Mariners vs Reds: Dumper Discipline, More Quality Starts, and a Mariners' First

In their first sweep of the season, things finally started to click against Cincinnati for the Mariners as they wrap up their latest homestand
Cincinnati Reds v Seattle Mariners
Cincinnati Reds v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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Mariner's Best Pitcher: Bryce Miller

6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR

Miller continued his scorching hot start to the season by pitching a gem in the final game of the series. After giving up just one earned run in six innings of work, he has a 1.85 ERA and 0.82 WHIP over his first four starts. An interesting note about his most recent start was that he garnered just six swings and misses but still managed to put together seven strikeouts. How? Paint.

The deadly four-seam fastball/sinker was truly leaving Reds hitters dazed and confused. While the latter is more often used as a soft contact pitch, it's extremely effective when placed well. However, he continues to rely on his splitter most heavily as his strikeout tool and it boasts a 38.1% strikeout rate as opposed to the 8.3% rate on his sinker.

Another interesting note is that he seems to be dialing back the usage of his slider and increasing the usage of his sweeper. In his start against the Reds, he threw just three sliders while throwing 12 sweepers. Although it was one of his better pitches last year, it has been struggling this year and batters were averaging .400 against it while the sweeper has yet to concede a hit in 22 pitches thrown.

Honorable Mention: Logan Gilbert

6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

A very close competitor for Miller's spot as best pitcher, Gilbert had a quality start of his own in the second game of the series. Holding the Reds to a single measly run, he had very similar numbers to Miller, garnering just eight swings and misses but striking out six. His slider and four-seam fastball did the majority of the heavy lifting but he was also getting some good results with his splitter. So far this season, his splitter has a wicked 80% strikeout rate and batters are averaging just .071 against it.

He's got an ERA of 2.33 and a WHIP of 0.78 so far so it's safe to say that for now, Miller and Gilbert are locking down the rest of the rotation.