The Seattle Mariners start a three-game series at home against the Detroit Tigers tonight. While it seems like a typical three game series over the course of a 162 regular game season, this series for the M’s is important. The Mariners currently sit in third place in the AL West Division with a record of 21-20 returning to a game over.500 while the Tigers come in with a record 14-26 and in fourth place of the AL Central.
Having returned from a short 5 game road stand which saw the M’s win only one of five games to the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers. The offensive struggles that have been well documented for the past few weeks was enough for Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto to have no choice but call up the M’s top prospect Jarred Kelenic to make his Major League Debut for the 4-game series against Cleveland, believing Kelenic’s call up would inject some fire power into a lineup that has been cold.
The Mariners have the third worst offensive production this season with an overall .205 batting average with 264 hits base hits, with 166 runs, and 161 RBI’s. Heck, no one in the starting lineup is hitting at or over .300. Mitch Haniger has the highest batting average hitting .268 with 41 hits in 153 at bats, with 12 homeruns and 30 RBI’s.
Sure, Cleveland isn’t the same team that went to the 2016 World Series but they aren’t bad at all. They have a pitching staff that has the 7th best overall ERA while they lead the league in relief pitching with an overall 2.70ERA. So, for the Mariners to take the series over an in-form Cleveland side averaging 5.6666 runs in their 3 wins backed by their bullpen who is the 7th ranked bullpen this season, certainly turned a lot of heads this past weekend.
But now isn’t time for the M’s to relax against the underperforming Tigers, this is the time for the M’s to gain serious momentum. The Tigers come in with the worst ERA in relief pitching with a horrific 6.19ERA. This is the chance for the Mariners bats to get hot. It’s a perfect time for Jarred Kelenic to break in after going only 3 for 18 in his first series in the big leagues. I’m not expecting everyone in the Mariners lineup to hit like Edgar Martinez in the miraculous 1995 season but I’m certainly expecting players like Kelenic, Haniger, Moore, Seager, Lewis, Murphy, and Crawford can put the ball in play and move runners into scoring position and drive in runs.
Looking ahead to a challenging road series against the San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics starting Friday, this series against Detroit is a series the Mariners need to sweep all 3 games. The Mariners certainly struggled on the last road stand and might again this upcoming road trip. If they sweep Detroit, they put themselves in a better position for the upcoming road trip and the next home stand.