Series Preview: Seattle (August 20-22)

Aug 17, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; MLB: Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) talks with team ceo Howard Lincoln (right) team president Chuck Armstron (center) and general manager Jack Zduriencik during a pre-game ceremony honoring him for the perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 15, 2012 at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE


It's already looking a lot like the last road trip; the Indians have lost five of their six games on the West Coast swing. Next up is Seattle, and a lineup and park that may determine exactly how bad this rotation truly is.

Team in a Box (click to enlarge)

Seattle_august_20-22_medium

At home the Seattle Mariners are as a team hitting .212/.284/.308. That's worse than Johnny Damon with the Indians, worse than Jack Hannahan is hitting this season. On the road, the Mariners as a team are hitting a respectable .241/.301/.405. That's a OPS difference of .112, which is incredible. For comparison's sake, the Indians, who play in a pitcher's park themselves, have only a difference of .004 OPS between home and road batting lines.

On the other side of the coin, Mariners pitchers have an even greater OPS allowed split: .606 at home, .774 on the road, a difference of .168. If you're wondering, Felix Hernandez is allowing a batting line of .199/.251/.265 at Safeco.

Typical Lineup

Pos. Player BA OBP SLG PA
2B Dustin Ackley .230 .301 .333 390
CF Michael Saunders .240 .292 .386 436
DH Jesus Montero .264 .305 .398 416
C John Jaso .292 .401 .500 248
3B Kyle Seager .248 .309 .398 475
1B Justin Smoak .193 .256 .333 390
LF Trayvon Robinson .235 .304 .333 57
RF Eric Thames .229 .275 .354 51
SS Brendan Ryan .205 .293 .292 361

A Seattle lineup without Ichiro looks weird, but we'll be seeing him when the Indians return home. Montero and Seager are having decent seasons considering park effects, but Ackley and Smoak have been disappointments. Smoak has just recently returned from the minors, and he's been hot since returning, including hitting a walkoff homer on Saturday.

John Jaso has been the standout offensive player on this team, as crazy as that may seem. And he's actually hitting better at home (.908 OPS) versus the road (.893).

Probable Starters

Date Pitcher ERA Innings SO/9 BB/9 H/9
Aug 20 Kevin Millwood 4.28 132.1 6.6 3.0 9.6
Aug 21 Felix Hernandez 2.60 180.0 8.7 2.2 7.2
Aug 22 Hisashi Iwakuma 3.79 78.1 7.4 3.7 8.2

LGFT Kevin Millwood goes tonight, and on Wednesday the Indians get to face King Felix, who will taking the mound for the first time after his perfect game last week. Two starts ago, Felix threw a two-hitter against New York, and he's pitched at least seven innings and given up two or fewer runs in 7 of his last 8 starts. The way the Indians are pitching, I'd give negative odds on them winning Wednesday's game.

Key Relievers

Throws Pitcher ERA Innings SO/9 BB/9 H/9
Right Tom Wilhelmsen 2.45 58.2 10.4 2.6 6.8
Left Charlie Furbush 2.13 38.0 11.1 2.6 4.5
RHP Shawn Kelley 3.41 34.1 9.4 2.6 9.7

No Brandon League (traded to the Dodgers), which is a big bummer. Not on this list is Rule 5 pick Lucas Luetge, who has been an incredibly effective left-handed matchup guy.

On the Shelf

  • OF Mike Carp (groin) - 15-day DL
  • OF Franklin Gutierrez (concussion) - 15-day DL
  • LHP George Sherrill (elbow surgery) - out for season

I think this is the shortest list I've done all season.

LGFT Gutierrez has missed most of this season due to two different injuries. A concussion and its after-effects have kept him out of the lineup since late June, though he's just recently started to play in minor-league games.

talonk's Almanac

All-Time Record 205-159 (.563)
Runs Scored/Allowed 1868 1648
Pythagorean Win % .557
Best Season 8-1 1978
Worst Season 2-10 1991

Record since 2001 50-48 (.510)
Runs Scored/Allowed 484 462
Pythagorean Win % .521
Best Season 7-3 2005
Worst Season 2-5 2001
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