Orioles at Mariners Series Preview

Sports and Bets — August 10, 2015 at 8:38 pm by

After dropping two out of three to the Angels in a highly frustrating series, the Birds will wrap up their West Coast road trip with a three-game series against the Mariners. The Orioles are now three games back of the Angels for the 2nd Wild Card spot, and they desperately need to finish this trip on a high note. The O’s will get to dodge Felix Hernandez for the 2nd time this season, which is a huge break. But then again, the Birds won’t have the services of Professional Hitter Steve Pearce this time around, so I guess that evens things out.

The Breakdown
Baltimore Orioles (56-54) at Seattle Mariners (52-60)
Season Series: Baltimore leads 2-1
Last 10 Games: Baltimore’s 5-5, Seattle’s 6-4
Runs: Baltimore’s 8th, Seattle’s 25th
Home Runs: Baltimore’s 4th, Seattle’s 6th
Batting Average: Baltimore’s 11th, Seattle’s 27th
On-Base Percentage: Baltimore’s 20th, Seattle’s 26th
Team ERA: Baltimore’s 13th, Seattle’s 19th
Starter ERA: Baltimore’s 19th, Seattle’s 12th
Bullpen ERA: Baltimore’s 5th, Seattle’s 21th
Fewest Errors Made: Baltimore’s 1st, Seattle’s 11th

Baltimore’s Injury Report
P Mike Wright: 15-day DL (left calf)
OF Steve Pearce: 15-day DL (left oblique)

Seattle’s Injury Report
P Charlie Furbush: 15-day DL (left biceps)
P James Paxton: 15-day DL (left middle finger)

Monday, August 10 at 10:10 p.m. on MASN 2
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (5-6) vs. LHP Vidal Nuno (0-1)
Chen’s 2015: 21 GS, 130 IP, 106 Ks, 3.32 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
Chen’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 13.2 IP, 13 Ks, 7.24 ERA, 1.83 WHIP
Nuno’s 2015: 22 G, 1 GS, 39.1 IP, 41 Ks, 2.52 ERA, 1.12 WHIP

Chen wasn’t sharp in his last outing, taking a no-decision after giving up three runs on four hits and four walks while striking out four A’s over five innings. Unfortunately, performances like this have been the norm for Chen in the second half. In his four starts since the All-Star break, Chen is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA and 1.75 WHIP, and he’s struck out 16 batters over 20 innings. Chen will look to find his first half form against a Mariners club that he boasts excellent career numbers against. In seven career starts against Seattle, Chen is 2-3 with a 3.33 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, and he’s struck out 37 batters over 46 innings. This season, Chen took the loss in his first start against the Mariners. He surrendered four runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out four batters over seven innings.

The Mariners acquired Nuno and Mark Trumbo on June 3 in a trade with the Diamondbacks. Nuno is a fly ball pitcher, who throws in the high 80s with a slider, a changeup, a curveball, and a cutter. His slider is his best pitch, and he’s been throwing it a career-high 39.6% of the time this season. The 28-year-old has only been in the big leagues for parts of three seasons, but he’s already been on three teams. Nuno is familiar with the Birds, as he posted a 4.78 ERA in 22 appearances (17 starts) with the Yankees in 2013 and 2014. In three career appearances (one start) against the O’s, Nuno is 0-2 with an 11.17 ERA and 1.97 WHIP, and he’s struck out six batters over 9.2 innings. Nuno made his first start of the season last week after the Mariners traded J.A. Happ to the Pirates. He took a no-decision after giving up three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three Rockies over 3.2 innings.

Good News: Chris Davis is 2-for-4, Adam Jones is 2-for-4 with a HR, J.J. Hardy is 1-for-3, Ryan Flaherty is 1-for-2, Gerardo Parra is 1-for-2, and Matt Wieters is 1-for-1 with a HR off Nuno. Kyle Seager is 1-for-20, Jesus Montero is 1-for-10, Nelson Cruz is 2-for-9, Mike Zunino is 1-for-9, Austin Jackson is 1-for-8, Mark Trumbo is 0-for-5, Brad Miller is 0-for-4, and Seth Smith is 0-for-2 off Chen.

Bad News: Jonathan Schoop is 1-for-5, Caleb Joseph is 0-for-3, and Manny Machado is 0-for-3 off Nuno. Robinson Cano is 8-for-31 with a HR, Franklin Gutierrez is 1-for-3, and Logan Morrison is 1-for-3 off Chen.

Tuesday, August 11 at 10:10 p.m. on MASN 2
RHP Chris Tillman (8-7) vs. RHP Taijuan Walker (8-7)
Tillman’s 2015: 20 GS, 113.2 IP, 80 Ks, 4.35 ERA, 1.33 WHIP
Tillman’s Last Three Starts: 2-0, 23.2 IP, 14 Ks, 0.38 ERA, 0.46 WHIP
Walker’s 2015: 22 GS, 129 IP, 126 Ks, 4.67 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
Walker’s Last Three Starts: 1-0, 22.1 IP, 22 Ks, 2.82 ERA, 0.85 WHIP

Man, seeing Tilly on the bump will be a sight for sore eyes. Tillman hasn’t pitched since he injured his left ankle during his July 29 start. Tillman was sensational in that outing, too, picking up the win after holding the Braves scoreless over 8.2 innings. He gave up four hits and no walks while striking out two batters. Hopefully, Tillman’s ankle injury is behind him, and he’ll be able to continue making the Mariners pay for trading him away. In seven career starts against Seattle, Tillman is 6-0 with a 2.09 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, and he’s struck out 34 batters over 43 innings. This season, Tillman’s first start against the Mariners was cut short due to a lengthy rain delay. Tillman took a no-decision after allowing one run on one hit and three walks while striking out two batters over three innings.

