Jason A. Churchill, 1090 The Fan

(1090 The Fan) — The Seattle Mariners can be eliminated from postseason contention Friday night with a loss and a win by the Oakland Athletics in Texas. If any other scenario plays out, the Mariners’ season will remain alive into Saturday.

The Angels aren’t likely to go all out in terms of their starting pitchers going deep into games and their bullpen, primarily Joe Smith and Huston Street, being fully available the entire series. It’s very likely, however, that most of the Angels’ regulars do play at least two of the three games, at least for the first five or six innings.

Pitching Matchup | Jason A. Churchill, 1090 The Fan
Game 1: Friday, 7:10 PM PT @ Safeco Field — Hisashi IWakuma, RHP vs. Jered Weaver, RHP
Iwakuma has been pounded the past three or four weeks despite his raw stuff remaining as good as ever. He’s leaving the splitter up in the zone, and in my opinion is not throwing enough four-seam fastballs and curveballs early in counts. When ahead in the count, Iwakuma goes to the splitter more than 40 percent of the time and versus lefties that goes up to 44 percent. With two strikes against left-handed batters, he throws the splitter more than 51 percent of the time. That’s predictable to some extent, and batters of late are laying off the pitch down and forcing better counts as a result.

Iwakuma has had great success versus the Halos, allowing just eight hits in47 at-bats to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols combined, but the Halos roughed up ‘Kuma two starts back and the club has noted a groin injury having bothered the M’s No. 2 starter in recent starts.

Jered Weaver gets the rock for the Angels and the M’s have seen him three times this season, plating eight earned runs on his ledger over 18 1/3 innings. Dustin Ackley has nine hits in 26 at-bats versus Weaver lifetime, including four extra-base hits. Robinson is 15-for-38 career versus Weaver and Michael Saunders is 7-for-23, so the M’s have bats that have done consistent damage versus the right-handed Weaver.

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