Mariners Analysis

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Washburn pitches well

I know the numbers don't lie- Washburn is pitching against inferior hitters, Safeco etc... but at least to my eyes, when I watch him pitch, he seems to be pitching differently than last year. He does a much better job of avoiding the middle of the plate, much like Moyer when he's on, and gets ahead of hitters by throwing borderline strike/ball pitches all night that convince the hitter to swing rather than get called out on that borderline pitch.

Of course he'll have a much harder time in NY, but who doesn't? The Yankees are historically good when it comes to hitting- Washburn won't be the only pitcher to struggle against that lineup.

Certainly Washburn will come to earth, and his ERA will rise. No one expects him to have a sub 3 ERA when all is said and done. But he is pitching well against teams he should pitch well against, and the Mariners are winning games they lost last year.

The pitcher I continue to have concerns with is Morrow. I know everyone keeps gushing on his strikeouts in crucial situations, but I see him flirting with danger at the same time. You can't keep raring-back and throwing fastball after fastball and develop as a pitcher. His control of his ONE pitch is spotty at best, and he is going to get used and abused by a good hitting team soon.

Last nights 3 strikeout inning was a good example of his playing with fire. One run lead, 8th inning. Morrow walks a batter on 4 straight pitches and faces Jermaine Dye. After following behind 3-1 he throws a pitch chin high that should have seen Dye trotting to first base. Instead Dye bails him out, misses and strikes out the next pitch. Morrow was T-H-I-S close to having two runners on and Hargrove bringing in Putz to save his hide.

I'm happy Morrow is helping the team win, but I feel like his success is not only hampering his ability to grow as a starter, it is unsustainable.

I expect Morrow to struggle. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm not nearly as impressed as other observers.