Game 51, Mariners at Rangers
Kevin Millwood vs. Matt Harrison, 5:05 pm
The M’s face lefty Matt Harrison this evening for the 15th time. As you might expect, the M’s have the lowest OPS of any team that’s faced Harrison more than once (ha Pirates). Harrison’s win over the M’s on the 22nd came with 12 swinging strikes, his season high.
The M’s are coming off a disheartening sweep at the hands of the Angels, which is all but expunged the positive feelings so many had after the M’s took the series against Texas. This remains a streaky, inconsistent team, and it’s not clear when or if that’s going to change. Kevin Millwood’s been as streaky as any of the young kids (well, at least his results have been), and he gets the start tonight, trying to extend a scoreless innings streak that’s reached 17 innings.
Miguel Olivo caught three of the four games in the Angels’ series, so we haven’t seen much in the way of a new/altered role for the veteran. Part of this may be due to John Jaso’ nagging injury, and it’s possible they wanted the better catch/throw guy to deal with the steal-happy Angels, so this series may offer a chance to see a bit less Olivo and a bit more Montero and Jaso. The M’s send their right-handed line-up to the plate today with Liddi at 3B and Dustin Ackley getting a day off. Ackley’s 2 for his last 19 with no XBH and 7 Ks, though to be fair, Liddi’s 0 for his last 11 with 8 Ks, so, uh, turn it around, Alex. So who gets Ackley’s spot in the line-up? John Jaso will DH and lead off against a southpaw, which isn’t what I expected.
The M’s now have the 2nd worst team wOBA in the American League, ahead of only the hapless Athletics. Let’s go Arlington park effects?
1: Jaso (DH)
2: Figgins (LF)
3: Ichiro (RF)
4: Montero (C)
5: Smoak (1B)
6: Seager (2B)
7: Liddi (3B)
8: Saunders (CF)
9: Ryan (SS)
Erasmo Ramirez is on the hill in Tacoma today, hoping to erase the memories of his 11-R disaster start in Iowa.
Danny Hultzen’s currently throwing against Pensacola. ROOT sports is apparently sending Jen Mueller to the game, so we’ll see if they show highlights or interviews during the M’s broadcast.