Thursday, June 13, 2024
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MLB Preview: Seattle Mariners (18-19) at Detroit Tigers (17-19)

SEATTLE MARINERS NOTES:

TONIGHT’S TILT…the Mariners open an 11-day, 9-game road trip with the first of 3 games against the Detroit Tigers…Seattle will also visit Boston (May 15-17) and Atlanta (May 19-21) for 3-game sets on the current road trip…tonight’s game will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS with Dave Sims and Dan Wilson on the call and broadcast live on Seattle Sports (710 AM) and Mariners.com with Rick Rizzs and Aaron Goldsmith.

ODDS AND ENDS…the Mariners fell to the Rangers by a score of 4-3 on Wednesday…despite the loss, the Mariners are 7-3 over their last 10 games…12 of Seattle’s last 14 games (4/25-c) have been decided by 2-or-fewer runs, including 6 one-run games during that stretch…Seattle is 10-12 at T-Mobile Park and 8-7 on the road this season.

  • Producing at 2B – Since Jose Caballero’s first game on April 15, he, Kolten Wong and Sam Haggerty have combined to bat .306 (22×72) with 5 doubles and 9 RBI while playing second base… the .306 average by Seattle second basemen during that span (4/15-c) ranks 6th-best in the Majors.
  • vs. Detroit – The Mariners went 6-1 vs. the Detroit Tigers during the 2022 season, including a 3-game series sweep in Detroit (Aug. 30 – Sept. 1)…AJ Pollock leads active Mariners with a .378 (28×74) career batting average against Detroit, ahead of Julio Rodríguez (.364) and Ty France (.303).
  • vs. AL Central – Dating back to the beginning of the 2022 season, the Mariners are 24-16 (.600) vs. the American League Central Division…Seattle pitchers hold a 3.05 ERA (124 ER, 365.1 IP) vs. the AL Central, while Mariners hitters average 4.50 runs/game (180 R, 40 G).

TY IS THAT GUY…Ty France has hit safely 8 consecutive games dating back to May 3…during the streak (5/3-c), Ty is batting .375 (12×32) with 3 runs, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBI and 1 walk, while reaching base at a .429 clip and slugging .500 with a .929 OPS…Ty’s 8-game hitting streak is tied for the 7th-longest streak in the Majors (also: 5 others)…the Mariners are 7-2 this season when Ty records multiple hits.

MARCO THE TIGER SLAYER…today marks Marco’s 8th career start against the Tigers, his most against any non-AL West opponent…in 7 career starts vs. Detroit, Marco holds a 3.89 ERA (18 ER, 41.2 IP) with 8 walks and 27 strikeouts…Marco recorded a quality start in each of his 2 starts vs. Detroit in 2022: Aug. 31, 2022 at Detroit (6.0,7,3,3,1,2) and Oct. 5, 2022 vs. Detroit (7.0,8,4,3,2,5).

KELENIC CAN SWING IT…Jarred Kelenic has been one of the most effective hitters in the American League this season, batting .294 (37×126) with 15 runs, 11 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs, 17 RBI, 5 stolen bases and 10 walks, while getting on base at a .348 clip, slugging .563 with a .911 OPS in 35 games this season…Kelenic has the 4th-highest slugging percentage in the AL…the 23-year-old outfielder carries a 154 wRC+, ranking 10th in the AL, narrowly ahead of 11th place Bo Bichette-TOR (153 wRC+).

SO CLOSE…dating back to April 25, the each of the Mariners last 7 losses has been by 2 runs or less, including 6 losses in 1 run games during that span…Seattle is 4-11 in 1-run games this season, with 11 losses in 1-run games leading the Majors ahead of Cincinnati (6-10), Cleveland (8-9), Los Angeles-AL (6-8) and Chicago-NL (2-8)…despite the struggles in 1-run games this season, Seattle still leads the Majors with 71 wins in 1-run games since the beginning of the 2021 season, ahead of New York-AL (64) and Atlanta (60)…in that span (2021-c) the Mariners are 71-52 (.577) in 1-run games, 3rd-best winning-percentage in the Majors behind Milwaukee (55-40, .579) and Houston (52-38, .578).

THE MURPH…Tom Murphy went 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored, 1 double, 1 home run and 2 RBI in his last game on May 9 vs. Texas…after opening the season with an 0-for-10 skid, Murphy is batting .323 (10×31) with 2 runs scored, 4 doubles, 1 home run, 2 RBI and 1 walk, while reaching base at a .344 clip and slugging .548 with an .892 OPS in 10 games since April 8…his .892 OPS since April 8 ranks tied for 3rd-best among American League catchers with at least 30 PA in that span, trailing only Jonah Heim-TEX (.998) and Eric Haase-DET (.901).

FIELDING OF DREAMS…the Mariners are tied for the American League lead with a .991 fielding percentage this season (also: Kansas City), having made only 12 errors in 1,349 total chances…Seattle also ranks among the best in the Majors in Defensive Runs Saved (T5th, 13 DRS) and Outs Above Average (3rd, 12 OAA)…Teoscar Hernández ranks tied for 6th in the Majors with 6 DRS this season, while Eugenio Suárez ranks tied for 2nd in the Majors with 6 OAA.

FOR STARTERS…since the beginning of the last road trip (4/25-c), Mariners starters rank 4th in the Majors with a 3.12 ERA (31 ER, 89.1 IP) in 15 starts, trailing only Houston starters (2.83 ERA), Texas starters (2.93 ERA) and Tampa Bay starters (2.97 ERA) during that span…the Mariners have 3 of the top 16 starters in the Majors according to FanGraphs WAR: Luis Castillo (T5th, 1.6 fWAR), George Kirby (9th, 1.5 fWAR) and Logan Gilbert (T13th, 1.3 fWAR)…Texas is the only other team with multiple starters in the Top 16: Nathan Eovaldi (2nd, 2.2 fWAR) and Jacob deGrom (T10th, 1.4 fWAR).

THRILL ON THE HILL…the Mariners pitching staff leads the Majors in FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement (7.9), ranking ahead of Minnesota (6.0), Tampa Bay (5.5) and Atlanta (5.5)…Seattle pitchers also lead the Majors in Fielding Independent Pitching (3.20), soft-contact percentage (19.6), fewest barrels (48) and barrel rate (5.2%)…Mariners starting pitchers rank 1st in fWAR (5.3) ahead of Minnesota (5.1)… Mariners relief pitchers rank T1st in fWAR (2.6) with Los Angeles-AL (2.6).

BULLPEN BULLIES…the Mariners bullpen features 5 of the top 25 relievers in the American League according to fWAR…Matt Brash leads Mariners relievers and ranks T2nd in the AL with (0.7 fWAR), ranking ahead of Paul Sewald (T5th, 0.6), Trevor Gott (T5th, 0.6), Gabe Speier (T11th, 0.5) and Justin Topa (T17, 0.4)…over their last 12 games (4/27-c), the Mariners bullpen has combined to post a 1.67 ERA (7 ER, 37.2 IP) with 9 walks and 52 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .225 batting average against during that span (4/28-c)…the 1.67 ERA by the Mariners bullpen during that span leads the Majors by a wide margin, ranking ahead of 2nd place Chicago-NL (2.28 ERA).

AS YOU MAY KNOW…Jarred Kelenic holds a .911 OPS after 35 games this season, ranking 9th-best in the American League, but…DID YOU KNOW?…Kelenic is 1 of 2 players age 23-or-younger in the Majors this season to post a .900+ OPS through his first 35 games, joining Wander Franco-TB (.922)?… Kelenic is the first American-born player age 23-or-younger to begin a season with a .900+ OPS in his first 35 games of a season since Bo Bichette (.979 OPS, 7/29-9/6/19)…Kelenic’s .911 OPS in his first 35 games this season is the best by a Mariners player age 23-or-younger since Alex Rodriguez opened the 2019 season with a 1.098 OPS over his first 35 games.

