Seattle Mariners (9-10) at Detroit Tigers (10-8)
Time/Place: 1:00 p.m., Comerica Park
SB Nation Blog: Lookout Landing
Pitching Matchup: Hector Noesi (1-2, 9.49 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (1-1, 6.32 ERA)
ThirteenofTwo, take it away:
Game three will likely be started by Hector Noesi, who was acquired from the Yankees last year in the Michael Pineda trade. He is very much a work in progress, but he's in the rotation so that the GM can tell the fan base that the M's got two regulars out of the trade instead of just Montero. His ceiling is Matt Garza, but he's not near that yet, since he has problems with both his slider and his curve. Only the fastball and change up are really reliable. He also pitches really, really slowly, so he's boring to watch. Some fans expect him to get sent down to AAA to work on his secondary pitches soon. Think of him, as far as analogies go, as a less experienced Max Scherzer. There is blue-eyed Noesi, and there is brown-eyed Noesi. Blue-eyed Noesi shut out the Athletics for eight innings with a stupid number of infield fly balls. Brown-eyed Noesi got destroyed by both the Rangers and the White Sox. If the Tigers are going to beat a guy up, it'll be Noesi.
I like these odds.
Like Adam Wilk, Porcello got smacked around in his last start. I didn't expect Wilk to get lit up like he did last night, but I'm not completely surprised by it either. I'll be much more surprised if Porcello suffers the same fate this afternoon though. Kid Rick is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA in 5 career starts against the Mariners, including a 7 IP, 1 ER gem in his second career start in 2009.
About Last Night
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.
Dude. Felix Hernandez.
"Good teams don't have stretches like this."
Of the 8 teams that made the playoffs last season, three of them had winning records after their first 18 games, and two of those three didn't make it out of the first round. The Tigers were 8-10 after their 18th game of the season, an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Seattle Mariners (funny how that works). The Mariners starter that evening? Doug Fister, who many seem to forget still exists.
Don't be surprised if Jim Leyland gives us one of his patented "Sunday lineups" today with a trip to New York looming. There are a few guys on the roster that could probably use a day off, and Leyland sometimes likes to bolster the infield defense a bit with Porcello on the mound.
Porcello backs everyone away from the ledge with a strong performance today. Also, Ramon Santiago does something warranting a "Razor Ramon" picture in the game thread (so watch him not play now that I've said this).
Once again, a big thanks to ThirteenOfTwo for his inside look at the Mariners throughout this series.