|HOUSTON ( HUMBER )|
SEATTLE ( SAUNDERS )
|971||HOUSTON||+145||Ov 7.5,+105||+155||Ov 7.5,-105|
|972||SEATTLE||-155||Un 7.5,-125||-165||Un 7.5,-115|
|vs Left-handed Starters||1-1||+0.5||2-0||5.5||0.231||0.306||5.5||0.250||0.338|
|Past 7 Games||1-5||-3.5||4-2||2.8||0.199||0.234||6.0||0.277||0.350|
|vs Right-handed Starters||1-2||-1.2||2-1||4.0||0.228||0.316||4.3||0.218||0.253|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-0.8||4-2||3.9||0.218||0.290||4.3||0.217||0.264|
|4/8/2013||HUMBER(R)||@ SEATTLE||SAUNDERS(L)|| |
|4/9/2013||HUMBER(R)||@ SEATTLE||MAURER(R)|| |
|4/10/2013|| ||@ SEATTLE|| || |
|4/12/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/13/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/14/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/15/2013|| ||@ OAKLAND|| || |
|4/1/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||@ OAKLAND||ANDERSON(L)||2-0||W||105||6.5 un||U||5||6||0||3||6||1|
|4/2/2013||IWAKUMA(R)||@ OAKLAND||PARKER(R)||7-1||W||120||7 ov||O||9||10||0||3||3||0|
|4/3/2013||SAUNDERS(L)||@ OAKLAND||MILONE(L)||2-6||L||135||7.5 un||O||5||3||0||11||7||0|
|4/4/2013||MAURER(R)||@ OAKLAND||GRIFFIN(R)||2-8||L||150||7.5 un||O||8||8||0||10||1||0|
|4/5/2013||BEAVAN(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||8-7||W||125||8.5 un||O||12||4||1||10||7||1|
|4/6/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||AXELROD(R)||3-4||L||-135||7.5 un||U||6||6||1||6||4||1|
|4/7/2013||IWAKUMA(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||3-4||L||155||7 ov||P||7||7||0||5||1||1|
|4/10/2013|| ||HOUSTON|| || |
|4/11/2013|| ||TEXAS|| || |
|4/12/2013|| ||TEXAS|| || |
|4/13/2013|| ||TEXAS|| || |
|4/14/2013|| ||TEXAS|| || |
|HOUSTON: HITTING: This season will mark Houston's final year in the National League. Look away, children, as the Astros launch into what is sure to be the crappiest victory lap in baseball history. Tiny 2B JOSE ALTUVE's jump from High-A to MLB starter says more about Houston's pitiful state than anything. He belongs in Triple-A. CHRIS JOHNSON won the starting 3B job as JIMMY PAREDES was optioned to Triple-A. Johnson was thought to have 25-homer power, but last year he slugged just .378. 1B CARLOS LEE is in the twilight of a very productive career. Backup 1B BRETT WALLACE seems to be in the twilight of an unproductive one. OF BRIAN BOGUSEVIC has a low ceiling. But he's one of only a few recent draft picks who will even contribute. OF J.D. MARTINEZ doesn't blame you if you haven't heard of him, but he's the team's best player who hits third in the lineup. SS JED LOWRIE was a nice little pickup for a mid-tier closer. But his platoon split is intense. C JASON CASTRO will probably play ahead of CHRIS SNYDER. OF JORDAN SCHAFER has yet to put things together; but he'll be starting in center on Opening Day. Fourth OF J.B. SHUCK is only 24, but doesn't have a whole lot of upside. |
STARTING PITCHING: WANDY RODRIGUEZ has been a durable, above-average starter for five years, yet every season his real-world team limits his wins. He'll be traded at some point this year. Don't shortchange BUD NORRIS. He's an underrated source of strikeouts, and has improved his command. J.A. HAPP really needs to cut down on his walk total. JORDAN LYLES couldn't legally drink until the second-to-last week of the season. He's in the big leagues way too soon. He's yet another young Astro who isn't terrible, but won't ever set the world on fire. KYLE WEILAND came from Boston with Jed Lowrie and should earn the final spot in the rotation. Texas-bred fireballer JARRED COSART, 21, is a legitimately exciting (but risky) prospect who Houston will probably rush up to the majors at some point this year.
RELIEF PITCHING: BRETT MYERS flummoxed the Astros' front office with a stinker of a season. He's probably closer to that pitcher than to the one who posted a career-best 3.14 ERA in 2010 at age 29, but he'll move the bullpen this year to get the rare opportunities to close out a game when this awful team is actually leading. WILTON LOPEZ was good in 2011, but was much better the previous season, when he may have been the most underrated reliever in the National League. Houston will go with him in the ninth if they want Myers to return to the rotation. BRANDON LYON has seen better days. He bombed early, then was shut down for good with a bicep injury. He intimidates nobody now.
