The Seattle Mariners now take on the Pittsburgh Pirates at Safeco Field Tuesday and Wednesday before the Baltimore Orioles come to Seattle to play the Mariners Thursday through Sunday.
The Pirates have had an awful June as well. They were nine games over five hundred at the end of May and now are three games below five hundred. I am not sure exactly if there situation has been the same as the Mariners like injuries for example however Monday they had a game that has been similar to what the Mariners have experienced all June. They started the game getting a lead and the Los Angles came from behind to beat them 5-4. So this could be quite an interesting series coming up. The Pirates were also trying to sweep the Dodgers too. I give the Mariners the advantage because they seem to play the National League clubs pretty well. They beat the St. Louis Cardinals two out of three who is a good club. Of course we know how they did against the Padres and the Reds who are both awful clubs.
The Mariners will have Iwakuma pitching Tuesday night and we hope that he can pitch better than his last out. It would be nice if he can go six or seven innings so the bullpen will be OK. Wade Miley is expected to come off the disabled list to pitch on Wednesday. The Mariners will need to have the relievers all on deck just in case and that is the same for Thursday when TaiJuan Walker is expected to start. It is anyone’s guess how long he will be able to pitch. In both cases I expect that Mike Montgomery may have to come into one of those games to pitch a couple innings. The same could be said of Vidal Nuno. At this point no one knows who will pitch on Friday either Karns or LeBlanc. There is a good possibility whoever doesn’t start of those two will likely pitch in relief in the next several days as well.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will have left hander Jonathon Niese going for them on Tuesday. He has lost his last two games and has not three in a row since May 2015. The Mariners will have Dae-Ho Lee starting at first ball and Shawn O’Malley most likely will play left field in the Mariners new lineup against lefties. Mostly likely Franklin Gutierrez will be in right field unless Nelson Cruz is inserted. Either way Cruz or Gutierrez will be designated hitter. The Mariners do not have another off day until the All-Star break so hopefully yesterday’s off day helps them. It will be critical that the Mariners starters go long in games so the relievers are not over used. At least now the Mariners have eight in the bullpen than the seven they had until last week when Aoki was sent down. Most likely Aoki will not be back up for the Mariners until after the All-Star break unless an injury happens with one of the outfielders. So this will be an important week for the Mariners to keep themselves at or around five hundred. Also this will tell what kind of moves he may have to make in July. Would not surprise me if they pick up another reliever and an outfielder; best wishes and go M’s.