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Game 18 Preview: Mariners at Tigers

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April 7, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
April 7, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Seattle Mariners at Detroit Tigers

Time/Place: 7:00 p.m., Comerica Park

SB Nation Blog: Lookout Landing

Media: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network

Pitching Matchup: Felix Hernandez (1-1, 2.76 ERA) vs. Adam Wilk (0-2, 4.00 ERA)

ThirteenOfTwo on Hernandez.

Starting game two is none other than Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. Tigers hitters will need to try to get to the bullpen quick, because the odds of shellacking King Felix early are... low. There was a bit of a scare earlier this season because Felix's velocity has been down and his fastball thus less effective than usual, but the velocity has been steadily increasing since his first start--and he's started to rely even more than usual on his absolutely murderous changeup. He was allowing an unusual number of fly balls earlier in the season, but fears were allayed last outing when he went 8 innings, 0 runs, 12 Ks, 1 BB, and a lot of groundouts against a good Cleveland offense. Felix is still Felix.

Yeah, he's OK.

Hernandez has an 8-2 record with a 2.79 ERA in 11 career starts against the Tigers. Jhonny Peralta is the only current Tiger to have hit a home run off of Hernandez, and he did so as a member of the Cleveland Indians.

Wilk got smacked around in his last start by the 1927 New York Yankees Texas Rangers. He needs to be better today, and probably will be. Not much else to say in that regard.

A long and detailed look at why the offense has been struggling

Nope, still not panicking. Move along.

Outlook

Basically, Wilk needs to have selective amnesia for 3 hours this evening. He needs to forget about (a) his last start, (b) the fact that he's pitching against Felix Hernandez, and (c) any pointers that Daniel Schlereth gave him between his first two starts. As for the offense? They can either hit, and all of Michigan will rejoice, or they can not hit, and I'll be the guy saying, "Dude, Felix Hernandez" at the end of the night.

Prediction

The comment section in tonight's snap reaction will be downright unbearable. Also, prepare for a more extended Casper Wells sighting.

Reexamining the Michael Pineda Trade - SB Nation Seattle, Jacob Thorpe
"Adding Montero - who incessantly draws Miguel Cabrera comparisons - was an impressive move for a team looking to build around a core of young players in Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak, Kyle Seager and others."

My reaction to the above quote:

50laugh_medium

via rapradar.files.wordpress.com

Note: this reaction also applies to anyone who is actually worried about the Tigers' chances at winning the division.

Has the Hope of the 2012 Mariners Already Died? - SB Nation Seattle, Peter Woodburn
And yet we're complaining about a 10-7 start despite having gone to the postseason twice in the past 24 seasons.

Know Thy Enemy: Seattle Mariners - DesigNate Robertson
Pure awesomeness, as always.

Yu Darvish blanks Yanks for 8-plus as 10-K night keys Rangers - ESPN
So yeah, what he did to us was no fluke.