Seattle Mariners vs. Cleveland Indians

Seattle Mariners vs. Cleveland Indians

Matthew Smith
3 years ago
3 min read

On Sunday, the Mariners dropped a spring training game to the Los Angeles Angels, 6-2. Seattle actually snapped a streak of four consecutive games that ended in a tie. In the loss Sunday, Ty France homered while Drew Steckenrider took the loss.

Cleveland also dropped their game Sunday to the Oakland Athletics, 9-4. In the loss, catcher Austin Hedges homered, but it was the long ball that ultimately sunk the Indians. They gave up three home runs in the first three innings, including two by Adam Plutko, who took the loss.

Monday, the pitching matchup will feature Yusei Kikuchi (0-1, 4.50 ERA) going for the Mariners against the Indians’ Zach Plesac (0-1, 13.50 ERA).

By The Numbers

In 2020, neither of these teams were particularly strong offensively. Seattle ranked 22nd in runs per game at 4.23. The Indians ranked 25th, averaging 4.19 runs per game.

Defensively is where the Indians shined. They ranked 3rd in runs allowed per game, with opponents averaging just 3.73 runs per game. The Mariners fell to 22nd, allowing opponents 5.05 runs per game.

Mariners Looking To Learn To Win

The Mariners’ record thus far is indicative of a young, rebuilding team. Having played seven games thus far, they have only managed to win one. As a young but talented team, they are trying to learn how to win, not just be competitive. Seattle will also be looking for a bit of revenge as they dropped their first matchup with Cleveland, 6-1.

Starting on Monday for the Mariners will be lefty Yusei Kikuchi. His last outing was also against Cleveland, where he went two innings, allowing one hit, one run, one earned run, and one walk while striking out 3. Last season, Kikuchi went 2-4 with a 5.17 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, and struck out 47 in 47 innings.

Offensively, Mitch Haniger and Ty France have had nice springs thus far. Haniger is hitting .429/.500/1.000 with a home run and three runs batted in, while Ty France is hitting .545/.583/1.182 with two home runs and three runs batted in.

Indians Looking For Success Despite Distractions

Sadly, the Indians’ loss on Sunday was not the most frustrating part of their day. It was announced that star third baseman Jose Ramirez and outfielder Franmil Reyes are being quarantined after breaking COVID-19 protocols. Given the team’s issues with Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac last year, this is not a good start to the season.

Speaking of Plesac, he will be taking the mound on Monday. In his first outing, Plesac went two innings, allowing four hits, three earned runs, and two strikeouts in a 9-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Last season, Plesac went 4-2 with a 2.28 ERA, 0.795 WHIP, and struck out 57 in 55.1 innings.

While spring training is mostly about getting work in before heading north to Ohio, the Indians have a few players who have shined thus far. Both Bobby Bradley and Yu Chang have two home runs apiece, while Andres Gimenez is hitting .400/.400/.900 in 10 at-bats.

Both Teams Looking To Make Progress Towards Regular Season

As previously mentioned, spring training games are mostly about getting reps in for the players, but there are also some things that need to be decided for the teams.

For Cleveland, in particular, they will look for a couple of things on Monday. First, they will hope that Zach Plesac can bounce back and have a good outing as he continues to get stretched out. After losing Carlos Carrasco to trade with the Mets, Plesac will play a big role in the rotation.

They will also be continuing to determine who their shortstop will be. Francisco Lindor has left big shoes to be filled, but both Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario are trying to earn the opportunity to fill them.

For the Mariners, their focus continues to be on prospects and development. Unfortunately, top prospect Jarred Kelenic recently suffered a left adductor strain, but the Mariners have others trying to prove their worthiness while outfielder Mitch Haniger is trying to prove he is healthy and ready to contribute in 2021.

While it is hard to predict outcomes in volatile spring training games, it is at least easy to say that both teams have something to play for.

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