Game 90, Red Sox at Mariners

marc w · July 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Allen Webster, 7:10pm

Allen Webster was the major prospect moving from the Dodgers to the Red Sox in the blockbuster trade a year ago involving Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez. Rated as Boston’s #4 prospect heading into 2013, the righty has a mid-90s fastball and can touch 97-98, along with a slider, a curve and a change-up. Unlike, say, Brandon Maurer, Webster uses his change-up a ton, and will throw it to righties and lefties alike. In the minors, he was rumored to have a great breaking ball while the change was a work in progress, but in his very brief MLB career, he’s thrown a ton of changes, and it’s worked reasonably well. Given that, you’d assume he’d have even platoon splits. Unfortunately, like, say, Brandon Maurer, Webster’s been annihilated by lefty bats. Again, he hasn’t faced many batters in total, so splits just drive down the sample further, but the same was true of Maurer. In 56 plate appearances against southpaws, Webster’s yielded 18 hits, including five HRs, another five walks against only seven strikeouts. When your walk rate is creeping up on your home run rate, that’s a problem.

He’s got a three-quarter delivery, and his release point’s 2 – 2.5 feet towards third base, so lefties get a long look at the ball, but it’s by no means extreme – his delivery itself doesn’t scream “platoon splits” the way Carter Capps’ does. And the change-up really has been effective, even to lefties – he hasn’t racked up a lot of K’s despite using it a ton in two-strike counts, but he hasn’t been hit hard either. Instead, the problem’s been his fastball. Looking at his overall minor league splits, you may not have seen the splits problem coming. They’re completely unremarkable, the way Maurer’s were. It’s notable that his walk rate was always higher vs. lefties, and more telling in hindsight that his splits deteriorated in AAA. But this would be something cool to study – are there shared characteristics of pitchers without much of a history of splits vs. lower level hitters who get blasted by opposite-handed hitters in the bigs? And, would you be able to detect which samples of 50-100 batters were “real” and which were small sample weirdness?

The M’s are trotting out a lefty-heavy line-up more out of necessity than choice, but that’s fine – they’re in a good position to take another series against another good ballclub, and I’ll take that given how many losses we’ve been subjected to.
1: Miller, SS
2: Franklin, 2B
3: Ibanez, LF
4: Morales, DH
5: Seager, 3B
6: Smoak, 1B
7: Saunders, RF
8: Zunino, C
9: Ackley, CF
SP: All-Star Iwakuma

I mentioned Gohara, Paxton and Pike in yesterday’s preview, and they each pitched well. James Paxton threw his first professional shut-out, a five-hit, four-K CG gem in Tucson. Gohara went 5 shutout innings himself, giving up three hits, no walks and striking out *nine*. Pike’s outing was clearly a step behind the other two, which is saying something, as Pike went 5 IP with only an unearned run scoring. He walked four though, against five punchouts.

It’s not exactly a shock, but the Rainiers have placed Danny Hultzen on the DL again after he “couldn’t get loose” before his last start. Hopefully, he won’t miss as much time as he did the first time this happened, but the M’s have to be thinking about just shutting him down and trying again in winter ball or even next spring.


114 Responses to “Game 90, Red Sox at Mariners”

  1. juneau_fan on July 9th, 2013 10:19 pm

    Well, that was humiliating.

    And you walk Salty but not Ortiz?

  2. Sports on a Shtick on July 9th, 2013 10:19 pm

    Carter Capps is still on this team?

  3. Westside guy on July 9th, 2013 10:20 pm

    This is getting significantly less fun.

  4. Breadbaker on July 9th, 2013 10:20 pm

    Why Capps is still in King County instead of Pierce County is beyond me. And of course, wasn’t Capps part of the reason Steve Delabar was expendable?

  5. juneau_fan on July 9th, 2013 10:21 pm

    That intentional walk was insane–and it scores. All of a sudden, Wedge was getting strategic?

  6. Westside guy on July 9th, 2013 10:23 pm

    Why is Eric Wedge still in King County?

  7. Sports on a Shtick on July 9th, 2013 10:24 pm

    Lucas looked pretty good there. Glad to see him back.

  8. juneau_fan on July 9th, 2013 10:35 pm

    Come on, Crazy Hands Miller!

  9. G-Man on July 9th, 2013 10:49 pm

    Capps might get sent down when Ramirez comes up to start on Thursday’s game.

    Did Rauuuuuul throw another lawn dart?

  10. juneau_fan on July 9th, 2013 10:53 pm

    The fun game isn’t fun anymore.

  11. Westside guy on July 9th, 2013 10:54 pm

    More of a toddler throw than a lawn dart.

  12. gopilots70 on July 9th, 2013 11:06 pm

    Anybody else notice that our manager started managing this game like we were getting blown out in the top of the fourth inning? But I looked at the score–we were leading 7-6–and wondered why our blow out mop up guy (Beavan) was in the game.

    Would have liked to see us go all out to win game two of this series. Medina, Furbush, Perez, Wilhelmson to finish as long as we were leading.

    But I know, once again we should not “get too greedy at this time of year”.

  13. gopilots70 on July 9th, 2013 11:10 pm

    We go with a guy leading 7-6 with a big crowd (i know this should not matter) in a big series (best record in the leage) and choose to go with a guy who has not pitched in 9 days and whose ERA is just under six and an FIP of nearing 5.

  14. raul_podzednick on July 10th, 2013 9:30 am

    The Red Sox crappy pitcher was getting a low strike the Iwakuma was not.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.