Okay, the All-Star break is over, so no more rambling posts from me about hotel rooms in Charleston, pepper games, Pepper Brooks, or Rickey being Rickey. Games that count are being played again, so we can focus back on the important stuff.
If you hadn't been paying attention (and I'm raising my hand on this), the Mariners have been playing very well lately, and have pushed themselves into both the AL West (2 1/2 games behind the Angels) and Wild Card races (1 1/2 behind the Indians). So this is a pretty big series to begin the second half of the season. But the Tigers aren't shirking from the competition, having won five of six against the Indians and Red Sox before the All-Star break.
Andrew Miller seems like an ideal starter to begin this series, as he didn't have to deal with the All-Star circus and is coming off his best start of the season (one run, three hits, and six strikeouts in seven innings) last Friday against Boston. When he can get his other pitches over the plate, Miller is hard to handle.
For Seattle, Felix Hernandez is one of those guys who could either throw a two-hit complete game or melt down and give up four runs in six innings. However, he's been great in his last two starts, allowing only two runs (on seven hits) in 16 innings. The big difference, as Lookout Landing details with visual evidence, has been Hernandez changing the grip on his curveball and slightly dropping his arm slot on the pitch.
Your SB Nation opposing view for this four-game series comes from the aforementioned Lookout Landing.
▪▪ What if the Mariners get Dontrelle Willis?
▪▪ Finally, thank you to the kind soul who sent me a color picture of Cartoon Magglio. Complete strangers have come up to me and asked what my secret is. I don't know if my mystery benefactor wants to be identified or not, so I'll just express my appreciation.