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9/6/21: Open Game Thread

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yusei v mccullers part deux

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re coming here from that absolutely wild Red Sox/Rays game that oozed with chaos on the way to a Tampa win, welcome! With the Blue Jays winning handily against the Yankees earlier today, tonight represents a hell of an opportunity for the Mariners to gain a game on both current Wild Card teams, and they’ll attempt to do so against a very familiar foe.

The last time Yusei Kikuchi and Lance McCullers Jr. squared off in Houston it... didn’t go well for the M’s. Yusei couldn’t make it through three while allowing seven runs, and the Astros laughed all the way to a 12-3 win. That’s in the past, though! Yusei will need to come out of the gate strong velocity-wise, and I’d love to see him flash that changeup a little more against a Houston lineup with just two left-handed hitters,

Thanks to the welcome return to American League baseball, Jake Bauers will be patrolling left field tonight, while José Marmolejos will settle in at DH. Fun fact: since the calendar flipped to August, Bauers has put up a 132 wRC+. Is it a small sample of 45 plate appearances while being heavily platooned and coming off the bench? Yes. Is a lot of it simply his BABIP magic returning? Sure, but he’s also put up a 15.6% walk rate in that stretch. Whether it’s lucky or not, I’ll certainly take that kind of production. After all, wouldn’t Jake Bauers becoming a pennant race hero be unfiltered Chaos Ball?

Game Time: 4:10pm (!) PDT

TV: ROOT Sports NW, MLB.tv

Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle, MLB At Bat