Game 140, Rangers at Mariners
Taijuan Walker vs. Derek Holland, 7:10pm
This has got to be the most pressure Taijuan Walker’s felt in some time. You haven’t tossed a quality start since late June, and you’ve worked through injury and been sent to the minors as punishment by a manager who openly questions your attitude. In your last outing, you failed to get out of the first inning, so now you get to go out in front of your suspicious manager and pitch to the division-leading Rangers. Fun stuff.
Apparently, the M’s have made a minor adjustment to Walker’s motion and mechanics, as this post from Jason Churchill details. It may be too little, too late to save this season, but if Walker can get comfortable with these adjustments, it obviously sets him up to have a bounce-back 2017. Walker’s the kind of guy who’s made for instructs, where he could work with coaches on a back field in Peoria for hours, but the M’s are scaling back there, so he’ll either work solely on the side or maybe see action with a Caribbean winter league team. Overworking him is a concern, but it’d be nice to know his body’s comfortable with the mechanical tweaks by the time he gets to spring training.
1: Heredia, LF
2: Gutierrez, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Cruz, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Lee, 1B
7: Martin, CF
8: Iannetta, C
9: O’Malley, SS
The Rainiers won the opener of their playoff series in El Paso 6-5. Mike Curto called it the most tense game he’s called in years. Rob Brantly and Tyler Smith each had 4 hits in the game. Cody Martin starts game 2 for Tacoma.
Jackson topped Montgomery 3-0 in a great pitcher’s duel that went to extras scoreless. Tyler O’Neill won it with a walk-off 3R HR in the 10th, but the star of the game was SP Andrew Moore who tossed 9 scoreless innings, giving up just 1 hit. Brett Ash faces off with big-time Rays prospect Brent Honeywell tonight.
San Jose beat Bakersfield 5-3 just to spite me for saying they weren’t very good in the series preview. Sorry, Blaze. Top starter Zack Littell takes the hill in game 2.
Clinton blanked Peoria 4-0 behind a great start from Nick Neidert. It doesn’t get easier for Peoria: they face Luiz Gohara who already has 8 K’s through 5 scoreless.
Everett and Spokane were rained out yesterday, but Brandon Miller is ready to start game 1 tonight.