Thursday, April 3, 2008

Series Preview: M's @ Orioles; 4/4-7/08

The Mariners next oppenent will be the Baltimore Orioles, when the team goes on it's first road trip to, whatever a nickname for Baltimore is. Erik Bedard will return to his old stomping grounds, and the Mariners will face George Sherrill and Adam Jones for the first time since dealing them.

Projected Starters:
4/4 - Jarrod Washburn vs. Adam Loewen
4/5 - Miguel Batista vs. Jeremy Guthrie
4/6 - Erik Bedard vs. Brian Burress
4/7 - Felix Hernandez vs. Daniel Cabrera

Keys to the Series:

Watch Out for the Fearsome Lineup
Okay, a little sarcasm never hurt anyone. The Orioles have one of the worst lineups in baseball, but do have a solid 2B in Brian Roberts, and a budding star in RF Nick Markakis, both are very good hitters. The rest of the lineup might as well be their AAA team's lineup, becuase there is next to nothing. After Roberts and Markakis, there's Aubrey Huff, Ramon Hernendez, Melvin Mora and maybe Kevin Millar. It probably would be better for the future of the Orioles if they had rookies and young players taking over the spots of the veterans mentioned - don't get me wrong, because those mentioned have had good spots in their career, but all of the bald spots override the few patches of hair. The Mariners can't take the lineup lightly, but shouldn't stress out over it because they aren't facing the Yankees or Tigers.

Put Runs Up Early
Yes I mentioned it last time, and yes it's something that you always want to do, but by scoring the runs in the first couple innings, and setting the tone, it will allow the starters to relax a bit, and make better pitches. And possibly prolong their starts, something that is desperately needed. Baltimore's pitching staff is the equivalent of my chances of going out and breaking a world record for sprinting. Not very good at best. More in the lines of sucks. The Mariners can't relax and take it easy, because Adam Loewan and Daniel Cabrera have some pretty good stuff, alright I threw Cabrera in there for good showing, so Loewan has some good stuff, that when given the oppurtunity, can prove very effective. It's too bad his arm has been wasted thus far in his career.

Plate Discipline
The Mariners have been pushing for their hitters to be patient at the plate this year. The Mariners proved that waiting worked out well, by drawing 14 walks already in their first three games. Something that took them eight games to accomplish last season. If they can do so again, they can put a little bit of heat on the Orioles young pitchers, causing them to try and overdo all of their pitches, leading to mistakes for the Mariners to potentially take advantage of. Also, Daniel Cabrera, who is loaded with potential that has never come out, is coming off of back to back 100 walk seasons.

Take a Breather
Okay. Opening Day is over with, and so are the home fans for right now. The Mariners need to relax and take a bit of stress off of their backs that comes with the beginning of the season. I'm not saying that the Mariners can let loose, yet, but there's not a lot of pressure associated with playing in Baltimore, which isn't a great team as I have mentioned numerous times throughout this post, and not playing a division oppenent. The Mariners can't stress out too much over the loss of JJ Putz. They have pitches capable of filling the void for the time being. Look at what Jeremy Accardo did in Toronto last year when BJ Ryan underwent TJ surgery. Relax, but still go out and give it your best effort Mariners.

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