Game 40 + Minors Rewind: Ray-Gunned

12500089103_21ed8e90a1_c== More Ray pitching, more dead bats ==

Tuesday, Tampa Bay’s David Price matched zeroes with Hisashi Iwakuma, before Kuma’s one-run margin was erased in the 9th off Fernando Rodney.

Wednesday, Jake Odorizzi didn’t need an assist from the Mariner pen.  He just carried a no-hitter into the 6th and only yielded one hit, and no runs, in six complete.

So the Mariner offense is barely functional, right?

Except that it was just Monday that these same guys put up 12 runs.

Alternative explanation: these Rays pitchers were just really good.

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David Price, we know, is a former Cy Young winner, and a guy with great command of hard left-handed stuff.  He’s what we cross our fingers and hope James Paxton can be.  He even has the “out-and-over” wingspan-emphasizing delivery that Pax has.

Untitled40Even really good hitters can have a hard time catching up with 95+ stuff from that angle.  But Price has command of an assortment of pitches as well, and was on his game Tuesday.  The Price-Iwakuma battle was a clash of the titans.

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But Odorizzi-Maurer?  Odorizzi came up as a touted prospect (more touted than Brandon Maurer), but his ERA was 5.79 coming in.

Interestingly, Odorizzi’s arsenal is similar to Maurer’s.

Untitled40-2Difference being, Odorizzi mixes in a splitter that stays “arm-side” like the change, whereas Maurer’s been mixing in a cutter that breaks “glove-side” like the slider.  And Maurer has a little more juice in his fastball.

But even going 95+ won’t fool MLB hitters if they are “sitting on” it, and Odorizzi was way more effective at setting up his game.  All we have to do is look at these four strikeouts.  Look at the catcher’s arm reaching up every time.

vlcsnap-2014-05-15-10h06m00s156vlcsnap-2014-05-15-10h10m33s116vlcsnap-2014-05-15-10h11m32s223vlcsnap-2014-05-15-10h12m11s111Odorizzi was coming up in the zone with the straight fastball, and — even though slower than Maurer’s — the M’s couldn’t catch up with it.

Biggest difference: Odorizzi was throwing the splitter for strikes (7 of 8 times), but Maurer wasn’t getting strikes with the cutter (only 14 of 22).  Odorizzi’s game was actually quite a bit like what Iwakuma can do when he’s got all his pitches working.

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Still, hitters have to execute even against good pitchers.  Interestingly, it was James Jones and Dustin Ackley breaking through for the second straight day, though Ackley’s double was off the bullpen.

  • Hyper-detailed baseball-reference.com boxscore here.

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Daily Prospect-palooza

  • AAA Tacoma was off and AA Jackson got postponed, so only two games at the A level.
  • High-A High Desert managed only a single run, but it was on a solo shot from D.J. Peterson.
  • Deeej has 3 HR in his last three games, and his May line is .333/.357/.574.  But so far his BB/K ratio is way down from 2013 (.26 vs .72).
  • Brooks is off to a strong start, with just 1 ER and 1 BB in his first 9.1 IP.

 

 

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