== Iwakuma quickly reverts to not-needing-run-support mode ==
Just hours after conquering Turner Field with their bats, the M’s returned to claim a mini-sweep of the two-game set with their arms.
The turnaround was so fast that there probably wasn’t time for the Varsity, although ACC/SEC types like Justin Smoak, Brad Miller and others are no doubt familiar with it.
Regardless, Hisashi Iwakuma didn’t need a fast-food fix or run support.
Brooks doesn’t show Iwakuma’s splitter/shuuto darting downward with tons of vertical movement, but it was enough. Iwakuma threw it 32 times and got 21 strikes, including 9 swing-and-miss strikes.
Iwakuma took 56 pitches to get through the first three innings, but then breezed through the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th with just 40 more.
He seems averse to a complete game, but better a guy who takes himself out too soon than a guy who insists on staying in too long.
That left the final two frames to Yoervis Medina and Fernando Rodney. Both of whom came out firing 95+ and both of whom delivered 1-2-3 innings. Setting up the bow-and-arrow, of course.
Bullpen ERA = 2.90
Bullpen K/9 = 9.1
Bullpen ISO-against = .106
Sure, there was some offense, too. Just enough anyway.
And it had a distinct Beaver tinge.
Oregon State alum Stefen Romero singled Robinson Cano to 2nd, setting up an RBI single from the other Beaver Cole Gillespie.
Later, Romero zinged a triple to the right-center wall, and came home when non-Beaver Kyle Seager singled.
And that’s all Kuma needed anyway. Too bad their top-seeded school was bounced out of their NCAA regional by Cal-Irvine over the weekend.
- The three stateside teams in action all lost narrowly.
- Jackson got a two-run homer from Dario Pizzano, his 2nd in AA, but couldn’t score again after putting up five in the 3rd.
- High Desert was in usually quieter San Jose, but still ended up with an Adelanto-type score, losing 11-8. D.J. Peterson paced a strong comeback (double, 2 singles, walk) from a 9-2 deficit, but the Mavs couldn’t get closer than 10-8.
- And Low-A Clinton fell in the bottom of the 10th despite the 9th homer of the year for Austin Wilson, and despite another strong relief outing for Thyago Vieira (3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K).