on staff, but Tom Murphy will handle the catching duties. The Mariners are running out their most right-handed lineup possible against Austin Gomber, but this does mean Jarred Kelenic sees yet another lefty. The baptism by sinistral fire continues for young JK.

Today’s game starts at 12:10 PT and can be found on the usual bat-channels (710 ESPN on the radio, ROOT Sports NW on TV, MLB TV for those of you living out of area). The NHL expansion draft doesn’t start until 5 PT if you had your heart set on watching that as well, so there shouldn’t be a conflict.