Only saw the box score! thanks for the post-game analysis of my guy.
FIRST 2 GAMES: PESSIMISTIC MAINFRAME
You know what we mean by pessimistic. That Moore was going to be extremely limited in terms of star power. A quality starter, yes definitely, but with a 6 foot 6 inch ceiling on his ERA cubicle. ... And why's that, you say?
In Moore's first two games, his 82 slider and his 76 change curve were "basically never swung at and missed," as Brooks aptly put it. Not only did they generate no whuffs, but what was worse, they never had batters off-balance at all that I could see.
Since his fastball is very ordinary, hitters could afford -- Dr. D believed -- to look fastball and easily adapt on-the-fly to his slider and curve. ML batters are not going to swing through fastballs they are set for. So what do you do for a K.O.?
Point three, his change is supposed to be his best pitch, but he was much wilder with that pitch than with his other three pitches.
None o' that is to say that Moore was doomed. But that's the flavor of the ceiling cap that Dr. D saw. There's nothing wrong at all with being Paul Byrd, or even Brad Radke if the change comes around. But y'know.
THREE REVOLUTIONARY PITCHES
By 'revolutionary' we're talking about Dr. D's perception. :- ) You can bank it that the scouts saw the following ideas coming long ago - long enough ago to slide the priority knob all the way to "Super Two Evasive Measures." Not me. Dr. D set himself on Saturday to squint hard and look for a couple of swings and misses here and there.
PITCH ONE - In the first (!) inning Moore got a 2-2 pitch, rocked back, and fired a belt-high fastball ... WHOOOOPS it popped a parachute and the Orc swung thru it badly. THERE amigos was that supposed Paul Abbott, Doug Fister changeup. A K.O. pitch! Thass what ah'm TALKIN about! Okay. He's looking at Brad Radke rather than Paul Byrd.
PITCH TWO - Again the first (!) inning, Moore gets a lefty Orc and starts him off with ... a 76 change curve inside. The Orc was swinging from his wallet, hoping for a 91 fastball. He screwed himself into the GROUND. That is the kind of embarrassing swing that turns heads in the dugout.
We talk about the Iwakuma effect -- trying to hit mosquitoes with willow switches. And it occurred, Moore is going to be able to establish this willow-switch effect. That will keep lineups off him.
(Now, the Mainframe had been hoping for one swing-and-miss per inning. Moore achieved two more, for 4 swinging strikes, in the first four batters. He threw another parachute change belt-high for a garbage swing way out in front, and he threw a slider away to an overaggressive hitter. But whuffs 3 and 4 weren't the big thing.)
PITCH THREE - On an 0-2 pitch, Moore bounced into his 18-second rock step and threw a challenge fastball ... 4 inches above the zone. Ladder fastball! Into a teacup, just barely high enough, exactly like WBC-san. Swinging strike three.
The only question after that was --- > are the Mariners, and Moore, focused on this eye-changing ladder fastball. They were. Several more times they set it up purposefully. Somebody talked about that approach. Nice nice nice.
In that case, so tell me what Hisashi Iwakuma does that Andrew Moore is not capable of doing?
- Ladder fastball changing the eye level, whipsawed against a shuuto (in this case changeup)
- Slider thrown to locations
- Shuuto (for Moore, a nice changeup)
- Occasional change curve
- Pinpoint command
- Ahead 0-1 every time, without throwing BP fastballs, because all three pitches can be located on 0-0
The answer is nothing. There is NOTHING Iwakuma does that Moore can't do, and on an every-start basis. The shuuto is my choice over Moore's change, by a nose. But on the other hand Moore has two feet on his fastball vs. WBC-san's.
Iwakuma had no problem maintaining 7 strikeouts a game with 1-2 walks. So why can't Andrew Moore? That question has a very pleasant answer for us.
GAME ON!, Dept.
Moore got 13 separate swings and misses in the game, all of them purposeful. Here, we'll list them beyond the 5 we noted above:
- First pitch 82 slider dropped just below the zone, whuffff
- First pitch 92 fastball, the Orc was late, because of the willow-switch effect
- 1-1 fastball, see above
- 0-1 curve to LH, buried below the zone, whuff
- 3-1 meatball count to LH, swung thru fastball, again because of the frustration effect* *this one isn't that impressive; the others are
- 1-1 to LH, good 91 fastball inside and UP, nice crowdy jam pitch above hands
Stopped charting there
Andrew Moore was nearly Best Bet without striking anybody out. But that Saturday performance completely turned around my evaluation of this rookie pitcher.
Moore's current FIP is 5.23 or some such. And the orcs are second worst in the AL in K rate, worst in swinging strike rate.
Some of the appearance in this game may have been caused by orc incompetence
That said, I think Moore will beat FIP for three reasons:
Flyball pitchers with good command usually do
He doesn't give up many baserunners...the homers will be more likely to be solo shots (as we're already seen)
And his pop-out rate will be better than average.
Plus which...I doubt his FIP stays that high.
Was fun watching him go yard and do the hair thing with Cruz since Motter wasn't around. :)