Series Preview: Mariners vs. Indians

Braden MooreAnalyst IApril 28, 2008

After a disappointing series against the rival Oakland Athletics, the Seattle Mariners travel to Cleveland to take on the Indians.

Cleveland has been playing much better as of late, winning four of its last five games. 

In addition, Cy Young winner C.C. Sabathia has seemed to have snapped out of his early season slump, pitching much better in his last two outings.

Seattle, on the other hand, seems to be stuck in neutral. 

The Mariners have lost their last two series at home, and have done so in embarrassing fashion.  In four of its last five loses, the bullpen has given up late leads.

Tuesday April 29 7:05 p.m.

Seattle: Carlos Silva (3-0, 2.83 ERA) @ Cleveland: Fausto Carmona (3-1, 2.89 ERA)

The series opener pits two pitchers who have eerily similar stats.  Both pitchers have pitched well to start the season off, and are known as ground ball pitchers. 

Silva had to leave his last start with tightness in his leg and it is unknown how that will affect this start.  Carmona is one of the rising stars in this league and is a treat to watch.

Wednesday April 30 7:05 p.m.

Seattle: Jarrod Washburn (1-3, 4.03 ERA) @ Cleveland: Cliff Lee (4-0, 0.28 ERA)

Cliff Lee has been lights out to start the season, and many people are wondering if he is for real. 

Unfortunately, this game probably will not tell us much as the anemic Seattle offense is not a good measuring stick for this pitcher.  Washburn has been the worst of the Seattle starters this year, although he has not been terrible by any stretch. 

He has talent, but is struggling to regain the form he showed earlier in his career with the Angels.

Thursday May 1 7:05 p.m.

Seattle: Miguel Batista (2-3, 5.26 ERA) @Cleveland: Paul Byrd (1-2 4.85 ERA)

The series finale provides the most unassuming pitching matchup.  However, for fans, this could mean exciting offensive fireworks. 

Miguel Batista is the other Mariner starter that had to pull out of his last outing because of injury.  He claims it is just soreness and he should be good to go. 

For Cleveland, Byrd needs to come out and control the strike zone as he does not throw hard enough to dominate Seattle hitters with his fastball.

This series is a must win for the Mariners. If they do not win at least two of the games in this series, the season will begin to spiral out of control. 

Unfortunately, they do not hold any advantage in the pitching matchups, and the Indians have the more potent offense.  When you consider that Seattle is on the road, this series has the potential to get really, really ugly.