Game 22, Mariners at Astros
Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Bud Norris, 5:10pm
Man, everything feels better after a single day of full-spectrum dominance. Thank you, Felix. Thank you, Brad Peacock.
Bud Norris is the Astros nominal ace, and at a cool $3 million, the highest paid member of the team. He’s a straight-fastball/slider pitcher, who throws a 50:50 mix to righties, but will mix in the occasional change to left-handers. His slider is a swing-and-miss pitch, which has helped him rack up impressive strike-out totals over the past several seasons, but so-so control and a HR problem have limited his effectiveness, even with the 22%+ K rates. Lefties have typically hit a bit better off of him, which makes some sense given his arsenal, but given his lack of fastball movement, he’s not dominant against right-handers.
The M’s made a roster move today, placing Franklin Gutierrez on the 15-day DL and recalling Carlos Peguero from Tacoma. This was all but announced last night, when Peguero was removed from the game in Salt Lake pretty much as soon as Guti went down. Eric Thames is out-hitting Peguero, left-handed, on the 40-man, and possessed of a superior MLB career line, but that wasn’t enough to get the call. Peguero isn’t in the line-up tonight, and it’s not immediately clear how much he’ll play; he could find himself back in Tacoma when Michael Saunders comes off the DL in a few days.
Hisashi Iwakuma’s been incredibly effective this year despite a real change in his batted ball profile. Fly balls are up considerably over 2012, but while he’s given up the occasional homer, this hasn’t led to a flurry of long balls. His K% is essentially dead-on his 2012 figure, but he’s not walking anyone. Yes, his BABIP is absurdly low and this will regress, but he’s been legitimately good this year, with a FIP and xFIP solidly better than his 2012 results. As Matthew said, signing him to a two-year deal is looking like the M’s best move of the off-season, and one of the better moves by any team.
1: Chavez, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Morales, DH
4: Morse, RF
5: Smoak, 1B
6: Ibanez, LF
7: Montero, C
8: Ackley, 2B
SO I mentioned it was a big start for James Paxton last night, and he got hammered by Salt Lake. Two HRs and six total runs in less than 2 IP, as the Rainiers dropped a classic PCL game, 13-11. Just to keep things fresh, they played a pitcher’s duel today, beating the Bees 2-1 behind “PCL Dream” Brian Sweeney (6Ks in 5 IP), Lucas Luetge and Logan Bawcom.
Clinton’s game was postponed, again. That’s seven in the last twelve days.
Chance Ruffin starts tonight for Jackson in the only night-game on the M’s affiliate scoreboard.