Beavan tonight, then Felix vs. Yu on Wednesday
The Mariners face Texas tonight with Blake Beavan taking on Robbie Ross as Seattle looks to continue it’s nice road start this season, having won five of their first seven games away from Seattle.
But yeah, it’s hard not to peek ahead just a little to Wednesday, when Felix Hernandez is lined up to face Yu Darvish in a battle of two of the American League’s premier hurlers.
Not surprisingly, Hernandez is downplaying the matchup with Darvish, whom he beat twice in their only previous meetings Seattle in 2012 while posting a 0.53 ERA (one earned run in 17 innings).
“Is that a big deal?” Hernandez said when asked Tuesday about the impending battle of American League aces. “I just have to do my job. That’s all I’ve got to do. If he throws good, I’ve got to put up zeroes, too.”
Hernandez is more wary of facing the Rangers’ offense after going 0-4 with a 7.57 ERA against the AL West rivals last year.
“Throwing against Texas pumps me up a little bit, yeah,” he said. “They’ve got me a couple times. I’ve got to do better.”
This will be a somewhat different Rangers lineup, however, particularly with former teammate and long-time friend Adrian Beltre on the 15-day disabled list.
“He said now you’re safe because I’m not playing,” Hernandez said. “It’ll still be fun. It’s kind of weird seeing him on the DL though because he doesn’t like to be on the DL. It’s the best for him, but I’ve known him for a long time and he doesn’t like to do that.”
As for tonight’s game? This is a big opportunity for Beavan, who could get another start Sunday in Miami if all goes well. Taijuan Walker is pitching tonight in a rehab start for Triple-A Tacoma and could also slide into that Sunday game if he’s ready. But Beavan is already on this road trip and it’s conceivable the Mariners could wait a little longer for Walker’s debut and open him at home next week rather than fly him all the way to Miami for one start.
“As we speak now, I would say I’d probably go another start with [Beavan],” manager Lloyd McClendon said prior to Tuesday’s game. “But we’ll see how it goes tonight.”
McClendon saw both the good and bad Beavan this spring and knows what the youngster needs to do well.
“His stuff is plenty good,” said the skipper. “It’s not overpowering, but it’s Major League stuff. It’s just a matter of command, commanding the strike zone, working the four quadrants of the strike zone. When he threw well, that’s what he did. When he didn’t throw good, he just didn’t have that command and everything was elevated.”