Game 102, Orioles at Mariners
Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Wei-Yin Chen, 7:10pm
Iwakuma’s a soft-tossing righty who’s whittled his walk rate down each year, and has fashioned himself into an elite MLB starter. Chen’s a soft-tossing lefty who’s *also* cut his walk rate each year, but his progress has stalled, as he’s been unable to crack the 4.0 mark either in ERA or FIP (though he came really close in 2013).
Both have slightly inflated HR totals. Chen’s come because he’s a fairly extreme fly-baller. Iwakuma’s a ground-ball guy who occasionally pitches up in the zone and because he’s got an 89mph fastball. Iwakuma’s superior command and a true wipe-out pitch in his splitter separate him from just about everyone, of course, but the contrast with Chen’s kind of interesting.
I just wrote about the new M’s, so, uh, scroll down.
1: Jones, CF
2: Romero, RF
3: Cano, 2B
4: Hart, 1B
5: Seager, 3B
6: Montero, DH
7: Ackley, LF
8: Zunino, C
9: Taylor, SS
This is about as right-handed as the M’s can get – if lefties are going to beat them for the second straight year, the M’s aren’t going to leave any right-handed bats in AAA untested.