MARINERS STARTER – LHP MARCO GONZALES
ABOUT GONZALES…

  • 31-year-old left-hander is making his 7th start of the season, 1st against the Detroit Tigers…he is also making his 160th career appearance (152nd career start) and his 8th career start against Detroit.
  • Acquired by Seattle from St. Louis in exchange for minor league outfielder Tyler O’Neill on July 21, 2017.
  • Native of Fort Collins, CO…attended Gonzaga University for 3 years (2011-13).
  • Originally selected by Colorado in the 29th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Rocky Mountain High School (Fort Collins, CO) but did not sign… drafted and signed by the Cardinals with the 19th overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft out of Gonzaga University…became the highest draft pick in the history of the Gonzaga baseball program.
  • Made his MLB debut with Cardinals on June 25, 2014 at Colorado.

LAST TIME OUT…ND in last start on 5/6 vs. HOU…allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks with 4 strikeouts over 6.0 innings.

SPRING FEVER…threw a quality start in his first start in the month of May this season…Marco recorded a quality start in 4 of 6 starts in May of 2022, while posting a 3.44 ERA (14 ER, 36.2 IP) during the month…overall, he has been historically good in May, posting a 3.81 ERA (43 ER, 101.2 IP) during the month, his 2nd-lowest ERA in any calendar month during his career, ranking behind only his 3.34 ERA during Sept./Oct.

SEASON-HIGH PUNCHIES…matched his career high in strikeouts with 9 on 4/19 against Milwaukee…it marks the 6th time he has achieved this feat, the last coming on 8/12/21 against the Texas Rangers when he pitched the third complete game of his career.

LET’S GET DEEP…The Mariners are 54-27 in starts when Gonzales goes 6.0 or more innings, compared to 24-42 when he tosses 5.2 innings or less over his career…when Gonzales tosses 7.0+ innings the Mariners are 25-9.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY…has pitched at least 5.0 innings 5-of-6 starts this season…in 2022 Gonzales had a streak of 20 consecutive games with at least 5.0 innings pitched from 6/15-10/5/22…this was the second longest streak among Mariners starters trailing only Logan Gilbert (22).

SEASON-LONG STAMINA…made 32 starts last season which was tied for 1st among Mariners pitchers with Logan Gilbert and Robbie Ray…his 183.0 innings pitched was 3rd on the team last year trailing only Ray (189.0) and Gilbert (185.2)…he also led Seattle’s starting pitchers in decisions earning 25 decisions out of his 32 starts in 2022.

ND THEN THERE WERE TWO…made his first career start against the Philadelphia Phillies on 4/25, the 28th different team he has faced in his career…the only teams he has not pitched against are St. Louis and Seattle, the two teams he has played for during his Major League career.

DETROIT TIGERS NOTES:

TIGERS BLANK GUARDIANS 5-0 FOR SERIES WIN: The Tigers earned a series win against the Guardians with a 5-0 win on Wednesday. Three Tigers pitchers combined on the four-hit shutout, led by Eduardo Rodriguez who twirled 7.0 scoreless innings with four hits allowed, two walks and eight strikeouts. Jason Foley and Chasen Shreve each pitched a scoreless inning out of the bullpen to close the game. Offensively, Andy Ibáñez had two hits, including a double, and drove in a run, while Javier Báez and Zach McKinstry each contributed two knocks. Akil Baddoo and Spencer Torkelson added a hit and a RBI.

ROSTER MOVE: The Tigers have announced the following roster move:
*Placed RHP Spencer Turnbull on the 15-day injured list (neck discomfort), retroactive to May 7

EROD CONTINUES TO ROLL: Eduardo Rodriguez continued his impressive stretch of pitching on Wednesday at Cleveland, throwing 7.0 shutout innings with four hits allowed, two walks and eight strikeouts. Rodriguez has now thrown 5.0-or-more innings and allowed one run-or-fewer in six straight starts, the longest stretch of his career and tied with Michael Fulmer (May 21-June 17, 2016) and Al Benton (April 19-May 20, 1945) for the second-longest streak in franchise history. Justin Verlander holds the longest streak in club history with seven straight from June 9-July 10, 2011. Over his last six starts, Rodriguez has compiled a 4-0 record with a 0.43 ERA (41.2IP/2ER) and 41 strikeouts.

