Apparently it's good luck when I'm late. That isn't what she said.
Okay, so Jeremy Sowers is just not good. He also happens to be another one of those guys without too many pitches in Kalk's searchable database, too few to put it in the HUPGOOD. I'm just going to put the relevant Kalk player card data in there. It's just as well, as he isn't good enough to merit a thorough breakdown. There's a reason that. Paul Byrd has been replacement level this year, Westbrook is down for the year, Carmona hasn't had a start since 5/23. The Indians need starts. So Sowers is getting thrown in the mix. His sole skill appears to be shutting down lefthanded batters. According to his BP card, his expected split:
- LHB - .254/.329/.393
- RHB - .290/.363/.468
They didn't just pull that out of nowhere. This, in a nutshell, is pretty much what you need to know about Sowers. He can get ground balls and poorly hit balls in general from lefties. Against righties he gets utterly hammered and it led PECOTA to tab him as basically replacement level. The only thing that would baffle us normally about Sowers is that he's somewhat unusual in that he's a soft-throwing lefty, but after tonight, the Sox hitters will have seen 3 of these sorts in the last 6 days. In fact, we just faced Sean Marshall yesterday. Sowers is basically Marshall without the good secondary stuff. He pounds the zone with zone with his 87-90 fastball and hopes for the best from his defense. At the Cell during the summer, that isn't going to play against a team that leads the AL in flyball/groundball ratio. Beyond that, he's been giving up a ton of linedrives this year, to the tune of 26.7% of all batted balls. Normally I'd say that's due to regress. But the thing is, that only applies if he is in fact a major league caliber pitcher. He may not be at this point. Besides, it isn't like he'll suddenly start striking batters out. Those batted balls will stay batted. My guess is those line drives would turn into flyballs. That won't exactly stem the tide.
The Indians best hope is to get some luck, keep the run difference minimal through 5 and get into a bullpen war. But that doesn't favor them either. Obviously, this is baseball and anything can happen. But it looks good for the Sox tonight as long as Gaving doesn't blow up. So pray Gavin doesn't blow up.