Records: Sox 64-82 Mariners: 60-86
Game Times: Fri 9:10/Sat 8:10/Sun 3:10
TV: Fri/Sun WGN Saturday NBCSN
Tis No Man, Tis A Remorseless Eating Machine: Lookout Landing
It’s always fun at the end of a season to have two rebuilding teams throwing whatever they can at each other. This matchup between the Sox and the Mariners promises to be no different, as they’re both basically in the same spot as each other in their rebuild. The both made big splashy moves in their off-seasons for the past few years, and now they’re both just sitting in front of the stove, waiting for the water to boil.
While the White Sox water may be bubbling more than the Mariners right now, it’s not by much. The M’s have a pretty interesting group of position players ready to take the next step in their major league careers, mixed in with some aging veterans who have been providing decent pop for the team. The Mariners as a whole are a better hitting team than the White Sox so far in the season, with their big bats being lead by Kyle “Not Cory” Seager and Dan “West Coast Palka” Vogelbach.
Seager missed the first 3 months of the season with a pretty nasty ligament tear in his hand. Before that he scuffled through the 2018 season, enduring his worst stretch of his career that saw him slash .221/.273/.400 and post an 83 WRC+, down almost 50 points from 2016-2017 seasons. He’s back at it this year however, as he has a .248/.331/.503 line thus far in 90 games, with 22 home runs. He’s been on a tear since the all star break, having hit 14 of those 22 home runs in the months of August and September. His .256 BABIP suggests that it’s pretty real, and actually he’s getting some bad batted ball luck in there as well.
The issue for the Mariners is not on the offensive side, as it’s their pitching that has let them down thus far in the season. They’re second worst in the AL, and third from the bottom of the league behind the BP machines that are the Marlins and the Orioles. Japanese import Yusei Kikuchi has not had the effect the Mariners were hoping for, as he’s gotten routinely shelled with a 5.24 ERA and 1.48 WHIP so far on the season.
Softball pitcher Mike Leake is gone, as he got shipped to ‘Zona at the deadline. The ghost of King Felix is here, who just returned from his 33rd trip to the IL since 2017 related to his shoulder which is “fine” and “structurally sound” and not at all “made from paper mache and balsa wood.” I joke here, but I actually love King Felix and were he on any other team than the Mariners would’ve had a pretty decent shot at being a Hall of Fame pitcher. Sam had a pretty great take a few weeks ago when they played the Cubs, check it out here. He’s also responsible for one of my favorite GIFs of all time, which is from last season when he struck out Adrian Beltre (who is also a national treasure) with a nasty change that resulted in a hideous swing, which Felix saw and prompted this reaction:
The only highlight for the M’s pitching staff is ace Marco Gonzalez, who came over from the Cardinals and almost immediately became the pitcher St. Louis had drafted him to be. Thankfully the Sox will miss him this time through the rotation. They will see Justus Sheffield (son of Gary) on Sunday, the prized rookie that came over from the Yankees in the Edwin Encarnacion trade. Sheffield was up earlier in the year and got knocked around pretty good. He got called back up a few weeks ago and has fared a bit better since then but still has a 4.43 ERA.
For the Pale Hose, the story remains the same. The Bullpen needs to be ready tonight, as they trot Dylan Covey out again to get decimated. Perhaps this time he makes it out of the 3rd inning, but I’m not going to hold my breath. Dylan Cease gets a chance to work on his fastball location again, and perhaps keep the walks down under 3. Nova goes again on Sunday. If the Sox pitching can keep the M’s off the board, the bats should have a good chance at feasting on sub-par Mariner’s pitching.
Let’s Go Sox