Game 81, Red Sox vs. Mariners
Jason Vargas vs. Felix Doubront, 1:10pm
Despite scoring all of 4 runs through the first 3 games of the series, the M’s go for a 3-1 series win today at Safeco. Jason Vargas starts for the M’s, trying to build on his solid start against the A’s last week. He’s opposed by Felix Doubront, another homer-prone left-hander. Doubront and Vargas both post about 40% ground ball rates, and both have roughly equivalent rest-of-season FIP projections (around 4.4), but whereas Vargas uses his change-up and mid/high 80s cutter to keep batters off-b= alance, Doubront uses a 93mph fastball to get ahead of hitters, and also uses a curve and change-up. His best pitch may be the change-up, but he typically throws it to righties – using his curve against lefties. All in all, he’s got good stuff (as evidenced by his 23% K rate and low walk rate), but his HRs allowed push his wOBA against over league average.
The M’s Line-up today features plenty of right-handers, though it’s still a bit odd, given the injuries/illness to Saunders and Gutierrez.
2: Wells (CF)
4: Montero (C)
5: Olivo (DH)
SP: Jason Vargas
According to Keith Law, Mike Zunino’s on his way to Seattle today to officially sign with the M’s. It’ll be interesting to see where they send him – AA’s a possibility, or they could go with High Desert given the Mavs manager Pedro Grifol’s an ex-catcher and player development exec. Clinton’s not out of the realm of possibility, either.
The All-Star game rosters are out, so expect a lot of over-heated rhetoric about who did/didn’t get to play in the exhibition game. As expected, Felix Hernandez will be the M’s sole representative for the AL as they take on Bryan LaHair and the slugging senior circuiters.* While the M’s didn’t get a lot of love from the voters or manager Ron Washington, they have the undying support of Lucas Luetge.
*The Sporting News misspelled LaHair’s name in that piece. How can you mess up the name of the breakout player of April 2012? For those of you counting at home, I think I’ve got 5 ex-Mariners on the rosters: Asdrubal Cabrera, Adrian Beltre, Adam Jones, RA Dickey and LaHair. Any others?