Mariners vs. Athletics: Dylan Wants Moore, Miller is Money, and Julio Heats Up

Seattle started off their homestand on the right foot, and came through big in the final game to earn the series win over the Athletics
Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners
Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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Best Pitcher: Bryce Miller

6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K

Despite the game ending up as a 8-1 blowout loss, Bryce Miller performed admirably and should not be blamed for Oakland's offensive outburst as it happened after he had already departed the mound. He fanned nine opposing batters while collecting 17 swings and misses, ten of which were from his splitter and four-seam fastball combined. Those two pitches continue to be his most potent tools. Opposing batters are averaging just .147 against his fastball and are striking out at a 44.2% clip against his splitter.

His splitter is particularly interesting because of the 40.3 inches of vertical drop. His sweeper also has a ridiculous amount of vertical break at 48.1 inches but he's only throwing it 9.5% of the time, so it's clear that the splitter has become his favorite non-fastball weapon.

Honorable Mention: Luis Castillo

6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K

If not for the two long balls he gave up to Brent Rooker and Abraham Toro, Castillo would've likely put up a scoreless quality start. He had 14 swings and misses, ten of which came from his slider and four-seam fastball. Like Bryce Miller, Castillo has an elite fastball that is made even better by a strong secondary pitch. In his case, it's the slider. Batters are averaging just .160 against it and whiffing 43.0% of the time while striking out 41.2% of the time.

When Castillo sets up opposing batters with a slider down and away before speeding them up with an elevated fastball at 96 mph, it's hard for them to keep up. His 3.31 ERA and 10.6 SO/9 are statistical testaments to just how good he's been this year.