The Seattle Mariners will win the American League West during the 2017 Major League Baseball season. Though the Mariners have started out the 2017 season with two losses against the Houston Astros, the team showed enough positive signs that fans of the team should still have a lot of confidence. When the hitting comes around this season, the Mariners should easily contend for a spot in the 2017 MLB Playoffs.
On Tuesday night (April 4), Hisashi Iwakuma took the mound for the Mariners, putting together a strong pitching performance for the team. Iwakuma allowed just two runs on four hits over six innings of work. He would pick up the loss, though, as the offense couldn’t sustain a rally against Lance McCuller Jr. and three top-tier relievers.
The Mariners were just one-for-10 with runners in scoring position, leaving 10 runners on base over the span of nine innings. Though the end result was negative, the fact that the Mariners got so many hitters on base and into scoring position was a huge positive. Continuing to do just that will lead to a lot of runs for the Mariners this season.
Bright spots at the plate included Robinson Cano, Mitch Haniger, and Jarrod Dyson (pictured above) coming through with doubles. Mike Zunino threw out George Springer twice trying to steal second base, the Mariners had another impressive showing from the bullpen, and some defensive gems in the field showcased what the team might be able to do this year.
The Seattle Mariners have started out the season with a 0-2 record, but there are still 160 games left on the schedule. That includes two more games against the Houston Astros over the next two nights. Winning those games will split the opening series and allow the Mariners to catch the Astros in the American League West standings.
Taking the mound on Wednesday night (April 5) is left-hander James Paxton, who is looking to get his 2017 campaign off to a good start. Injuries have slowed him down in each of the past two years, but he looks to bounce back in a big way. He’s 1-2 with a 4.88 ERA in four career starts against the Astros. Charlie Morton makes his debut for the Astros after signing a free-agent contract in the offseason.
Then, on Thursday night (April 6), Ariel Miranda will make his first start of the season. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Miranda was called up to replace Drew Smyly in the Mariners’ starting rotation. Smyly had to be added to the 60-day disabled list and will be on the shelf for quite some time. Miranda will be facing Joe Musgrave, who posted a 4.06 ERA and 1.21 WHIP during the 2016 MLB season. Start time for both games against the Astros is 5:10 p.m. PT.
The bats of Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager are going to come around. The three All-Star hitters are the core of the Seattle Mariners’ offense and showed no signs of slowing down during spring training. Now it’s just a matter of the three players getting their legs under them and performing when it counts. Fans who got to see the show that they put on in batting practice when the team arrived in Houston already know how well these guys are swinging the bats. Now they just need to prove it against the Astros.
Though Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma both picked up losses in their debuts, the team is still looking good on the mound. Combined, the Mariners have an ERA of just 2.81 and a WHIP of only 0.94. This means the team is giving up fewer than one baserunner an inning, which will eventually lead to a lot of success in the standings. Improved defense, some really good arms in the bullpen, and veteran starting pitching will keep the Mariners in every game. When the offense gets going, these Seattle Mariners are going to start stringing wins together and reminding fans of the 2001 season again.
[Featured Image by Bob Levey/Getty Images]