Jason A. Churchill, 1090 The Fan

(1090 The Fan) — The Seattle Mariners (81-70) fell back into an offensive slump Wednesday night and lost ground to the Royals in the process. The A’s and Tigers lost, too, however. It’s as if nobody wants to play ball in October.

The Angels (95-57) are a week or so from clinching home field advantage throughout the AL playoffs and they have won 10 of 12 en route to clinching a playoff spot. They’re also the best home team in baseball at 50-26.

Pitching Matchups | Jason A. Churchill, 1090 The Fan
Game 4: Thursday, 7:05 PM PT @ Los Angeles Angels– Felix Hernandez, RHP vs. Wade LeBlanc
The Mariners need a win and Hernandez needs to pitch well to help his Cy Young case, as he’s no longer a lock and may not even be the leader with Core Kluber right there with him.

The Angels are tossing out there ‘B’ lineup after clinching the west title Wednesday night.

Hernandez Splits:
LHB: .203/.247/.271, 3 HR
RHB: .201/.242/.356, 12 HR
Home: 2.16 ERA, 10 HR, .200 BAA
Road: 2.11 ERA, 5 HR, .204 BAA

Hernandez vs. Angels
Gordon Beckham: 5-26, 2B, 2 HR, 2 BB, 5 SO
Hank Conger: 1-7, 2 SO
Grant Green: 0-2, 2 SO
Luis Jimenez: 0-3, SO
Brennan Boesch: 2-10, 2B, HR
Efren Navarro: 0-4, BB

Scouting Wade LeBlanc
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 (86-88 mph): 40
Two-seam Fastball (87-88): 40
Curveball (75-77): 50
Changeup (84-86): 60
Control: 60
Command: 55

LeBlanc Splits :
LHB: .231/.375/.231
RHB: .302/.350/.434, 2 HR
Home: 10.29 ERA, 0 HR, .393 BAA
Road: 4.50 ERA, 2 HR, .211 BAA

LeBlanc vs. Mariners
Endy Chavez: 0-1
Corey Hart: 2-7, 3B, BB, SO
Chris Denorfia: 1-4
Kendrys Morales: 0-1
Logan Morrison: 1-3, SO
Kyle Seager: 0-1

LeBlanc gets the nod with the Angels having little for which to play outside of home field advantage throughout the American League playoffs. The lefty has made just one start this season — way back on May 30 at Oakland while with the Miami Marlins — and has not appeared in a game since September 14, a 36-pitch outing versus the Astros, suggesting it’s unlikely he lasts too far beyond 50 pitches in this one.

LeBlanc will sit upper-80s with both fastballs, but it’s the deception in his delivery that can make him a useful big leaguer. He drops down below three-quarters on occasion but even when he’s using his natural high three-quarters slot he stays closed and gets his arm through to release without showing the batter the ball.

Overall, his stuff is underwhelming, but the changeup and curveball are solid offerings. He has problems getting ahead in the count, however, pushing him away from his offspeed stuff. Opponents are batting .412 when ahead in the count versus LeBlanc.

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