The Seattle Mariners started the year fairly strong, but have been on a slow decline since then. They are beginning to realize which players are working out at the major league level and which aren't. They also may be getting near the end of their rope with first baseman Justin Smoak. When Mike Carp returns from the disabled list, some more changes may be in order.
The Mariners dropped a rough three-game series to the Oakland Athletics to wrap up the first half. It was a tight series that saw the M's give up a pair of walk-off wins. They'll be back at Safeco Field on Friday to kick off a new set of games against American League West rivals the Texas Rangers, so there will be no sort of reprieve to ease into the second half. The Mariners will need to hope their lineup wakes up and their pitching staff can shut down the potent bats of the first-place Rangers.
TV Schedule & Probable Pitchers
Friday's game will begin at 7:10 p.m. PT and will be televised on ROOT Sports. You can catch the radio broadcast on 710 ESPN. Kevin Millwood has not had a win in a game since May 28 -- against Texas. He has been solid for the team over that stretch, however. He will face the 5-4 Derek Holland, who owns a 5.05 ERA and a dandy mustache.
First pitch on Saturday will be at 6:10 p.m. PT and will be televised on ROOT Sports. You can catch the radio broadcast on 710 ESPN. It will be dueling aces in Game 2, as Yu Darvish brings a 10-5 record and 3.59 ERA into the game against Felix Hernandez, who is 6-5 with a 3.13 ERA. Will King Felix give his rooting section something to cheer about?
Sunday's finale will kick off at 1:10 p.m. PT will be televised on ROOT Sports. You can catch the radio broadcast on 710 ESPN. Hisashi Iwakuma will start for the Mariners, sliding into the rotation spot vacated by Hector Noesi, who has been sent down to Triple-A. The Rangers will have All-Star Matt Harrison on the mound, who owns an 11-4 record and a 3.10 ERA.
For all news and information regarding the Seattle Mariners, please visit Lookout Landing. For updates and perspective on the Texas Rangers, head on over to Lone Star Ball or stop by SB Nation Dallas. You can also check out everything we have to offer at Baseball Nation.