First of all, I'm sorry if today's preview is a little half-assed. It's almost finals week, and I have about eight total hours of sleep in two or three days. Stupid essays. In my defense, the M's half-assed that series in Tampa this week, so I think I have a right to tank this preview. I probably won't in the end, but really? Four losses by a combined five runs? That's the antithesis of timely hitting. 11-16? That just sucks. I'm pissed since I haven't seen the Mariners win in a week. And I feel like my homework load will never end. And the Mariner might lose again tonight. Damn.
The phrase "just what the doctor ordered" may apply again here. I say again since it applied so well after the Detroit sweep. That was "just what the doctor ordered for Seattle last week. Unfortunately, we're sick again, and had to go visit the doc this morning. He told the M's that they were in luck, since he just got a new shipment of Minnesota Twins in to try and heal the Mariners' losing streak. This analogy wasn't great, but for real, the Twins suck. No other opponent would make me happier for the M's right now. Three games, three match ups:
May 4: Jason "Mr. Consistency" Vargas (3-2, 3.38) vs. Carl Pavano's mustache (1-2, 4.91)
Jason Vargas is now Mr. Consistency. Where this came from, I do not know, but I did say before the season that this was exactly what he needed to do to be a successful number two starter. Surprise! he's doing it. If the Mariners can finally string together some run support for him, he should handle Pavano. Pavano's ERA is rather high. He's a relatively uninteresting pitcher, and always has been. This game is all about Vargas for me. Maybe Mr. Vargas doesn't exist anymore. That would be ideal for his future success and trade value.
May 5: The King (2-1, 2.23) vs. Jason Marquis (2-0, 6.23)
When I saw that Jason Marquis had a 2-0 record, I expected at the very least an ERA in the high threes. You can imagine my surprise when I clicked on his name and discovered his horrid 6.23 ERA. That's really bad. And he's facing Felix. On the road. On a Saturday night. With the King's Court there. And it's Cinco de Mayo. The last one has nothing to do with baseball, but more fans will be plastered than usually probably.
May 6: Hector "Jason Vargas" Noesi (1-3, 7.83) vs. Nick "Average" Blackburn (0-3, 6.64)
Nick Blackburn just strikes me as really average. I don't have any more insight into that point. He's actually been pretty below average so far this season. That record sucks. That ERA sucks. Not as bad as Hector Noesi's does though. In the same way that Nick Blackburn strikes me as average, Hector Noesi strikes me as Jason Vargas. I just don't really have insight into it, and Anthony already wrote about that, so I'm not going to elaborate any further. This game won't have a lot of fun pitching highlights. Yawn.
Three to Watch:
Dustin Ackley: Where have you gone? Dustin's average has been slowly sinking for about two weeks now, and he now sits at .231 on the year. He has done nothing exciting lately. Nothing Ackley-ish that makes us say "wow, this kid is going to be good." What happened to the rookie that missed one pitch for the first few weeks of his career? He's missing a ton of pitches. This could be a serious sophomore slump concern, and the Twins present an opportunity to snap his hitting woes.
Mike Carp: My boy is back! Carp got his first hit of the season this week, and picked up his first RBI. Unfortunately, his promotion came at the expense of the injured Miguel Olivo, who was just starting to get hot. Poor guy. It's Starfish time though! In the words of Bart Scott, can't wait! Maybe he'll hit a home run this weekend to make the fans happy. He really hit well last year and I would love to see him continue to do so.
Denard Span: First of all, great baseball name. Also a great name for a center fielder. Secondly, he's hitting .327. Yikes, that's great. This guy has solid speed too, so I bet his run scored and stolen base numbers are going crazy. Nine runs scored and three stolen bases? That's not good. Brendan Ryan has scored more runs than him. Well then he must be hitting in the middle of the order and knocking in runs. Zero homers and five RBIs? What the hell do the Twins do with this guy? What? The Twins are 6-18? Oh. Makes sense then.
A sweep would be nice. Two out of three is a must. I'd give the Mariners the advantage in every pitching matchup, even Noesi versus Blackburn. It comes down to the fact that the M's need to flat out hit. If they get on base consistently and hit well with runners in scoring position, the Mariners can sweep away baseball's weakest team. If not, we'll be in for another long year. 4-3 M's in game one. 7-2 in game two. 6-4 in game three. Sweep city bitch. #freeJaso. #cutFiggins. Go M's.