IBÁÑEZ HEATING UP: Andy Ibáñez had a pair of hits, including a double, and drove in a run on Wednesday against the Guardians. After starting
the season 0x10, Ibáñez has hit safely in seven of his last eight games, slashing .440/.462/.720 with four doubles, a homer and four RBI over
that span.

SERIES-LY SPEAKING: With Wednesday’s win at Cleveland, the Tigers clinched the series against the Guardians. Detroit has won six of its last eight series with the only two series losses in that span coming to Baltimore. Since April 13, the Tigers have a 15-10 (.600) record, which is the fifth-best record in the American League and the seventh-best mark in the Majors in that span.

RECAPPING THE ROAD TRIP: The Tigers went 4-2 on their recently completed six-game road trip, taking two-of-three games from both St. Louis and Cleveland. As a team, Detroit hit .271/.325/.398 on the trip, while the pitching staff posted a 3.40 ERA (53.0IP/20ER). Individually, Andy Ibanez went 7×18 with three doubles, a home run and two RBI over the six games, while Spencer Torkelson went 10×26 with three doubles, a homer and five RBI. Akil Baddoo (.375), Eric Haase (.353), Javier Baez (.320), Riley Greene (.318) and Zach McKinstry (.313) all hit better than .300 on the road trip.

TIGERS AND MARINERS: The Tigers and Mariners begin their six-game season series tonight. Along with the three games this weekend, the two teams will play three games in Seattle to open the second half of the season from July 14-16. Detroit went 1-6 against the Mariners last season, including being swept in a three-game series at Comerica Park.

AT COMERICA PARK: The Tigers tonight begin a five-game homestand, which includes three games vs. Seattle (May 12-14) and two games vs. Pittsburgh (May 16-17). Detroit has an 8-7 record at home this season. As a team, the Tigers are hitting .249/.312/.394 at Comerica Park, while the pitching staff has a 4.34 ERA (139.0IP/67ER).

TIGERS ON THE IL:

  • RHP Beau Brieske (right upper arm discomfort, 15-day IL on March 30, retroactive to March 27)
  • OF Kerry Carpenter (right shoulder sprain, 10-day IL on April 29, retroactive to April 28)
  • RHP Matt Manning (right foot fracture, 60-day IL on April 12)
  • OF Austin Meadows (anxiety, 60-day IL on April 8, retroactive to April 7)
  • RHP Casey Mize (right elbow sprain, 60-day IL on February 17)
  • RHP Freddy Pacheco (right elbow sprain, 60-day IL on March 27)
  • LHP Tarik Skubal (left elbow strain, 60-day IL on March 14)
  • RHP Spencer Turnbull (neck discomfort, 15-day IL on May 12, retroactive to May 7)
  • RHP Trey Wingenter (right biceps tendinitis, 15-day IL on April 22, retroactive to April 19)

TONIGHT’S TIGERS STARTING PITCHER – #48 Matthew Boyd • 2-2, 5.28 ERA (30.2IP/18ER)

  • Boyd will make his seventh start of the season tonight in the series opener vs. Seattle.
  • Picked up his second win of the season in his most recent start last Friday at St. Louis, allowing three runs on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 6.0 innings.
  • Has made six career appearances, including five starts, against the Mariners and has a 2-1 record with a 3.52 ERA (30.2IP/12ER) and 33 strikeouts…in 75 career outings, including 72 starts, at Comerica Park, Boyd has a 22-26 record with a 4.17 ERA (406.0IP/188ER) and 353 punchouts.
  • Missed most of the 2022 season while rehabbing from an injury, but returned in September to pitch in 10 games and help Seattle to the playoffs…went 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA (13.1IP/2ER) and 13 strikeouts in his 10 outings with the Mariners.
  • Is in his second stint with the Tigers…was with the organization from 2015-21, appearing in 147 games, including 143 starts, and compiling
    a 37-60 record with a 4.87 ERA (777.2IP/421ER) and 752 strikeouts.
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