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September 16, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Tuesday’s pregame lineups and notes: Mariners at Angels

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Update 4:22 p.m. 

Forgot to mention that Rasmus is part of a bullpen or Johnny all-staff start tonight. Since Garrett Richards got hurt, Angels manager Mike Scioscia has been using the bullpen starts during his spot in the rotation. Rasmus will probably pitch around three innings and the Angels will go inning by inning after that. It’s much easier to do with the rosters expanded to 40.

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon has used the bullpen starts before, but he isn’t a fan of facing bullpen starts when teams are able to carry 18 pitchers.

“You just hope you get the match-ups you want,” he said. “I’ve argued this point for a long, long time. I don’t think it’s fair, particularly for teams that are in the playoff hunt to have to face a 40-man roster with X amount of pitchers on a nightly basis. I just don’t think it’s fair and I think Major League Baseball needs to take a serious look at it. And that includes us and anybody else. I don’t think you should have more than 27 or 28 man roster each night in September. It’s just too hard to manage against and matchup against.”

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McClendon admitted his team was slumping offensively and said when either Seager or Cano struggles, the offense takes a huge hit.

“We’ve been challenged offensively all season,” he said. “We’ve gotten a little better when we got our right-handers after the all-star break, but we are not an offensive juggernaut. We just have to keep doing what we are doing. We’ve been grinding all year.”

And he won’t hear the talk of pressing or the pressure being too much.

“Aw $%^&, they’re not tight,” he said. “We’re just going through a funk. We just have to keep battling and fight our way thought it. Hell, the Oakland A’s went through it. We didn’t think a damn thing about it. We were happy about it.  I’m sure they’re happy about our little funk. It happens. We just have to keep grinding out and fighting.”

No signs of pressing?

“No, I think my guys are enjoying the journey and having a lot of fun with it,” he said. “If we win  two out of the last three, we are rolling.I won’t let them buy into that. It’s just just a bunch of baloney. We got our ass kicked last night.”

From earlier 

Dustin Ackley is back in there for the second game in a row, which is a good sign for the Mariners. Talked with him postgame game last night and he said everything felt good in the ankle – no pain, and he felt like he was running well. So that’s promising. The Mariners could sure use some production from him in the next 13 games.

The offense as a whole is slumping. Over Seattle’s last 20 games, they are 9-11 and averaging 3.1 runs per game with a .222/.272/.365 team slash line. Of those 20 games, they’ve scored two runs or fewer in 10 of them.

The more recent numbers are just as ugly. Over the last eight games, the Mariners have these numbers ….

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Um?

To steal a phrase from my niece, “That’s yucky.”

Sure in those eight games they faced Sonny Gray and Jon Lester and even Matt Shoemaker and Collin McHugh, who are having breakout seasons. But that’s below level offense.

I wrote all about Austin Jackson’s struggles on Sunday. I’ve heard all about Kendrys Morales’ struggles from just about anyone with access to the internet. Here’s his numbers over the last eight games …

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 2.44.20 PM

Yes, his overall numbers since joining the Mariners aren’t good either. But these last eight games loom large. Why?

Well because Morales hasn’t done anything to help out Kyle Seager’s minor slump. Seager has been the Robin to Robinson Cano’s Batman-like consistency.

But over his last eight games, he’s posted these numbers.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 2.43.38 PM

And that mini slump is catastrophic for the Mariners’ offense isn’t good enough to withstand that. And Morales and Jackson haven’t been good enough to offset that.

Look, one of those two has to start hitting over the next 13 games or the Mariners will be done within the first five games.

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The lineup has lots of lefties because Angels’ starter Cory Rasmus has trouble with lefties. Here’s his splits.

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The M’s need to score some runs off him because they aren’t shutting out the Angels tonight.

Official game notes

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