Walker is a 22-year-old former 1st round pick, who’s had some trouble living up to his massive potential in his first full season in the bigs. His ugly 4.67 ERA can mostly be attributed to his struggles with keeping the ball in the park, as Walker’s served up 21 home runs in 129 innings this season. Unsurprisingly, Walker’s been going to his electric, mid 90s fastball early and often this season, throwing it 65.3% of the time. Walker also mixes in a splitter, a cutter, and a curveball. Walker’s first career start against the Birds came earlier this year, and the talented, young righty was knocked around. He took a no-decision after giving up four runs on seven hits and four walks while striking out three batters over 3.2 innings.

Good News: Jones is 1-for-3, Hardy is 1-for-2, Joseph is 1-for-2, David Lough is 1-for-2, and Davis is 0-for-0 with 2 walks off Walker. Jackson is 2-for-15, Seager is 3-for-14, Miller is 0-for-7, Montero is 0-for-6, Smith is 1-for-5, Gutierrez is 0-for-3, Trumbo is 0-for-2, and Zunino is 0-for-2 off Tillman. In the second half, Joseph is batting .343/.395/.771 with 4 HRs, 12 RBIs, and 6 runs scored in 11 games.

Bad News: Jimmy Paredes is 1-for-4, and Machado is 0-for-2 off Walker. Cano is 12-for-29 with 2 HRs, Cruz is 1-for-9 with a HR, and Morrison is 1-for-3 off Tillman. The Birds are 14-18 in one-run games, while the Mariners are 22-19.

Wednesday, August 12 at 3:40 p.m. on MASN & MLBN
RHP Kevin Gausman (2-3) vs. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (3-2)
Gausman’s 2015: 15 G, 7 GS, 53.1 IP, 44 Ks, 4.56 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
Gausman’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 20.1 IP, 15 Ks, 3.54 ERA, 1.08 WHIP
Iwakuma’s 2015: 10 GS, 63.1 IP, 51 Ks, 4.41 ERA, 1.11 WHIP
Iwakuma’s Last Three Starts: 1-1, 21.1 IP, 19 Ks, 4.22 ERA, 0.98 WHIP

After back-to-back strong outings, where Gausman gave up a total of two runs over 14.2 innings, he was roughed up by the Angels. Gausman took the loss after surrendering six runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out four batters over 5.2 innings. Gausman has now made seven starts for the Birds this season, and he’s only recorded quality starts in three of them. That’s certainly not an ideal ratio, but I can’t be too hard on Gausman’s performance this season with the way the Orioles have treated him like a fucking yo-yo. Gausman took a no-decision in his lone career start against Seattle. He gave up one run on seven hits and three walks while striking out three batters over 6.2 innings.

Iwakuma was terrific in his first three seasons with the Mariners, going 38-20 in 91 appearances (77 starts) with a 3.07 ERA and 1.09 WHIP while striking out 440 batters over 524 innings. In 2013, he was an All-Star and finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting. But this season, the 34-year-old has experienced some tough sledding. He missed more than two months of action with a strained right lat muscle, and he’s served up 12 homers in just 63.1 innings. While Iwakuma has been losing his battle with gopheritis, he still does a great job of generating ground balls and limiting free passes. This season, he’s getting hitters to put the ball on the ground 53.4% of the time, and he’s only walking 1.3 batters per nine innings. Iwakuma throws a high 80s fastball, a splitter, a slider, and a curveball. His splitter is his best pitch, and he’s been throwing it 24.8% of the time this season. In three career starts against the O’s, Iwakuma is 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, and he’s struck out 16 batters over 19.2 innings.

Good News: Davis is 3-for-8 with a HR, Joseph is 2-for-3, Lough is 1-for-3, Machado is 1-for-3, and Parra is 2-for-2 off Iwakuma. Morrison is 0-for-3, Jackson is 0-for-2, and Cruz is 0-for-1 off Gausman. The O’s are 22-17 in day games, while the Mariners are 16-21.

Bad News: Hardy is 0-for-9, Jones is 0-for-8, Flaherty is 1-for-6, Paredes is 0-for-3, Schoop is 0-for-3, and Wieters is 0-for-2 off Iwakuma. Cano is 4-for-6, Seager is 1-for-3, Zunino is 1-for-3, and Miller is 0-for-0 with 3 walks off Gausman. Cruz is currently working on a 19-game hitting streak, and he’s homered in 7 of his last 9 games (Kubatko). Cruz is tied for 1st in HRs (33), 7th in batting average (.325), and 4th in OPS (.998).

Enjoy the games, and let’s go O’s!

cover pic: Cali Sports News
stats: Baseball-Reference

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