Mariners Preview (3/31/14): King Looks To Feast On AL West Foes
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(1090 The Fan) — The Mariners have been referred to as a “new-look” club all offseason based on significant signings and acquisitions — most notably the ten-year, $240 million addition of All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano and the hiring of manager Lloyd McClendon.
However, for Opening Day, Seattle wants anything but “new” from ace Felix Hernandez.
King Felix gets the start tonight as the Mariners begin a new season against their American League West rivals, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. And if the King whips out one of his old recipes for the Halos, the Mariner faithful will be completely satisfied.
Hernandez, who will get is seventh Opening Day start tonight (which will be his sixth in a row), is coming off another strong season in which he made the All-Star team and received both Cy Young and MVP nods. In 2013 he finished with a 3.04 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and tallied 216 strikeouts.
In five appearances against the Angles last season, Hernandez went 2-1 with an ERA of 2.90. He struck out 33 batters and only walked six batters out of the 127 he faced.
On the mound for Anaheim will be ace Jared Weaver. After a dominant 2012 campaign, Weaver struggled through some injuries in 2013 and went 11-8 with a 3.27 ERA in 24 starts.
Last season the Mariners hit .235 off Weaver over the course of two games, striking out 11 times in 52 plate appearances (21%).
According to Greg Johns of MLB.com, newcomer Corey Hart will not get the start against Weaver tonight. McClendon will likely reserve Hart for left-handed pitching until the two-time All-Star gets comfortable at the plate again. Hart missed the entire season last year due to surgeries on both knees.
-Chris Coyle, 1090 The Fan
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