The Mariners face the Braves in the second game of their three-game set after dropping last night’s game, but there’s no break here: this is the game FanGraphs gives the Mariners the lowest probability of winning, per Jake and Lou’s series preview.
This lineup is mostly the mashers you’ll remember from last night, although with the addition of Vaughn Grissom, Atlanta’s top prospect who was called up a month ago. Grissom is an excellent contact hitter, and George Kirby, who loves living in the zone, will have to make sure he’s throwing quality strikes, not just to Grissom but to all of Atlanta’s aggressive, fastball-hunting lineup. Tonight also sees the lefty Eddie Rosario subbing in against the righty Kirby; I remember Rosario as being perpetually good as a Twin, but he’s really scuffled this year for Atlanta, striking out over 10% higher than his career rate.
However, it won’t really matter how well Kirby pitches if the offense can’t get anything going against Max Fried. Fried makes his living on a nasty curveball, and if you’ll recall from previous installments of “lefty with disgusting curveball” from facing the Angels (see: Sandoval, Patrick; Detmers, Reid), the Mariners batters can look pretty rough against those. We call this part of the game thread “managing expectations.” In silver-lining news, however, Max Fried’s career is a good reminder that not every talented young pitching prospect is going to come out of the gates and crush it immediately. For Fried, who debuted in 2017 out of Atlanta’s bullpen but had a couple stop-and-start scuffles on his way up through the bigs, it’s been a steady build from 2019 on to the five-win pitcher he is today. Hopefully Logan Gilbert just felt a warm zing through all six feet six of him.
Game time is 6:10 PM—note the earlier-than-usual-time—and thankfully, after a somewhat underwhelming Apple TV broadcast last night, the Mariners return to their television home on ROOT Sports. The radio broadcast will be on 710 Seattle Sports, as per usual. Streaming folks can find the game on MLB TV (out of area) or fuboTV.