|Final - 5.10.2013||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
Hisashi Iwakuma makes quick work of A's hitters as the heart of the Mariner lineup drives in all 6 Mariner runs.
|Win Expectancy Chart||Open Game Thread||Game Preview|
On Friday evening, Iwakuma needed just 95 pitches to make it through 7 innings against a depleted Oakland Athletics lineup, giving up two runs.
He looked mostly untouchable. Only Jed Lowrie managed hard contact, lining a two-run double into the right field corner during the 6th inning. The men on base for Lowrie -- Eric Sogard and John Jaso -- reached on an infield single originally ruled an error and a jam-shot dying quail into shallow left, respectively. Iwakuma struck out nine men, all swinging, and he could have tacked on at least one strikeout looking. He got multiple whiffs with four different pitches.
In his March article exploring ZIPs' 2013 projections and discussing which Seattle Mariners might be counted on to outplay them -- "What Needs To Go Right" -- Michael Barr pointed out Iwakuma, who had been projected to throw 128 innings and accrue 1.4 WAR. "The club is going to need Iwakuma to not only throw more than 128 innings, but post something a little closer to 2.5 to 3 WAR," wrote Michael.
We've seen some things go very wrong, but Iwakuma has gone very right through 8 starts and it's been a lot of fun to watch. Following another great outing, Iwakuma currently sits at 1.4 WAR over just 51.2 innings. ZIPs updated projection including his season to date now likes him to log 160 innings and check in with 2.7 WAR.
Iwakuma ends the game 4th in the American League in ERA, 9th in FIP, 10th in xFIP. Many once thought of Iwakuma as a number three or four starter and we rejoiced when he started "pitching like a number two." Is he now a number two pitching like an ace?
Providing the run support was the heart of the Mariner lineup. In the 1st, Kyle Seager and Kendrys Morales set the table, scoring on a single by Michael Morse and a double by Justin Smoak. In the 3rd, Seager reached on an infield single and Smoak walked before Raul Ibanez knocked one into the right field seats. In the 5th, Seager walked before Morales crushed a double to center field.
Oliver Perez and Tom Wilhelmsen shut the door, Mariners win 6-3 to move 0.5 games back of the A's in the division.
- Raul Ibanez probably shouldn't be on this team, but if kept to the originally intended/hoped role, it might not be so bad. Ibanez has an ISO of .262 against right-handers this season. The problem is that he's faced 12 too many lefties and played 14 too many games in the field.
- Hmm... how'd I only end up with one bullet point? Well, here's this: