Evidenced by 13 runs scored by Seattle last night, the Sox are going to have a tough matchup with the Mariners this weekend. Adam Eaton is most likely out of the lineup again, meaning Leury Garcia will get another shot at CF. This means our leadoff hitter is a guy with a 160-point difference in On Base Percentage(OBP), which already doesn’t bode well. Pair that with Abreu, Ramirez and Flowers combining for a batting average (AVG) less than .200 at Safeco, and we have a problem folks.
Safeco Field has always been a pitchers park. The deep walls make for fewer home runs, and even this year, the MLB Park Factor at Safeco is the third-best park for pitchers. If you don’t know what Park Factor is, we can get into that later. Seattle will be trotting out Hisashi Iwakuma tonight, who has been nothing short of dominant this year. He will face Jose Quintana, who has been a solid starter for the Pale Hose. Problem is, Quintana has a 6.97 ERA against Seattle. Seems they’ve got his number. Tomorrow, Paxton makes his second start since coming off the DL, but the fact that he’s a lefty should be a cause for some concern for our guys, especially with Eaton (.302 AVG against lefties) who could potentially still be out.
Sunday’s game will feature Danks for the Sox, but the Seattle pitcher is yet to be determined. While Danks imploded in his last start, he does boast a career 2.22 ERA versus Seattle, which could make for an interesting matchup.
Pitchers aside, Robinson Cano, Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager and Mike Zunino have racked up 10 HR in the last 15 days, resulting in 25 RBI. This makes things sound a little better, as the low RBI number shows not many other batters are making it on base for the Mariners. Jose Abreu, Alexei Ramirez, Adam Eaton and Tyler Flowers (who is on quite the tear) have only combined for 8 HR in that same span, but over 40 RBIs. But don’t forget, we’re at Safeco.
What does it all mean? The boys have a shot tonight if we can get at Iwakuma early, but history says Quintana will have a rough night with the Mariners. I don’t expect Noesi to escape tomorrow’s start with less than 4 earned runs (ER), and Danks has potential to win, but it depends on whom Seattle puts on the mound. The end result, 1 win for the Sox in the series.
All stats provided by: ESPN, MLB and Baseball-Reference.com
Original Photo: The Columbian