Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MARINERS: Toronto Blue Jays Series Preview (May 19-May 20)

By Kyle Fosnes

The Mariners struggles have continued as they are in the midst of another losing streak, currently spanning four games. Even worse, the M’s have managed wins in only three of the last 17 ballgames. The season becomes increasingly difficult to watch with every passing game, as the team is 11 games below .500 and 7.5 games out of first place in the division.

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However, the Mariners do return home on Wednesday to begin a brief two-game series with the surprisingly powerful Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays have been swinging the bats very effectively, ranking first in all of baseball with 65 homeruns through this early season. The M’s have only 22, second to last in the league.

In this two-game series the Mariners throw Doug Fister (3-1, 1.72) Wednesday evening and Justin Vargas (3-2, 2.93) in the Thursday matinee. To counter, Toronto brings Brett Cecil (2-2, 5.46) and Ricky Romero (4-1, 2.88), respectively, to the Safeco Field mound.

The success of the Mariners in this series depends on the ability for the pitchers, bullpen included, to shut down the loud Blue Jay bats. Toronto has a powerful offense and rank second in the AL in runs scored. Fister and Vargas have shown the ability to shut down good teams and they must continue their superb pitching and benefit by thrifty defense.

A hope in the series, and the entire upcoming home-stand, is that the Mariner bats have shown signs of awakening. The M’s managed a total 16 hits and 9 runs, in the two games against the A’s. This is a positive sign for the offense, as each Figgins, Kotchman, and Johnson had two hits in the extra-inning loss on Tuesday.

This coming home-stand is a vital time for the Mariners to turn around their season. Can the Seattle pitching shut down the heavy Blue Jay bats? Can the M’s offense continue to get hits? Can the M’s end their four-game losing streak at Safeco field? Tune in to watch and keep it posted here for all the news. Go M’s!

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