Once again, it is the A’s against the pesky Mariners. The two teams faced off immediately prior to the All Star Break, where the A’s won two of three against their rivals while playing in Seattle. This week, it will just be a short two game series against the Mariners before the A’s pack their bags and fly out to Minnesota and Houston in what should be one of the more difficult road trips of the season. This is also the start of what will be thirteen games in thirteen days for the A’s, so hopefully the team was able to get some proper rest over the break and yesterday.
Both the A’s and the Mariners will look a little bit different by the next time they play each other, during the final series of the season at the end of September. Over the next couple of weeks, the A’s will be retooling and revamping in preparation for a postseason run, most definitely adding to the overworked bullpen and may be adding some other role players to the roster. The recently traded for Homer Bailey will be starting for the A’s on Wednesday. The M’s, on the flip side, will be selling any and everyone who has value on the trade market and doesn’t fit into their next competitive window.
But as the Mariners’ currently stand, Dan Vogelbach (.873 OPS), Domingo Santana (.844 OPS), and Omar Narvaez (.840 OPS) have been the best hitters so far this season, with Vogelbach leading the team in home runs with 21 and Santana leading the team in runs scored and runs driven in. The team has a lot of power, their 162 home runs is second in all of baseball, but unfortunately a lack of discipline and on base problems result in most of those home runs being relatively harmless.
The harmful home runs tend to be given up by the Mariners’ pitching staff. The tattered staff and bullpen have given up more runs than any other team in baseball with 578 allowed, though the team’s historically awful defense certainly hasn’t helped. A revitalized Tommy Milone has pitched a successful 50 innings for the team, possessing a 3.40 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP as both a starter and long man, and Marco Gonzales has performed well beyond bamboozling the A’s, but beyond the two veterans there aren’t many positives to glean from the pitching staff.
The Mariners were just no hit in a combined effort from the Angels’ pitching staff in one of the more emotional games in recent baseball memory, and the team was swept by the Angels to begin the second half. With the A’s having won four straight and the Mariners having lost four straight, it is the perfect time to keep both of those streaks going.
Mallex Smith - CF
J.P. Crawford - SS
Domingo Santana - RF
Daniel Vogelbach - DH
Omar Narvaez - 1B
Kyle Seager - 3B
Austin Nola - 1B
Kristopher Negron - LF
Dee Gordon - 2B
Daniel Mengden vs Marco Gonzales
Homer Bailey vs TBD
Game #96: Tuesday, July 16th at 7:07
Game #97: Wednesday, July 17th at 12:37
Game #96 will be broadcast on NBCSCA. Game #97 will be broadcast on MLB Network.