The Mariners have played three games against one of the best teams in baseball and all three have been winnable. This article would be much more angry if they couldn’t come back against a Joe Nathan who couldn’t locate a fastball. But from a pitching side of things this series has been 66% awesome. I will grade how the three people who we didn’t know much about did against one of the best lineups in baseball
There was very little good to take from Noesi’s first start. He only made it through 3 innings, threw 85 pitches and had a K/BB ratio of one. This is a far cry from the pitcher we thought we were getting for Jose Campos and Michel Pineda. I would like to play this off as rookie nerves against one of the best lineups in the league, sample sizes and what not, but just in watching pieces of the game, he seemed like he did not know where the ball was going. He was consistently behind in counts, which forced him more into a fastball-changeup pitcher than he was in the Yanks bullpen. That is not good; his changeup isn’t great but he couldn’t command either his slider or curveball so he had no choice. Hopefully he can work on the command of his breaking pitches because without them he is in trouble and probably in Tacoma or the bullpen. He gets a D and not a F because it was the Rangers and his debut.
This is probably the best start that can be expected from Beavan. For a guy with a 90 MPH fastball and not great secondary stuff who has to pitch to contact, and then has to face the Rangers in Texas, this was phenomenal. He kept the game close and limited the damage with the only run scoring on an infield single. He did what Blake Beavan always does, threw a lot of strikes and a lot of 1st pitch strikes. Hopefully Noesi can take note of his 70% first strikes to the Rangers. Beavan gets an A- because he pitched incredible and if the offense didn’t suddenly remember that they were the Mariners, he would have won.
I saw the end of the first inning (I have class that ends at 5:15) and was not pleased with what I saw. Then I got something to eat and settled in to watch on of the better pitching performances I have seen this year. He pounded the zone, got lots of groundballs and was very effective. Pitchers do much better when they are able to get ahead in the count on hitters. Steve Delabar sucked because he hung a slider and then fell behind to Elvis Andrus and was not smart. Millwood was effective because he got ahead of the Rangers and was able to use his secondary stuff to beat them. This may just be me noticing weird things, but his pitching motion looks weird, like he is really trying to throw the ball over the top. This may help him or hurt him, but his release point is very high. Anyway, if he can pitch like that all year, this team could be .500. Not many #5 starters can do that and he deserves an A since I did not expect him to shut down the Rangers, and since the team was able to come back. #FreeJaso. Go M’s.