For the second day in a row, the Padres and Mariners are pitting two very hittable starting pitchers against each other. Clayton Richard was true to 2013 form yesterday while Aaron Harang of all people threw a four-hit complete game shutout, so it's anybody's guess what could happen today. Edinson Volquez could throw a one-hitter or Brandon Maurer could somehow strike out 21 batters. Baseball's weird like that.
After an uncharacteristic five game stretch of relative competence, Edinson Volquez has, as the old saying goes, gotten his ass handed to him his past two starts. He allowed five earned runs in six innings against the Nationals and then five more in five innings against the Cardinals, taking the loss in both. His 3-5 record with a 5.76 ERA mark him as a good candidate to get his proverbial face kicked in but since he's facing the Mariners, who knows?
Brandon Maurer has also been a run-filled pinata this season, his first. Like Volquez, he has mixed in the occasional decent start but his overall numbers paint the picture of a kindly old man throwing batting practice to his grandson's high school team. His last start, in which he allowed seven earned runs in three innings, brought his season record to 2-6 and fluffed his ERA up to 6.80. He too looks like a good candidate to get his proverbial face kicked in but since he's facing the Padres, who knows?
Volquez will be caught by Yasmani Grandal, who is making his return from a 50 game suspension. Grandal did fairly well in nine rehab games with AAA Tucson, and is expected to provide an improvement over Nick Hundley. Of course that's a pretty low bar so we'd be happy to see a bloop single from him.
Alexi Amarista is getting the start in center, bookended by Mark Kotsay and Will Venable, with Carlos Quentin DHing. I love seeing Alexi in the CF, not only because he's my favorite, but because so many people get so mad about it. Amarista has been hitting better than last season; he has a .268/ .304/ .433 slash line after putting up .240/ .282/ .385 last year. His outfield defense is a bit of a work in progress but seriously, come on. Lay off the guy.
Mariners lead the series 1-0
WP: Aaron Harang (2 - 5)
LP: Clayton Richard (0 - 5)
|0 - 9 loss|
|Wed 05/29||7:10 PM PDT|
|Thu 05/30||12:40 PM PDT|