The Mariners returned to T-Mobile Park for the first time in over a week, but mostly brought the postseason with them.
Seattle welcomes playoffs as Mariners attempt to skip elimination
George Kirby will take the mound for Seattle against Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr. Saturday afternoon for Game 3 of the American League Division Series in what will be the first playoff game at the Mariners’ home stadium since 2001.
The M’s lineup is standard for what they’ve relied on in their four postseason games so far. Slugging catcher Cal Raleigh returns to the cleanup spot with a right-hander on the mound after being dropped in the order in Game 2 when Houston started southpaw Framber Valdez. Jarred Kelenic starts in left field and finishes eighth, leaving Dylan Moore on the bench to be used as a pinch hitter should a left assist come into play for Houston.
The Astros’ lineup has Trey Mancini as the designated hitter and Chas McCormick in midfield after they both sat out Game 2.
Kirby, a rookie, is about to make his first start of the postseason. He made the save in Game 2 of the AL Wild Card series against Toronto in his only major league relief appearances to date. He’s had a full week to prepare for that start after that inning of relief.
Wyman & Bob: How confident are you in Kirby for Game 3?
McCullers, 29, has a long track record against the Mariners. The one-time All-Star has a 2.80 ERA, 1.146 WHIP and a rate of 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 18 career starts against Seattle. He was even better against the M’s at T-Mobile Park with a 2.66 ERA, 1.086 WHIP and 11 strikeouts per nine in nine games in Seattle.
Coverage of the game will be carried on Seattle Sports 710 AM, the flagship of the Mariners Radio Network, with M’s entire broadcast team including Rick Rizzs, Aaron Goldsmith, Dave Sims and analyst Mike Blowers naming the game. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:07 p.m., the pregame show will be moderated by Shannon Drayer from noon. Extended pre-game coverage began on Seattle Sports at 10 a.m. with the host Bob Stellon is joined by a Mariners analyst and former MLB pitcher Ryan Rowland Smith live at the Hatback Bar & Grille, located across Dave Niehaus Way from T-Mobile Park.
How to Stream Seattle Sports M’s Game
Game 3 is an all-or-nothing game for Seattle after losing two games to the AL West champion Astros in the best-of-five series.
Here are the lineups for the M’s and Astros on Saturday.
Julio Rodriguez, CF
Ty France, 1B
Eugenio Suarez, 3B
Cal Raleigh, C
Mitch Haniger, RF
Carlos Santana, DH
Adam Frazier, 2B
Jarred Kelenic, LF
JP Crawford, SS
George Kirby, SP
Jose Altuve, 2B
Jeremy Pena, SS
Jordan Alvarez, L.F
Alex Bregman, 3B
Kyle Tucker, RF
Yuli Gurriel, 1B
Trey Mancini, DH
Chas McCormick, CF
Martin Maldonado, C
Lance McCullers Jr., SP
Salk: The 3 reasons Mariners are 2-0 down against Astros in ALDS