Game 117, Rays at Mariners
Blake Beavan vs. Alex Cobb, 7:10pm
The M’s return home to face the Tampa Bay Rays, who’ve won six in a row to take over the wild card lead from Baltimore/Anaheim/Oakland. The M’s start Blake Beavan, who’s given up 4 HRs over his last two starts. Safeco should help with that, but as Dave’s mentioned, just throwing strikes isn’t going to be enough – he’s got to throw good strikes. He’s still been better since his return from Tacoma, giving up 2 walks in 34 1/3 to go with 4 HRs and 20 Ks (but 20 runs). He could still stand to use his breaking pitches more effectively; Olivo seemed to call for a first-pitch curve nearly every time against Baltimore, but he was either behind in the count or wasn’t able to put hitters away. We’ll see if Jesus Montero has a different approach in mind.
The Rays send Alex Cobb to the hill – the guy who was hit on the shin by a line drive when he faced the M’s in July. As I talked about in that preview, he’s a sinker/splitter pitcher, who gets the most out of subpar stuff by keeping the ball on the ground and in the ballpark. He’s coming off of two excellent starts, going 7 innings and giving up 1 run in each of them – one against Oakland and the other against Toronto. His control may be getting sharper, as he’s giving up fewer walks later in the year, including just 1 in his last 21 innings.
As JY mentioned, Mike Zunino’s been called up to AA Jackson; they’ve got an off day, so look for him to make his high-minors debut tomorrow. The Rainiers broke yet another losing streak last night against Memphis behind a solid outing from Andrew Carraway – they play the Redbirds tonight as Hector Noesi gets the start. Charles Kaalekahi’s starting for Pulaski right now, and Rusty Shellhorn starts for Everett tonight at Spokane.
1: Ackley (1B)
3: Seager (2B)
4: Jaso (DH)
5: Montero (C)
8: Figgins (3B)
Looks like Figgy’s rewarded for his two-hit day yesterday, and it looks like Carp’s still not 100% after straining his hip on Seager’s amazing play to get Mike Trout.