Game 100, Yankees at Mariners
Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Ivan Nova, 12:40pm
Iwakuma looks to build on a solid start against a rather poor offense by facing a far more challenging opponent. Ivan Nova looks to stifle his laughter at the team that chose Hector Noesi instead.*
Nova had a good ground ball rate last year, which is somewhat interesting given that he throws only 4-seam fastballs. This season, his K rate’s up substantially and he’s cut his walk rate as well – but the trade-off’s been a big increase in his home runs allowed. He’s throwing more breaking balls (sliders and curves) than he did last year, and his slider appears to be something of a feast or famine pitch – good amount of whiffs, lots of ground balls, but he’s hung quite a few of them and batters have taken advantage. We’re talking about tiny samples when we look at pitch-type results from three and a half months, but it’s definitely something to watch.
All told, he ends up something like Freddy Garcia – the peripherals have changed, but it leaves him surprisingly near where he was. As a pitch-to-contact guy, he put up a 4.01 FIP and a 4.16 xFIP. As a strikeout/HR guy, he’s put up a 4.43 FIP with a 3.89 xFIP.
Hisashi Iwakuma knows a little something about giving up HRs, and despite the fact that this is in Safeco, and despite the fact that A-Rod’s on the DL, he’s going to have to keep the ball down. He spotted his fastball much better against the Rays than he had in his previous starts, so maybe it’s just taken him some time to get stretched out.
3: Montero (C)
4: Jaso (DH)
The Rainiers are playing early today as well, as Erasmo Ramirez makes a rehab start at 11:35 at Cheney.
The Jackson Generals have a day game today as well, as Forrest Snow gets the start in 100 degree heat.
*If this is even true. That’s what Howard Lincoln had to say back in spring training, and he’s certainly in a position to know, but I have no idea if it was that simple, or if taking Nova would’ve required the M’s to add more to the deal.