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Series Preview: Talking Mariners with Lookout Landing

The last time these two teams met in Seattle Kyle Seager was nine years old.

49-66 (5th place, NL Central)
53-61 (3rd place, AL West)

GAME 1: August 9, 2013 @ 9:10 p.m. CDT
(TV: FS-Wisconsin; Radio: 94.5 WLWK)

: August 10, 2013 @ 8:10 p.m. CDT
(TV: FS-Wisconsin; Radio: 620 WTMJ)

GAME 3: August 11, 2013 @ 3:10 p.m. CDT
(TV: FS-Wisconsin; Radio: 620 WTMJ)

Safeco Field | Seattle, Washington

A View from the Other Dugout: Lookout Landing

Game 1 Kyle Lohse (7-7, 3.23) vs. Joe Saunders (10-10, 4.58)
vs. Mariners (0-0, ---) vs. Brewers (0-0, ---)
Game 2 Tom Gorzelanny (2-4, 2.78) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma (10-5, 2.75)
vs. Mariners (0-0, ---) vs. Brewers (0-0, ---)
Game 3 Wily Peralta (8-11, 4.42)
vs. Felix Hernandez (11-5, 2.39)
vs. Mariners (0-0, ---)
vs. Brewers (0-0, ---)

To help us get ready for this series, we've enlisted the help of Scott Weber of Lookout Landing. Scott's answers to our questions are below.

BCB: The Mariners have finished last in the AL West in seven of the last nine seasons. The Astros will prevent them from suffering that fate this year, but their 75-win pace would be almost identical to 2012. Is there reason to believe this organization is headed in the right direction, or has their rebuilding effort stagnated a bit?

LL: There's certainly room for optimism. The team has a core infield that should only continue to improve as they age. They've got room to spend if they ever choose to do so, and rotation help is on the way as well. Whether this season ends up showing improvement in the W/L column or not, there's every reason to believe 2014 should be over .500 if the team fills their holes correctly this upcoming offseason. Nick Franklin and Brad Miller are exciting players.

BCB: Kyle Seager is still only 25 but is having a career year, hitting .295/.362/.484 while playing third base. Is he the best Mariner an awful lot of NL fans may never have heard of?

LL: Kyle Seager is a star. He's already at 4.1 fWAR, which is top 20 among all position players. His consistent approach and excellent overall game is a blast to watch. He's done nothing but improve at the plate, and more and more power is surfacing. He's the best Mariner player not named Felix, and I hope the Mariners look into getting a long term deal done with him. He's the biggest offensive cornerstone they have.

BCB: The Brewers will wrap up the series on Sunday with an afternoon game against Felix Hernandez, who leads all AL pitchers with a 2.39 ERA this season. Is this the year for him to win his second Cy Young?

LL: In most years, Felix would have the Cy Young lead by a large margin, but I think the voters are going to give it to Max Scherzer this season. Even though Felix has a higher fWAR, lower ERA/FIP/xFIP, and more innings, Scherzer has that 16-1 record and plays for a contender. Even though voters handed Felix a Cy Young before with only 13 wins, there's a sexier alternative this time around. Scherzer's been phenomenal, so I really can't gripe if they choose him over Felix. My guess is that the two will separate themselves before the year is over and things will be a bit more clear.

BCB: This Mariners team went 15-10 in July after posting a 35-47 mark over the season's first three months. Was that good month a sign of hope for the future, or simply a hot streak for a bad team?

LL: July was a great sign of things to come. The team looks quite a bit different than it did in the early months, and a lot of that is due to Nick Franklin and Brad Miller. We also saw some normalization in the back end of the pitching staff, and Kyle Seager went completely bonkers. I expect the team to play slightly above .500 ball the rest of the season with their current roster. This team is undoubtedly better now than it was in April.

BCB: Aside from a minor trade sending infielder Robert Andino to the Pirates, the Mariners were quiet at the trade deadline. Was this the right decision?

LL: It's hard to say whether it was the right decision or not simply because there are so many unknowns. We don't know what was on the table, what deals fell apart, and which players have expressed interest in signing an extension. I agree with them not trading Kendrys Morales, because they can make him a qualifying offer at the very least, and possibly try to extend him. I thought the Mariners would deal Oliver Perez and Mike Morse, but there's always a chance those could get done this month as well. The team can't keep Ibanez, Morse, and Morales all together again next season, so somebody's going to be the odd man out. The team seems to love Ibanez in a mentoring role, which explains why they kept him. My guess is that they were offered peanuts for Morse thanks to a mediocre season and a recent injury, and they felt they might be able to get more after the deadline. It's all speculation of course, but it's the only way I can rationalize standing pat.

Thanks again to Scott for taking the time, and check out Lookout Landing for more on the Mariners!