Well well well, look who it is. Less than a week after the Guardians left Seattle with a 3-1 series win in the first contest of 2023, they will be welcoming the Mariners to Cleveland for a three-game set. The Mariners lost two of three against the Angels in their last series, despite outscoring the Halo’s, 17-13, in the three games.
Obviously not much has changed from Monday to now — in fact, this afternoon’s pitching matchup is a rematch of Saturday. The Guardians won that game, 2-0, thanks to an outstanding performance from Aaron Civale. Today will be a chance to see if he can replicate the success of his cutter and half-dozen other pitches.
Game 2 is also a rematch, but it was a much different game than the Civale-Gilbert pitching duel in Game 1. Neither Marco Gonzales nor Cal Quantrill had their best stuff on Sunday, and the result was a lot of relievers getting work. Quantrill allowed four earned runs in 4.2 innings, and the Guardians tagged Gonzales for four in five innings. That game was Mike Zunino’s offensive breakthrough in which he hit a home run and a pair of doubles. He’ll need some more games like that to stay ahead of his struggles behind the plate.
One difference this time around is that the Guardians will be facing George Kirby in the series finale. Kirby enjoyed a 3.31 ERA in his rookie season, living on the edges of the zone and drawing some faint comparisons to Greg Maddux with his masterful control. Needless to say, he has a long way to go before he compares to one of the best pitchers of all time, but his command of upwards of five pitches will be trouble for the Guardians on Sunday. He was roughed up in his 2023 debut against Los Angeles, allowing four earned runs 4.1 innings. Still, he struck out five and only walked one — even on his worst days he shows some promise.
The Mariners will also get their first crack at Zach Plesac, who pitched so poorly — and was yanked so quickly — in his season debut that he still had enough life on his arm to come out of the bullpen if needed for the rest of the series. He is obviously not going anywhere right away, but another outing as poor as his one-inning, six-run disaster against the A’s will have to start making some people sweat. Luckily, thanks to the off-day yesterday and Hunter Gaddis going deep into the game on Wednesday, the bullpen should be plenty rested after a taxing first week of the season.
Weather shouldn’t be an issue for the series, though it won’t get much warmer than the low-50s at any point.
Team at a glance
- Record: 2-5
- Runs Scored: 29
- Run Differential: -1
- Last 10: 2-5
- Slash: .222/.286/.376
- wOBA: .293
- wRC+: 90
- ERA: 3.38
- SIERA: 4.48
- K-BB%: 9.8%
Friday, April 7, 4:10 p.m. ET: RHP Logan Gilbert vs. RHP Aaron Civale
Saturday, April 8, 6:10 p.m. ET: LHP Marco Gonzales vs. RHP Cal Quantrill
Sunday, April 9, 1:40 p.m. ET: RHP George Kirby vs. RHP Zach Plesac
How many games will the Guardians win against the Mariners?
This poll is closed