Early results on Justin Verlander have seen his swinging strike rate jump to previously unseen heights. It's a small sample, but these things also stabilize pretty quickly. However, his control has also plummeted, leading to an up tick in walks as well. He's also hilariously posting a 0.45 GB/FB ratio coupled with a massive line drive rate.
We spoke with derision at all the reports of Edwin Jackson and the "if he puts it all together" dreams. It was like Gil Meche all over again. Except Gil Meche did actually put it together eventually. Might that be happening with Jackson? Way way too early to tell, but it's now worth keeping an eye on because he's missing more bats and throwing more strikes. He also seems to have completely abandoned his changeup, becoming solely a fastball and slider guy, which leaves him vulnerable to left-handed hitters.
Porcello has just one start under his belt and he showed average command and a pretty small ability to miss bats. What he did do was keep the ball on the ground. We've seen the Ms hitters shut down by those pitchers already a few times this season, so I wouldn't be surprised if it happens again. We're a team that loves to make contact and pitchers like Porcello love to induce contact on their terms. I'm not confident that our lineup will exhibit the patience needed to force Porcello further up in the zone.
Still busy, but a quick note on the position players. Ridiculously small sample sizes, but so far the Mariners have been putting up one of the top defenses in baseball while the Tigers have been around average.
At the plate there is the biggest discrepancy between these two teams. The Mariner hitters have been 10 runs below average so far this year by wOBA. The Tigers, led by Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge, are 11 runs above average even with poor performances so far from Carlos Guillen and Curtis Granderson.
THIS SERIES BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
Tricerahops Double India Pale Ale
Ninkasi Brewing Company. Eugene, OR
Frothy head leading behind some clumpy lacing. Pours a clear golden color. Aroma is a bouquet of differing hops, heavy on grapefuirt and floral. Nice citrus touch on the hop taste flagging into a well balanced bitter end, all with a solid enough malt backing to avoid it seeming like just hop water. Really nice body and does not feel its 9% weight at all. Perhaps my favorite new IPA on the local market.