(1090 The Fan) — The Seattle Mariners (79-65) finish their three-game set with the Houston Astros looking to get a series win.

Pitching Matchups | Jason A. Churchill, 1090 The Fan
Game 3: Wednesday, 7:10 PM PT @ Safeco Field — Hisashi Iwakuma, RHP
Iwakuma is in search of his first ‘Kuma-like outing in three weeks as he’s allowed three earned runs or more in three straight starts. His stuff has been there all along, but he had a bout with command issues in Boston and there were signs that his splitter had flattened.

Iwakuma has given up hits versus the Astros over the past few years but generally keeps bigger run totals off the board. If he does that again Wednesday, the M’s are in great shape as the offense is facing a rookie starter, which more often than what many M’s fan believe, is indeed a good thing for the Mariners.

Iwakuma Splits (big-leagues):
LHB: .273/.284/.408, 10 HR
RHB: .199/.229/.302, 7 HR
Home: 2.78 ERA, 12 HR, .227 BAA
Road: 3.21 ERA, 5 HR, .254 BAA

Iwakuma vs. Astros
Jose Altuve: 8-19, 2B, 2 SO
Chris Carter: 3-18, 2B, HR, 2 BB, 7 SO
Jason Castro: 4-20, BB, 6 SO
Matt Dominguez: 6-19, 2B, BB, 4 SO
Dexter Fowler: 1-6, 2 SO
Robbie Grossman: 0-4, 3 SO
Alex Presley: 3-9
Jon Singleton: 0-3, SO
Jonathan Villar: 1-5, 3B, SO

Scouting Nick Tropeano
Grades reflect 20-80 scouting scale; 80 is outstanding, among league’s best, 50 is major-league average, 20 is poor, not in line with big-league standards.
Four-seam Fastball (90-94 mph): 55
Slider (81-83): 45
Changeup (80-84): 55
Control: 55
Command: 50

Tropeano is making his big-league debut at age 24. He was a fifth-round draft pick in 2011 out of Stony Brook. He can throw downhill with his four-seam fastball, mixes in the occasional two-seamer and sets up an above-average to plus changeup by throwing strikes early in counts.

His breaking ball — a low-80s slider — is fringe-average but he keeps it down and out of the middle of the plate consistently, aiding in his efforts to keep the ball in the yard, which he’s done well in his pro career.

There’s nothing overwhelming in his arsenal and his delivery has been questioned for years, but he’s not likely to help the M’s bats with walks or falling behind in the count regularly.

Wild Card Contenders Schedule
The Royals and Tigers conclude their three-game set in Detroit with the home team sending right-hander Rick Porcello to the mound versus James Shields, the KC ace. The two clubs are tied for the lead in the AL Central and hold a half-game lead over Seattle for the No. 2 Wild Card spot.

The Oakland Athletics send Jeff Samardzija to the mound versus Chris Bassitt and the White Sox. This is Game 3 of the four-game series — tomorrow the White Sox send Chris Sale to the mound.

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