Game 147, Angels at Mariners

marc w · September 16, 2015 at 5:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Jered Weaver, 7:10pm

Jered Weaver has been fairly consistent in his approach and arsenal – he still slings a rising fastball and pairs it with a good change-up and slow curve. He’s still a fly-ball pitcher as a result, and he’s managed to post low BABIPs for 10 years now. Now though, he’s doing all of that with a fastball that averages 84mph. He’s reinvented himself a few times – tweaking his approach, but keeping the basic mechanics constant. But he hasn’t quite figured out a way to make his stuff work at 84mph *when he isn’t pitching in Anaheim.* Since Jeff Sullivan wrote a series of articles about Jeff Weaver and pitching during day games at home, we’ve known that Weaver seems to get an extra boost from his home park – a park that suppresses HRs for everyone. That advantage was key when Weaver was one of the AL’s top starters, but it may be even more important now that his stuff is so marginal.

Last year, Weaver had a 3.09 FIP at home and a 5.59 on the road, largely thanks to the fact that his HR rate was 3 times higher on the road. His K rates were similar, though higher at home. This year, his FIP at home is up to 3.56, while his road FIP is 5.69, actually better than his 6.24 road ERA. His road HR rate is now only double that of his home one, but he’s no longer able to miss bats on the road – his K% is halved when he leaves Orange County. Most players are better at home, so it’s not like his road stats represent his true talent, but gaps like this are pretty rare. Hisashi Iwakuma has big ERA splits this year (he’s been better on the road), but it isn’t replicated in anywhere near the same magnitude in his FIP, and in any event, his career numbers are close to even. But with Weaver, he’s had sizable gaps for a long while, and it’s starting to look like he wouldn’t have a rotation spot if he wasn’t able to do whatever he does to stave off his HR problems at home. The M’s know this phenomenon well: Weaver’s been good against them at home, but they’ve hit him hard in Safeco. In his career, Weaver’s allowed the MARINERS to post a HR rate of 1.5 per 9 in Safeco – a pitcher’s park used by some of the feeblest offenses in recent baseball history.

After dominating lefties at his peak from 2010-2012, Weaver’s platoon splits are beginning to look a lot more normal. At his peak, his K% was higher and his HR% and FIP lower against lefties than righties. In the past two years, that hasn’t held true, as lefties started to drive the ball more than righties. His platoon splits from 2014 on show about a FIP that’s a half a run higher against lefties. That shouldn’t be a huge surprise given Weaver’s arm angle, but it shows how good his change was back when Weaver threw 89-90. Still, the secret weapon back then wasn’t his breaking stuff or even his great change. When he was on, Weaver’s fastball proved extremely difficult for lefties to square up. Since the start of 2014, lefties have hit Weaver’s fastball hard. Weaver never really relied on velocity for his success, but it’s possible that some aspects of his approach just don’t work at velocities at the extreme tail of the big league distribution.

1: Marte, SS
2: Seager, 3B
3: Cruz, DH
4: Cano, 2B
5: Smith, RF
6: Trumbo, LF
7: Montero, 1B
8: Miller, CF
9: Sucre, C
SP: Iwakuma


9 Responses to “Game 147, Angels at Mariners”

  1. Westside guy on September 16th, 2015 6:37 pm

    We’re on vacation and this hotel has really crappy wi-fi, so if I follow the games it’ll probably be just with gameday.

    Of course with their baserunning that may actually be a blessing…

  2. Dennisss on September 16th, 2015 8:51 pm

    I guess they need a little bad blood between the teams to keep things interesting.

  3. mrakbaseball on September 16th, 2015 8:59 pm

    I’m sorry but Seager was wrong. Put down the homer cap and call it like it is. Weaver was upset at Seager with his Jeter human rain delay antics and let him know about it and I don’t blame him.

  4. Longgeorge1 on September 16th, 2015 9:07 pm

    I know it can be a safety thing where a batter needs a time out at the last second, BUT I get tired of these hitters that need to go through about 30 seconds of BS before they are ready on every pitch. They have a pitch clock in AAA and it seems to work fine. You barely notice it and the game just moves along. I think the hitter needs to be ready say 10 seconds after the pitcher gets the ball.

  5. WTF_Ms on September 16th, 2015 9:11 pm

    I think Seager was getting the time from the ump, and he isn’t taking an inordinate amount of time in the box. Weaver said something, and the banter went to and fro, and Seager got plunked. I saw that coming a mile away. The ump was QUICK to toss Weaver too…makes you think Weaver might be a bit of a punk???

  6. Longgeorge1 on September 16th, 2015 9:44 pm

    Seager is slow. He is always getting time from the ump. He obviously is not the only one, but he is one of the reasons MLB is trying to do things about pace of play. I love Seager as a ballplayer and a Mariner, but there is just too much ballscratching going on in the game today.

  7. Woodcutta on September 17th, 2015 12:31 am

    I just saw the highlight and Seager shouldn’t have said anything. If Weaver is upset then let him be upset. You do not escalate that situation. No one looks good after that.

  8. Woodcutta on September 17th, 2015 12:43 am

    Now I want a Seager Rage emoji.

  9. currcoug on September 17th, 2015 10:18 am

    Weaver was probably still upset with Montero’s three-run HR in the previous inning. Watch the replay, Weaver is the one who opened his mouth first, and Seager did exactly the right thing. So did the umpire at every step, including giving Seager time.

    Weaver was an ass-hat last night.

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