Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MARINERS: Detroit Tigers Series Preview (May 25-26)

The Detroit Tigers (25-19) make their second trip to Seattle (16-28) tonight for a short two-game series against our Mariners. And after having troubles producing offensively last month at Safeco Field, the Tigers are less one of their best hitters in Miguel Cabrera. Earlier this week, the Tigers announced that Cabrera will not be with the team on the remainder of their current road trip while he tends to his wife (or girlfriend?) gives birth to their upcoming child.

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The Cabrera-less Tigers brings good news to M’s fans, but unfortunately it will come at the expense of facing their ace Justin Verlander (5-2, 3.43) whose coming off a masterpiece last week down in Oakland (9.0 IP, 1 ER).

We should expect a pitching-duel as the most reliable pitcher in the M’s lineup as of late takes the mound to face-off Verlander. RHP Doug Fister (3-2, 1.96) looks to bounce back from a moderate start against Toronto last week, but it will most likely come down to run-support, which has been the Mariners’ biggest demon all year long.

On Wednesday’s matinee matchup, Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.08) faces off against Jeremy Bonderman (2-2, 4.43) in what should be a little more offensively threatening for both sides. The last time Bonderman pitched at Safeco (Griffey Jr.’s first bobble head night of the season), he got rocked in only 4 IP giving up 10 R. Hopefully that’ll serve as a bid of confidence and remind the M’s lineup exactly what they’re capable of against an inconsistent pitcher.

Looking ahead, I’m predicting another lackluster offensive performance from Seattle tonight against Verlander, but hopefully we will bounce back on Wednesday and keep our “day-game luck” rolling at Safeco Field after our dramatic win against Toronto last week. Before heading down to Los Angeles for the first time of the season against the Angels, it doesn’t take a genius to say the Mariners could use a win or two and gain any sort of momentum before facing a division rival on the road.

Reach Jacob Kehle at nextseasonsports@gmail.com