Man, has this series taken years off of our collective lives. Good news: this is the last game at Kauffman Stadium for the year! Bad news: the Mariners face this very team again in just a week and a half, though thankfully in the friendly confines of T-Mobile Park.
That is a getaway day lineup if I’ve ever seen one for Seattle. Brian O’Keefe makes his first career start behind the dish and is hitting in the six-hole; the Minor League journeyman flashed plenty of power in Tacoma this year, and wouldn’t it be nice to cross another first off of his list? Cade Marlowe represents the only lefty hitter today, as the Royals are running out southpaw Ángel Zerpa for just his fourth career start. It’s been a rough go for Zerpa in a scant 9.1 innings this year - he has a FIP of just a fair over six and a tiny strikeout rate of 7.4% - but at just 23 and as the 9th-ranked prospect in Kansas City’s farm system per Baseball America, he has plenty of room for growth. His big league career to date consists of just 25.1 innings over parts of the last three seasons, and while he’s thrown plenty of strikes and adeptly generated ground balls, he’s been pretty severely lacking in swing-and-miss stuff.
If the Mariners can elevate and take advantage of pitches in the zone, they should be in business, but given how bonkers this series has been, I don’t blame you if you’re clenching from first pitch to last. More good news is that George Kirby is starting today, coming off of an absolutely scintillating performance against the Orioles in Seattle. With Luis Castillo providing seven innings to help rest the bullpen, anything close to that will be warmly welcomed. No pressure, George!
First pitch is at 11:10am Pacific time - breakfast with the M’s! On the TV side, Dave Sims and Aaron Goldsmith have the call on ROOT Sports, but if you’re feeling like an audio-only experience, tune into 710 Seattle Sports to hear Rick Rizzs and Gary Hill Jr. broadcast the action.
This Day in Mariners History:
2022: The Mariners bash four homers - including two from Cal Raleigh - en route to completing the sweep in Anaheim 11-7.
2009: Doug Fister earns his first career big league win, tossing seven innings of three-run ball as the Mariners romp over the Yankees 10-3 in Seattle. Every Mariner starter reaches base safely, and all except Ryan Langerhans notch a base hit.