(1090 The Fan) — Since August 1st, the Mariners’ bats have cooled off and the bullpen has imploded — their record doesn’t lie: 15-23 (since then).

And after the lopsided defeat last night against the Astros in game two of a three-game series, Seattle has now recorded 20 games in which the pitching has given up ten runs or more — none of those games were won either.

Plain and simple: Seattle needs to stop the bleeding and end the season at a respectable record given their position now. With 17 games remaining, there is no reason the team can’t win nine of those. Tonight is a must win; one from the St. Louis series; two from the Detroit series; two from the Anaheim series; two from the Kansas City series and two from the Oakland series.

Speaking of tonight, Seattle turns to Brandon Maurer because of Felix Hernandez’s nagging back problems.

Like most of the pitching staff, Maurer is looking to bring down his high ERA (6.85) and presumably commence his audition to be with the big league club all year next season. The righty has his work cut out for him: He’s been reached for eight runs in his last three appearances and lost his first encounter with Houston back on April 9 in a 16-9 setback. He gave up six runs in just two-thirds innings of work.

Should the Astros win tonight’s matchup, Houston would earn its first sweep since taking all four meetings from the Angels from May31-June 3.

Houston’s Brad Peacock gets the nod for the Astros.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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