Lackluster effort from the Mariners last night, as they let the Oakland Athletics push them around for a 9-3 final in Seattle. Matt Olson connected on a grand slam to break things open in the 5th inning and that was the ball game right there. The Mariners had a chance in the previous half inning with the bases loaded with 1 out and weren’t able to do anything.
Oakland showed them quickly why they are going to the postseason and the Mariners aren’t. Don’t tell the A’s that they’ve already clinched a wildcard, though. They looked like a team in a must-win situation. Homefield in the Wild Card Game against the Yankees is still up for grabs, though. If they can stay away from Yankee Stadium that would be the best-case scenario.
The Mariners should be applauded for their come from behind win on Tuesday, though. They tied it up in the 9th and then walked off in extras. The A’s are 1.5 games behind the Yankees for homefield, so that might be one they look back on if they have to fly out to the east and play at Yankee Stadium. They left no doubts about it last night, though.
Edwin Jackson pitched a nice game and the bullpen held steady unlike the previous night. The Rangers travel to Seattle, as they try to find some motivation in the season finale this weekend. They’ll give another start to rookie Ariel Jurado to open the series up this evening in Seattle. The Mariners are scheduled to counter with Marco Gonzales on the mound. Head below for our free Rangers vs. Mariners pick and the rest of our writeup.
Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners Pick
Ariel Jurado (4-5, 6.66 ERA) vs. Marco Gonzales (13-9, 4.12 ERA)
The Rangers will give Ariel Jurado his eighth start of the year and his career in Seattle tonight. They collectively own the second worst ERA in baseball as a rotation, with a team ERA of 5.42. In other words, there is absolutely nothing to lose for the Rangers right now, so sending out Jurado to give him some experience isn’t a bad idea. It might hurt the team now, but when you’re a 66-92 baseball team, that’s kind of irrelevant in September.
He comes into Seattle with some rough showings on the road. Jurado holds an ERA of 7.96 and 1.81 WHIP in 26 innings on the road. He’s allowed 4 or more runs in four of five starts. The rookie posted an 8.16 ERA and 1.95 WHIP in his previous three starts. His most recent was a nice outing against the Mariners in Texas, but now he has to do it again on the road, where he hasn’t been sharp at all. I think the Mariners are going to get to him the second time around.
Gonzales enters for the Mariners with an ERA of 2.25 and 0.88 WHIP in his last three starts. The lefty is coming off an impressive showing against the Rangers, as he allowed just 1 hit and no runs in 6 innings. He’s been better in Seattle as well, with an ERA of 3.87 as opposed to a 4.33 ERA on the road. The road didn’t bother him in Arlington, though. After getting swept by the Angels, don’t expect the Rangers to fly to Seattle with much motivation. Look for the Mariners to get out of Thursday night with a win by 2 runs or more.