Game 32, Mariners at Blue Jays
Hisashi Iwakuma vs. RA Dickey, 10:07am
Early game today on yet another glorious NW day. This is a good pitching match-up, and the M’s are as watchable as they’ve been in some time at the moment, but it’s going to be tough to stay inside and watch a game this morning.
Ex-Tacoma Rainier, reigning Cy Young winner RA Dickey came to Toronto in a blockbuster deal with the Mets. He’s coming off a career year in which his K% went through the roof, which helped him strand more runners and take advantage of the knuckleballer’s BABIP /
exception. It all came together for a 4.6 WAR year, but as Dave mentioned he’d been pretty good in his first two years with the Mets as well. The Jays paid a fairly hefty price to land him, but they were landing a dependable starter they could pencil in 3 WAR or so.
Like everything the Jays did in the offseason, it just hasn’t worked out. Dickey’s K% is down, but not dramatically so. His GB% has dropped in each year since 2010, and that’s hurt his HR rate, but again, it’s not abysmal. It’s more a case of each peripheral being a bit worse, and the sum total (and the interaction of the parts) producing a fairly ugly line. He’s had some neck soreness recently which may or may not have contributed to his poor results, but it’s not serious enough to keep him out of today’s game.
On the other side of the coin, Hisashi Iwakuma’s obviously one of the hottest pitchers in the game. It’s an open question as to whether his low workload due to his blister problem is actually a blessing – because he’s been so efficient (and because his BABIP is so low) he’s pitching almost as many innings. Like last year, Iwakuma’s got reverse platoon splits because of his change-up-like splitter. But unlike Ricky Romero or Steve Delabar, that doesn’t come at the expense of poor results against same-handed batters. Iwakuma’s been excellent against everyone this year. Still, it’ll be interesting to see if more managers start putting a bunch of righties in their line-up against him.
1: Saunders, CF
2: Seager, 3B
3: Morales, DH
4: Morse, RF
5: Ibanez, DH
6: Shoppach, C
7: Ackley, 2B
8: Chavez, LF
9: Andino, SS
The Rainiers ran their winning streak to ten games last night with a 7-6 win over Reno. The middle of their line-up, Nick Franklin and Eric Thames, were actually shut down by Aces pitchers, but Nate Tenbrink and Rich Poythress picked up the slack. Blake Beavan makes his 2013 Rainiers debut today.
The Jackson Generals play two vs Jacksonville; Roenis Elias and Chance Ruffin will be the starters. South African control artist Dylan Unsworth takes the hill for Clinton today.