7/9: Open Game Thread

USA TODAY Sports

RHP Allen Webster Vs RHP Hisashi Iwakuma

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Allen Webster was one of the young pieces the Boston Red Sox acquired last season when they sent a large chunk of veterans to the Los Angeles Dodgers in that massive trade. Webster is interesting, in that he was an infielder in high school that was converted to being a full-time pitcher in the minor leagues.

The 23-year-old rookie will be making his sixth start in the majors against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field tonight. His repertoire includes a grounder-inducing sinker, a curve, slider and change. He's a relative quick worker who will primarily be pumping that fastball and change.

Raul Ibanez. I could probably just leave this as a two word paragraph, because his name says it all. Plus, I penned 2109 words -- the longest piece I've ever written -- about him just last week. But I keep getting compelled to research and write more. I'm not going to say I have predictive powers or anything, but watching Raul last night, I found myself thinking "he's going to do it again." Right now, it literally feels like he might hit a homer every single time he comes to the dish.

That's insane. We know he won't. We know no player will. Now, I'm not going to try and comp Ibanez to some other player, but this has to be a similar feeling to other players who were so locked in that we knew they were going to do something special every single game. What makes it so odd to admit in this case is, of course, Raul's age.

Raul Ibanez has been playing baseball a really long time, and we know he hasn't transformed his game or found some new power source he never noticed before. What he's doing goes against all things logical that we know about baseball players and their typical career progressions.

But, you know, you just can't predict ball.

Lineups

Boston Red Sox
1. Daniel Nava (S) LF
2. Shane Victorino (S) RF
3. Dustin Pedroia (R) 2B
4. David Ortiz (L) DH
5. Mike Napoli (R) 1B
7. Jose Iglesias (R) SS
8. Brock Holt (L) 3B
9. Jackie Bradley Jr. (L) CF

Seattle Mariners
1. Brad Miller (L) SS
2. Nick Franklin (S) 2B
3. Raul Ibanez (L) LF
4. Kendrys Morales (S) DH
5. Kyle Seager (L) 3B
6. Justin Smoak (S) 1B
8. Mike Zunino (R) C
9. Dustin Ackley (L) CF
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