Game 97, Mariners at Rays
Blake Beavan vs. Matt Moore, 10:40am
Today’s alliterative pitching match-up presents what may be the biggest gap in terms of pure stuff in all of major league baseball. “Stuff” isn’t as easy to pin down as velocity, so this is somewhat subjective, but Matt Moore came into the year ranked right with (and in some cases ahead of) prospects like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. After waltzing through the minors, he came up and looked amazing in a few starts down the stretch, and the Rays then signed him to what looked like a team-friendly contract extension. This year, Moore was supposed to take his place along side the Weavers, Verlanders and King Felixes of the AL.
It hasn’t happened, and thus despite the mismatch in terms of velocity/movement, the M’s have a decent shot. Moore’s biggest problem this season has been control/command. He’s walked 55 in just under 105 innings, and he’s given up some HRs, as befits a guy with a sub-40% ground ball rate. This isn’t to say that he’s a disappointment – he’s still a left-hander throwing 95+, with ridiculous movement on his fastball, a good change-up and a big breaking curve ball. Still, the M’s can get some baserunners if they’re patient.
Today’s line-up’s a little strange, perhaps reflecting the 14-inning game and the fact that this is getaway day. Casper Wells leads off, and Montero moves up to the #3 spot. Miguel Olivo bats clean-up, Dustin Ackley gets a day off, and Chone Figgins is in the line-up again.
3: Montero (H)
4: Olivo (C)
5: Seager (2B)
8: Figgins (3B)
The Rainiers play two today in Colorado Springs; send positive thoughts to Mike Curto who’s got to run quite a gauntlet before calling the Yankees series.