Pitchers Jarred Cosart and Chris Young have ample reason to be excited when they take Safeco Field's mound Wednesday in the finale of a three-game set between the Mariners and Astros.
Both can't put their last starts behind them soon enough.
In Houston's 11-3 loss to the Athletics on Friday, Cosart couldn't escape the first inning. He recorded only one out while allowing seven runs on four walks and three hits, including two home runs. Only 15 of his 39 pitches were strikes. It was the worst performance of his career. On Wednesday, he can help the Astros complete their first sweep of the season.
So yes, he can't wait to get back out there.
"I need to try to keep my emotions in check and not go out there and try to do too much," Cosart said. "I don't need to try to go out there and throw a perfect game because my last outing was so bad. I need to go out there and keep my team in the game for seven-plus innings."
After the loss, which dropped his season record to 1-2 and nearly doubled his ERA to 7.36, Cosart received some advice from injured veteran starter Scott Feldman.
"It's good to have someone to talk to that's been here a long time and been through some rough outings, but threw some really good outings," Cosart said. "He helps keep me on an even keel no matter what the situation is. He said I should look at it now as if I have 35 more starts, probably."
Young doesn't have such a luxury.
Barring a setback in Hisashi Iwakuma's Sunday rehab start with Triple-A Tacoma, the right-hander, who finished last season third in Cy Young voting, will likely join the Mariners next week on their road trip. That means Wednesday could be one of Young's final starts for Seattle.
The 6-foot-10 righty went just three innings in the Mariners' 8-4 loss to the Marlins last Friday, allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks. Only 38 of his 73 pitches were strikes. The ones that crossed the plate were hit hard, most notably an upper-deck homer from catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia that gave the Astros a 4-2 lead in the third. Young will have to be much better if the Mariners, who fell to 7-13 with their loss Tuesday, are to snap a season high, eight-game losing streak.
"You always want to pitch deep into games, regardless of situation," Young said. "My fastball command wasn't great. But I'm looking forward to getting back out there … and making quality pitches and keep the team in the game, and hopefully come out on top."
Astros: Carter continues Safeco dominance
Even after the outfield fences were moved in prior to the 2013 season, Safeco Field is still often labeled a park that pitchers love and hitters hate.
Astros designated hitter Chris Carter has apparently tuned out the noise.
Carter has struggled mightily this year, but has been one of the top hitters at Safeco Field over the past few seasons. In 2013, he hit .361 with three homers and 10 RBIs in nine games, and his 1.105 OPS at Safeco was top among all Major League players.
In the second inning Tuesday, he clubbed a hanging 0-2 curveball from Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez into the upper deck in left field to give the Astros a 3-0 lead. In the eighth, he hit an RBI single to extend Houston's lead to 5-2. He finished 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs, raising his batting average to .148.
Mariners: McClendon refuses to panic
Even with his club struggling at the plate, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon isn't ready to panic.
"I had a long talk with somebody I really trust about this," McClendon said prior to Tuesday's loss to the Astros. "You leave Spring Training with a club you feel good about, you're 20 games into the season and you're not playing as well as you should. You don't drastically change your feelings about how you feel about those players.
"You continue to encourage them and make them better and prod them and hopefully in the very near future, they'll get going the way you think they can. And that's our plan here."
• Mariners designated hitter Corey Hart extended his hitting streak to six games with a 1-for-4 performance in Tuesday's loss. Hart is hitting .267 this season, and has 10 hits in his last 24 at bats.
Adam Lewis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.