By John Boyle
Wow, how was that for a cheesy headline?
But the point remains, in a season full of nondescript baseball games (the M’s sure have played a lot of those in recent years, haven’t they?) tonight’s matchup between the Mariners and Rangers stands out as one worth watching.
For starters, the Mariners are coming home having just swept Colorado, while—gasp—actually hitting well. But this game has some extra luster on it thanks to the pitching matchup of Felix Hernandez and Texas rookie sensation Yu Darvish (hence the bad headline on this blog post).
Darvish, a 25-year-old from Japan who Texas paid big money for this offseason, made his Major League debut against the Mariners last month, and even though it didn’t go particularly well—he gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in the first inning—Darvish did earn his first win that day.
Well since that game, Darvish has been very impressive, lowering his ERA to 2.60 while running his record to 6-1.
Hernandez, meanwhile, is coming off of one of the worst outings of his career, having given up 10 hits and six earned runs before coming out of the game with two outs in the fourth. Call it a hunch, but I think we can expect a much, much better performance out of Hernandez tonight.
The Mariners may be a couple years away from contending with Texas in the AL West, but tonight anyway, should be compelling game between the two teams.
Here’s the lineup the Mariners will use against Darvish tonight:
Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
Michael Saunders (L) CF
Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
Kyle Seager (L) 3B
Jesus Montero DH
Justin Smoak (S) 1B
John Jaso (L) C
Mike Carp (L) LF
Brendan Ryan SS
Felix Hernandez RHP