If you couldn’t judge from the title, I will once again be breaking down the three dudes who aren’t named Felix or Jason in the starting rotation. Here is a hint, there has been some shake up, aided by some ridiculous Mariners offense, ridiculous meaning not getting shut out of course. It’s still an offense one year out from being TURRIBLE. Without further ado and jokes about offense, lets talk some pitching.
I don’t know if he took some emergency strike throwing classes, taught by Blake Beavan, but something was definitely different. He looked a lot more comfortable and confident on the mound. Of course, he has now faced the best offense in the league in a park that favors hitters and faced one of the worst in Safeco. So that skews his stats, but what cannot be ignored is the result this week. A shut out is good against anyone, besides the Mariners last year (let the M’s offense jokes continue!). He got a bunch of fly balls and many of those were infield pop ups. You know what happens to fly balls in Safeco? They usually turn into outs. You know what happens to infield pop-ups in anywhere but Williamsport? They are outs. PITCHf/x from fangraphs tells me that he threw a bunch of two seam fastballs, many more than against Texas. Huzzah! A lot of those went for strikes, yay! Strikes are good, Wooooo! (Just for Patrick). He gets an A, because he did not throw a perfect game. Yeah, I am a strict teacher, get over it.
Hmmmmm…. Lets see here, throws a bunch of strikes, pitches to contact, doesn’t walk anyone and gives up a few runs. That is the stereotypical Blake Beavan start. And what do you know? He did that against the A’s. Threw a few more breaking pitches but all in all this was a normal start for Blake. There is really not much to say about it. I guess that’s good? In the space remaining I am supposed to talk about Blake, I want to talk about Hisashi Iwakuma. Here are my guesses as to where he has been. 4% chance he was accidentally killed and there is an elaborate cover up going on to keep the Asian fan base. 40% chance Wedge forgot he existed and thinks he is just another one of Ichiro’s interpreters who likes to sit in the bullpen. 16% chance he was caught trying to lead a mutiny against Wedge with John Jaso and Muenori Kawasaki. 20% chance he has just gotten lost on the way from the bullpen to the field and was really supposed to have pitched like 5 times. 10% chance he has fallen in love with the Northwest and quit the team to work on a fishing trawler in the Bering Sea. The M’s are just hoping he doesn’t end up on Deadliest Catch, which would awkward for a lot of people. And the final 10% chance is that he has been jeff Gray-ed, another Bud Selig rule imposed on the M’s. One pitcher can only pitch once a month in the bullpen. Anyway, Blake Beavan gets a B. Such a Blake Beavan grade.
How the tables have turned Kevin Millwood. In one of your many ex-home stadiums you were awesome. In your current stadium you sucked. I will come out and say it, that was a terrible start. He labored through 4 innings and let the Indians back in the game. I will be honest; I did not watch the game after the M’s put up 8. But I had some Big League Boys to coach in intramural softball. But from the stats, he gave up a bunch of line drives. You know what line drives often turn into? Hits. Hits are bad if you are pitching, not nearly as good as ground balls or pop fly’s. His strike percentage was actually not bad, its just his strikes got hit hard as opposed to in Texas. Maybe the Rangers were just trying to make him look good since they felt bad about him leaving. Also, not to throw Wedge under the bus here but why was he kept in that long? I know Wedge thinks he is really good at damage control, but you couldn’t call up the bullpen and tell someone to get loose just in case? Hisashi Iwakuma, if he is still on the team, would love to play some catch. So would Erasmo Ramirez. Its not like once they start getting warm they have to come in. Come on Wedge, you are smarter then that I hope. Or just know Bud Selig’s stupid Mariners-only rules better than us. Millwood gets a D, not an F because he did make it through 4 but still sucked.
So there are the grades for the Three Amigos. They seem pretty consistent and I guess that’s good. Blake Beavan was Blake Beavan. Hector Noesi had fun with Jesus Montero and pitched awesome, suck it Yankees! And Kevin Millwood was an old bag of suckiness, big surprise. Go M’s.