Quotable: "His pitches were over the plate. When (they) leave pitches over the plate, you can do whatever you want with those pitches. That’s what happened."
Dr. D always laughs when he hears an announcer say this: "Kobe can score whenever he wants." If I were Kobe that would mean 142 points per game, average. What could possibly happen to cause you to not want to score?
Guti, however, found pitches he could do whatever he wanted with, and what he wanted to do was hit homers to left, center and right. Well, the one to right bounced off the wall, so we'll put Gutierrez' hyperbole down to poetic license.
In the box score, they have a total bases line. This time it read TB: Cano 5; Marte 2; Aoki 2; Gutierrez 10; Seager. The first four guys all batted in sequence, 9-1-2-3, so you clustered 19 bases at the turn and the middle 5 guys had 1 base in twenty plate appearances.
Quotable: "When he can mash the left-handed pitchers like that," manager Scott Servais said, "we’re really a different lineup. He’s got big power."
Yeah, no kidding. Every time you add another 160 OPS+ bat your lineup is going to look different. Here's to trading Aoki and ? for Jose Bautista and REALLY having a different lineup.
Quotable: "We really needed that," per Servais. "That" being WBC-san's fifth straight game with 7.0 IP.
Run through 'Kuma's game logs and you'll find 7 IP 3 ER every single game, plus or minus 1 inning and 1 run. Bill James once said, 80% of a player's value is in being major-league average. You have to GM a team and watch Jeff Weaver a few times to realize what James meant by that ...
Quotable: “I feel like my mechanics are much better now,” he said through interpreter Antony Suzuki. “I feel like my balance between my upper body and lower body are better. More than that, I’m attacking the strike zone and getting strike one, which helps me a lot, and not try to nibble on both sides of the plate. Just attacking has gotten me better.”
So much of pitching is about balance, grace and balance and body control. Which is not something that can be easily grokked from the CF camera. Accordingly, SSI is glad to have Iwakuma's own point of view as to what Iwakuma's body is doing. Looks like he's ready to go on a run.
Brooksbaseball.net had Iwakuma's splitter diving as much as -5 inches below vacuum:
He threw 15-of-19 four seamers for strikes. Threw 12-of-18 shuuto's for strikes. Threw 17-of-22 cutters/sliders for strikes. 18 of 26 two-seam sinkers for strikes. Hisashi Iwakuma simply was not going to have any walks on base when the Sox hit their homers. It was a playoff-caliber outing from him.
Had 22 strikeouts and NO walks in Tacoma. That's why he got the call.
He had a novel approach to his attack: a 92 fastball right down the middle -- but either knee high or shoulder high. He said, Well, I'm not going to worry about the corners. I'm pounding the knees and I'm changing the eye level. As a result, there's a wide band of pitch spots at the knees and thighs, and another one up high, and absolutely nothing stomach high.
Not a recipe for making $8M per year. But it's a recipe for getting out of a 4-run lead alive.