|SEATTLE: HITTING: C/DH JESUS MONTERO was brought over from the Yankees to hit in the heart of the order. At age 22, his offensive potential is scary. OF ICHIRO SUZUKI is entering the twilight of his career, but he might still have another .300 season left. 2B DUSTIN ACKLEY is the kind of line-drive hitter who fits well in Safeco, but he needs to catch up to MLB pitching. 1B JUSTIN SMOAK has disappointed, but he's making strides and has 30-HR upside. OF CASPER WELLS could play everyday. He won't hit for average, but has the power Seattle needs. MIKE CARP figures to at least grab early at-bats against righties. He'll strike out, but has lots of power. OF FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ is out for at least a month with a pectoral injury, but will reclaim his starting gig based on his defense. Seattle would love to see OF MICHAEL SAUNDERS step up to replace Gutierrez, but he's shown no signs of being able to handle MLB pitching. C MIGUEL OLIVO still has solid power, but he's an all-or-nothing hitter. 3B CHONE FIGGINS isn't quite done, but he's close. He'll have to battle line-drive hitting KYLE SEAGER for a job. SS BRENDAN RYAN will stick around for defense, but his bat is barely good enough for a regular gig. |
STARTING PITCHING: FELIX HERNANDEZ had a touch of bad luck last year, but he's one of the few pitchers in baseball who's a lock for 200 strikeouts. JASON VARGAS just keeps throwing strikes and letting his defense make plays. He'll get by fine again in spacious Safeco. BLAKE BEAVAN doesn't have a strikeout pitch, but he'll make few mistakes and get some outs thanks to a strong defense. HECTOR NOESI, who also came over from New York with Montero, isn't a big strikeout pitcher, but has good control and is savvy enough to get his shot in Seattle's rotation this year. 37-year-old journeyman KEVIN MILLWOOD will fill out the fifth spot in the rotation after a solid spring. Top prospect DANNY HULTZEN could break into the bigs in 2012. The lefty has the polish of a big leaguer right now, though his ceiling is more good-not-great.
RELIEF PITCHING: Like many rebuilding teams, the Mariners will continue to shop their closer. BRANDON LEAGUE will pick up saves in Seattle, but he's more of a groundball pitcher than a strikeout artist. He'd likely be ticketed for a set-up role elsewhere. If League is traded, the closer role is wide open. SHAWN KELLEY came back from Tommy John surgery late last year and looked as good as ever. If he picks up where he left off last year, he'd be an obvious choice for ninth inning duties. CHANCE RUFFIN, part of the Doug Fister trade, has a strong minor-league track record. He could carve out a big role in this bullpen if he can improve his command.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (HOUSTON-SEATTLE) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Astros-Mariners Preview* =========================
Houston (1-4) at Seattle (3-3), 10:10 p.m. EDT
SEATTLE (AP) - The Seattle Mariners are finally going to see the new look of Safeco Field.
Whether the changes make a difference for their offense remains to be seen.
In Monday night's home opener, the Mariners face new AL West foe Houston and Philip Humber, who threw a perfect game in his last visit to Safeco Field a year ago.
After a seven-game road trip to open the season, the Mariners (3-4) will play their next 10 in Seattle, giving them plenty of opportunity to test out how their remodeled ballpark plays early in the season.
While there will be plenty of attention placed on the new video board that has been proclaimed to be the largest in baseball, most of the focus will be on the new dimensions of the playing field. After being one of the most unfriendly hitters' parks in baseball, the Mariners made drastic changes to the outfield in an effort to make the park fair to both hitters and pitchers.
The fences were brought in between 4 and 17 feet depending on the area of the outfield. The right field wall was not touched, but the extensive changes begin in right center field and stretch all the way into the left field corner.
The changes would seem to certainly benefit Seattle's offense. The Mariners hit an AL-worst 56 homers at home last season, but were tied for sixth in all of baseball with 93 homers on the road.
"The fences coming in doesn't mean we're going to hit more home runs than any other team," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "That wasn't the reason for it. The reason for it was we felt was the psychological aspect of playing in a pitcher's park 81 times a year. Watching our kids go through that, and talking to players who have been here in the past, and their feelings about the ballpark. We wanted to create a fair ballpark. It's been well-publicized."
Through the first week of the season, the Mariners have shown that their offseason moves to bolster the offense should be able to take advantage of the smaller dimensions. No one has gotten off to a quicker start than Michael Morse, in his second stint with the organization. Morse has five homers, with four coming in Seattle's opening series against Oakland. He became the first Mariner to have four homers through the first four games of a season since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1997.
"I think guys are just playing their game. I don't think anybody is playing over their abilities," Morse said. "Guys are comfortable up there. We had a good spring, and I think it carried over. We're just playing, and playing good baseball."
The Mariners had no luck against Humber (0-1, 1.59 ERA) last April 21, as he retired all 27 batters he faced in a 4-0 victory for the Chicago White Sox. Little went right for Humber over the rest of 2012, but the right-hander pitched well in his season debut, allowing a run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings in Wednesday's 4-0 loss to Texas.
The Mariners counter with Joe Saunders (0-1, 9.00), who will make his Seattle home debut and hopes to fare better than he did for most of the spring and in his first start Wednesday in Oakland. The left-hander was knocked around for four runs and seven hits in just four innings after a spring in which he gave up 20 hits and 15 earned runs in 11 2-3 innings.
"There's a little excitement for sure. There's only one home opener a year. It definitely will be exciting. Should be a good atmosphere. I'm looking forward to it," Saunders said. "Anytime you have a sellout crowd it definitely jazzes you up.
"You get the adrenaline flowing and you want to go out there and show them what you can do with a good performance and give them something to cheer about. Hopefully we play well. It should be a lot of fun."
Facing Houston should help Saunders bounce back.
The Astros (1-5) have plated nine runs and are batting .183 during a five-game losing streak. They've already totaled 74 strikeouts, the most through the first six games of a season since 1921.
"You've got to have a short-term memory," said Chris Carter, who has accounted for 11 strikeouts. "Just play day-to-day and not dwell on what happened last game."
Houston, which took two of three in its only trip to Seattle in 2004, embarks on a nine-game road trip against division opponents.
"Nobody is going to feel sorry for you," first-year manager Bo Porter said. "This business is major league baseball. The schedule that we have is the schedule that we're going to play."
|Last Updated: 9/3/2014 1:44:40 AM EST|