The Braves took a long Sunday night flight up the west coast from San Diego to Seattle where they will play three games against the Mariners before coming back home to the east coast. The first two games of the series will be played at 10:10 Eastern Time and will surely have me sleeping through my lunch breaks on Tuesday and Wednesday. The M's were one game under .500 at the start of their rubber match against the Fish last night and just two games back of the Rangers in the AL West.
Felix Hernandez just notched the first hit by a pitcher in Safeco Field's history, where every base knock seems to be at a premium this year. The Marlins-Mariners series was played as a home series for the Marlins, and therefore with NL rules. The three-game set took place in Seattle due to a scheduling conflict in Miami. As of the start of Sunday night's matchup, the Mariners were hitting an AL worst .228/.295/.339. Yes, every aspect of this slash line is good for worst in the American League.
The Mariners are a studly club on the mound, which explains their respectable record and contention in their division. They have the American League's second best ERA at 3.26 behind only the Oakland A's. The Braves will be thrown into the fire against the best of the starting staff, too...
Monday 6/27 10:10 EDT
Probably the least well know of the starters the Mariners will send to the mound, Erik Bedard has been great this season. The lefty owns a 2.93 ERA and hasn't allowed an earned run in either of his last two starts, giving up just three hits in each. Brandon Beachy pitched a great one in his return from the DL on the 22nd. Beachy struck out eleven batters and gave up just one earned run. We can hope this continues.
Tuesday 6/28 10:10 EDT
This matchup will be a fun one. If you haven't heard of Michael Pineda yet, what are you doing? He's a future ace who has blazed into the bigs this year. Meanwhile, Tommy is establishing himself as our ace at the ripe old age of 24. Hanson has missed his last two starts with a sore shoulder, so we can hope he promptly returns to form to face Pineda. One of these pitchers has an 8-4 record with a 2.48 ERA and the other one holds a 7-4 record with a 2.45 ERA. Eerily similar. If you care enough to know which is which, I'll let you look it up.
Wednesday 6/29 3:40 EDT
We all know what King Felix can do to opposing hitters. His ERA is the highest of the three starters that the Braves will face at 3.19. Good Lord. Hernandez has already thrown 121.1 innings this season. Derek Lowe will go to the mound in the final game of the set for the Bravos.