Game 5, Mariners at Orioles
Batista v Loewen. 4:05 our time.
This is the first time we see the quite pointless Wilkermorse platoon in action:
1B-R “Big Fork” Sexson
DH-B Professional Hitter Jose Vidro
I’ll skip repeating my rant about the Wilkerson platoon. This should, if nothing else, be a potentially wince-inducing introduction to how bad outfield corner defense can get. Sorry, Miguel.
Meanwhile, Loewen’s a heavy ground-baller, so as you’d expect doesn’t give up the home run often, good K rate, bad walk rate. Now generally, I’d say that’s as about as well-suited a pitcher as you could put up against the Mariners, except they have been drawing walks lately, so they might be to take advantage of that if they keep that up. Still, turning Ibanez into a pumpkin in the middle of that order will help them a lot.
What might be even more interesting is to see Sexson against a lefty. Over his career, he hasn’t had much of a platoon split at all (.264/.339/.518 vs .260/.365/.504) but if part of the problem is recognizing pitches and getting his glacial bat around in time to make contact, facing a left-hander might be substantially easier than righties. Last year, for instance, his OBP was fifty points higher against lefties, though his slugging percentage was only up ~twenty points.