The (7-9) Detroit Tigers visit the Emerald City for a three game series against the (5-11) Seattle Mariners. Finding bright spots in a Mariners squad whose offense has managed to score just 52 runs in pretty difficult. As a team Seattle has hit just .214 through sixteen games. Then again, the Tigers aren’t exactly knocking the cover off the ball lately either. Hopefully Seattle’s struggles continue for at least three more games so the Tigers can steal a few wins. Going into the series you can’t help but cross your fingers in hopes that Detroit doesn’t take Seattle to lightly though.
SERIES PITCHING PREVIEW:
Monday, April 18th 2011, 10:10 PM ET, Safeco Field
Max Scherzer, RHP
2-0, 4.76 ERA
Jason Vargas, LHP
0-1, 4.86 ERA
Tuesday, April 19th 2011, 10:10 PM ET, Safeco Field
Phil Coke, LHP
1-2, 2.25 ERA
Doug Fister, RHP
0-3, 3.86 ERA
Wednesday, April 20th 2011, 03:40 PM ET, Safeco Field
Rick Porcello, RHP
0-2, 6.19 ERA
Erik Bedard, LHP
Alberto Alburquerque has been on fire since his call up last weekend. I know that we are looking at just 2 2/3 innings over two appearances but dammitboy. Al has struck out four and perhaps even more importantly walked just one. They were looking to catch lightning in a bottle, and they have…at least for now.
Phil Coke tossed seven innings of three hit scorless ball his last outing. Cokey returns to the hill on Tuesday against the M’s.
Justin Smoak is off to a solid start for the M’s this season. The former Rangers prospect has posted an impressive .300/.419/.460 through his first 50 at-bats. It’s worth noting that Smoak has hit just .091 in his breif career against the Tigers.
Aaron Laffey has tossed seven scorless innings out of the ‘pen this season. The former Indian has allowed just five base-runers so far this season.
Jamey Wright has been another surprising bright spot in the M’s ‘pen this season. The 15 year veteran has thrown 6 2/3 of scoreless ball, allowing just four base-runners while racking up six strikeouts.
Doug Fister got beat up a bit in his last start however, he’s off to a pretty solid start this season. The 6’8 right handed pitcher has a 3.86ERA in his first three starts.
Austin Jackson managed to get just one hit last series in Oakland. A-Jax has struck-out 19 times in 57 at-bats; for those scoring at home, that’s not good. His average has dropped to .175 forcing Leyland to remove him from the lead-off spot. Unless a designated fielder spot emerges I can’t help but wonder if A-Jax might be better off working things out in Toledo.
Brandon Inge watched his batting average drop to just .204 after an 0-10 performance against the Athletics. I know it is just the middle of April but Inge needs to step it up a bit. His walk off homer against the Rangers was nice but it’s getting old watching Inge pop out lately.
Enrique Gonzalez has surrendered at least two runs in each of his last three appearances. His ERA has sky rocketed to 17.18 which makes me wonder if he might be the odd man out when Ryan Perry returns.
Chone Figgins is hitting just .143 in 56 at-bats this season. Figgins has a tendency to start the season a little slow but dammitboy–.143–really?
Jack Cust is also below the mendoza line, batting a cool .196 in 51 at-bats this season. Cust has yet to go yard this season and has registered just one double.
Erik Bedard has posted a less than stellar 8.56 ERA with a 1.98 WHIP in his first three starts this season. The Canuck has also surrendered two homers per game. The Tigers face Bedard in the third game of the series.
To state that the Mariners are struggling this season would be a gross understatement. Fresh off an ass chewing from Manager Eric Wedge one would assume that the Mariners might pick things up a bit. They defeated the red hot Kansas City Royals on Sunday and look to take it to the Tigers this upcoming series. However, the Tigers won’t have to face King Felix or rookie sensation Michael Pineda. I’m going out on a limb when you consider how quiet the Tigers bats have been lately but I predict a Tigers sweep.
*Injury Updates and Pitching Preview information obtained from MLB.COM