The Mariners are set to resume things with the Texas Rangers (6-7) this evening. There are three remaining games of the four-game set from Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers are pretty banged up right now. Perennial All-Star Adrian Beltre has been recently placed on the 15-day DL. Top prospect Jurickson Profar as well as SP Derek Holland have both been sidelined since Spring Training, and Prince Fielder is struggling mightily to adapt to his new club and surroundings.
The Rangers do, however, get Colby Lewis back in their rotation for the first time since 2012. He will likely need some time to get comfortable again from a Big League pitcher’s mound.
Globe Life Park is notoriously a hitter’s venue. If the likes of Robinson Cano and Dustin Ackley can stay hot for the Mariners, a 2-2 series split should be the likeliest of outcomes. It will mostly hinge on the marquee matchup in the series when Rangers ace Yu Darvish (1-0) is set to start Wednesday evening against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez (3-0). There should not be too many digits in the box score for this game, so whoever plays the better game of small ball on the night will come out on top.
Following their stop in the Lone Star State, the Mariners will head east to Long Beach for a three-game set against the Miami Marlins (5-9).
Lloyd McClendon and Co. will be somewhat out of their comfort zone here, as this will be the Mariners’ first interleague series of the year. Losing the DH spot will hurt their lineup, given that collectively, the Mariners are hitting only .232 as a team in the early go this season (24th in MLB). The Marlins, on the other hand, are hitting .262 as a team (7th best in MLB). Right now, it does not look like Jose Fernandez will take the ball against the Mariners over the Apr. 18-20 series. The Mariners have a few question marks in their rotation, so to lose the series 1-2 is still better than getting swept. Unless they experience a positive spike in offensive production, this should be the case.
Seven straight road games is never a favorable endeavor for a team to take on. The Mariners should play well, but with an AL West division rival on tap and then a crossover to the National League as their slated opponents, it will be a challenge.
As bench boss McClendon put it amidst losing the weekend series to the Oakland Athletics: “You don’t get ice cream for playing well. You get ice cream for winning.” Well said Lloyd, well said. The remaining seven days in Dallas and Miami should be warm ones. It would be nice if the Mariners had an insatiable appetite for some ice cream.