After dropping a series in Anaheim before splitting a four-game set versus the Athletics in Oakland, the Orioles will now head to Seattle to take on the Mariners to conclude their three-legged, ten-game tour through the West Coast.
And to say it is a crucial three-game set on the Orioles remaining schedule would be an understatement.
The Orioles (58-60) are just a half a game behind the Rays for third place in the AL East and trail the Angels by only 2.5-games for the second and final wild card spot in the American League. While their 3-4 record so far during the ten-game stint on the West Coast leaves much to be desired, the Orioles have pulled themselves right back into the fight after going 10-6 over their last sixteen contests and 16-11 over their last 27 ballgames.
The Mariners (59-60) have been through a roller coaster of a season as well, but just like the Orioles, they remain right in the thick of the chase for the postseason as we approach the 3/4 mark of the 2017 campaign. The Mariners are just two games out of a wild card spot, and they’ll be looking to close the gap versus the Orioles directly after getting swept by the Angels over the weekend at Safeco Field.
This series will mark the first Orioles-Mariners match-up of the season. The Orioles will be looking for some revenge after going 1-6 versus Seattle in 2016.
Will the Orioles come home in high spirits, or will their hosts send them home singing the blues?
Only time will tell. Let’s go to the starters.
Gausman had an off day, allowing four runs on eight hits over 5 1/3 innings during his last start versus Anaheim, but he’ll be looking to shake it off and get back to his dominant ways in Seattle. Over his last five starts, Gausman has posted a 3-1 record and a phenomenal 1.64 ERA. Over his last nine contests, the O’s flamethrower owns a 5-1 record and an impressive 3.27 ERA.
Gallardo was tagged during his last start versus Oakland and allowed three runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings. However, Gallardo has been much improved since re-joining the rotation at the start of the second half of the season. Over his last five games (four starts), Gallardo has gone 2-0 with a decent 4.29 ERA.
The Mariners still have a TBD starter going up against Wade Miley (6-9, 5.19 ERA) on Tuesday.
Miley was incredible during his last start in Oakland and finished off his gem having allowed just a single unearned run on three hits over seven stellar innings. In fact, Miley has been heating up at the perfect time for the Orioles. Over his last three outings, Miley has notched a perfect 2-0 record and an amazing 2.12 ERA. Over two career starts versus Seattle, Miley has gone 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA.
As if it couldn’t get any worse for the Mariners with future hall-of-famer Felix Hernandez and veteran ace Hisashi Iwakuma already having missed the majority of the 2017 campaign due to injury, they’ve now lost their current staff ace James Paxton (12-3, 2.78 ERA) to a pectoral strain for what will probably be the bulk of the remaining schedule. As a result, the Mariners will run with a patchwork rotation indefinitely. Christian Bergman was called up recently, so he could fill Paxton’s slot in the rotation here.
#Mariners recall RHP Thyago Vieira from AAA Tacoma. RHP Christian Bergman has been optioned to Tacoma.
— MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) August 14, 2017
Jimenez put in another impressive start during his last time out versus Oakland and allowed three runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings while recording a season-high eleven strikeouts, but had to leave the game early after being hit in the lower leg with a comebacker. Thankfully, he’s ready to rock and roll going forward. Over his last four outings, Jimenez has gone 1-1 with a superb 2.62 ERA and 32 strikeouts over 24 innings. In seven career starts versus Seattle, Jimenez has gone 2-3 with a 5.85 ERA.
Gonzales shook off a rough club debut and allowed just a single run on four hits over 4 1/3 innings during his last start against the Angels. Recently acquired from St. Louis, the 25-year-old southpaw will have a golden chance to become a staple in a major league rotation in the Emerald City. The Gonzaga alum was the Cardinals’ first-round pick in 2013 and is still recovering from the Tommy John Surgery that cost him the entire 2016 campaign.
Here’s to flying home on a high note!