Game 156, Mariners at Angels
Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Dan Haren, 12:37pm
For a guy whose signature pitch is a slider/cutter, Dan Haren’s never really shown huge platoon splits. That’s helped him stay a very good starter in both leagues in recent years, but this year it’s something of a problem. RHBs have knocked 12 HRs offof Haren, ensuring the righty has equivalently ugly HR rates this year. All of this may explain why Jesus Montero gets a rare start at catcher today against a RH starter. Good choice, Wedge.
It also highlights how weird last night’s line-up was. It’s almost like they try to make things as challenging as possible for their ace. Not so for Iwakuma, who gets Montero and Jaso in the line-up.
4: Montero (c)
5: Jaso (DH)
That’s probably the best line-up the M’s can muster.
Rick Randall pointed out the unfathomable stat that after last night, Justin Smoak’s OPS now exceeds Dustin Ackley. If someone told you back in 2010 that Smoak would outhit Ackley, you might have said, “Yeah, I can see that,” but if they told you that anywhere from June ’11 through two weeks ago, it would have sounded nuts. It *is* nuts. Thank goodness for Ackley’s solid D, but I keep waiting for him to stop this realistic portrayal of a limited, single-happy hitter and drive the ball consistently.