“Let Burien Chevrolet make you a great deal!” - Elise Woodward
By Robin Dich, Sports Radio KJR
Elise and Jerry talk about Hisashi Iwakuma's start last night against the Astros and whether or not he might be a snub for the All-Star game. He has earned our votes in Seattle, but what about the rest of the nation?
Maybe I'm getting a bit ahead of myself with Cy Young aspirations for Hisashi Iwakuma, but I'm a Mariner's fan, I always get ahead of myself. However, I can give you an argument on why Iwakuma is one of the best starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. There are talks about Iwakuma being left off of some expert's all-star teams. Why? Well the argument and "logic" is the all-star team wouldn't want to bring in two starting pitchers from a team that is 9 games under .500. He is pitching better than Felix Hernandez. In his last 28 starts the Mariners are 19-9 since July of last year when he started for the first time. The King, even though he has been pitching extremely well too, the M's are only 7-7 when he pitches this season. I think both Iwakuma and the King can be our top two for at least three more years, but right now Iwakuma is the best kept secret in the MLB.
The organization brought in Iwakuma last year, during spring training and they decided to have Iwakuma as a relief pitcher from the get go. He struggled a little bit, with a record of 1-1 and an ERA of 4.75. Once he was slotted in the starting rotation in July of 2012, he has a record of 15-5 with a 2.22 ERA and a WHIP of 1.025. His dominance has been known in Seattle, but can get his name out there without the Mariners winning? In his last three starts, he has not given up an earn run yet. His current streak is at 28 innings without giving up an earn run.
This season he has started 14 games, two more than Clay Buchholz, who has the lowest ERA in the American League. On ESPN his WAR is 4.0 and on FanGraph it is 2.1, even it out and he is still a top 10 pitcher in the MLB. He has the lowest WHIP in the league, 12 out of 14 games he has had quality starts, and opponents are hitting a BA of .190, third lowest for any starter. One thing that isn't really stat related is his ability to get out of jams. Last night he was able to make the Houston Astros leave players on base time after time. He gets ground balls when he needs them and has the ability to strike out hitters to get out of jams as well.
The only knock you can really say about Iwakuma is giving up home runs, he has one of the highest home run rates in the MLB, but he is obviously doing fine if he gives up just one run a game to a solo home run. Its nothing to worry about. Seattle has had a few bright spots this year, Seager, King Felix and Hisashi Iwakuma, the only thing that could ruin it is if he gets snubbed from the All-Star game.