The Mariners open a 10-game, 10-day road trip tonight starting with a three-game series against the Cardinals. And if that isn’t tough enough, they face the Tigers for four games. Both teams are vying for their division titles. So these games won’t be easy for the Mariners, who just got swept at home by the Astros.
“You are playing two of the best teams, if not the two best teams, in all of baseball in their backyards in the middle of September,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “It’s going to be a great atmosphere, a great challenge for our guys. We are throwing out one of the youngest lineups in baseball right now. And they are learning every night. They are making mistakes, but they are learning from them.”
No, designated hitter for the Mariners today because of interleague play. This is the first time Hisashi Iwakuma has made a road interleague start, meaning this is the first time he will bat. They have DH’s in the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan play so I’m guessing he doesn’t have much hitting experience. Update: He has one hit in 24 plate appearance so this should be interesting to watch.
“We’ll find out tonight,” chuckled Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “It’s always interesting, but it should be more with Kuma.”
This is going to be a brutal series for the Mariners offense. They face Wainright tonight, talented rookie prospect Michael Wacha tomorrow and Shelby Miller on Sunday. And the Cardinals are playing for the NL Central title. Tonight might be their best chance at winning.
Kyle Seager will start his 100th straight game this season. It’s a team record for third basemen. Seager also leads the team with 153 hits and is tied for first with walks with Justin Smoak with 57. The last player to lead the Mariners in both hits and walks was Edgar Martinez in 1995.
“He has a great routine and really takes good care of himself,” Wedge said. “He’s obviously been a consistent contributor for us. He wants to play every day and that deserves respect in and of itself. The reason he can play every day is because of how he goes about his business and the consistency of his play.”
Felix Hernandez threw a flat ground session. According to the Mariners, everything went well and Hernandez felt fine. He will throw a bullpen session on Monday in Detroit. If all goes well and he feels fine, he could possibly start on Wednesday in Detroit.