No one in the Red Sox organization likes to see Boston lose, but there was appreciation for what Seattle left-hander Wade LeBlanc did to the Sox a week ago: 72/3 innings, no runs, two hits, no walks, nine strikeouts, 22 straight batters retired.

LeBlanc did it with an 86 mph fastball, and an assortment of other pitches.

“You change speeds and it still works,” Sea Dogs pitching coach Paul Abbott said. “These hitters are geared for the fastball, and you throw a wrinkle at them, it throws off their timing … Good, old-fashioned pitching.”

Abbott said the hard-throwing lefties, “Sandy Koufax, Chris Sale … we remember those guys. But plenty of other guys have had great careers.”

Abbott is working with a trio of those “other guys” – left-handed starters with fastballs that don’t wow the crowds with their radar-gun readings but are plenty effective.

Matt Kent has a 2.80 ERA, with 63 strikeouts in 61 innings.

Kyle Hart’s ERA is 3.18.

Dedgar Jimenez is struggling this season with a 5.87 ERA. But he showed his potential after last year’s promotion to Portland, going 5-0 with a 2.91 ERA in eight starts.

Their fastballs sit at 89-90 mph or, in Kent’s case, 87-88.

“The actual name of their position is pitcher, not thrower,” Abbott said. “They’re doing a really good job of pitching.

“There’s a guy I played with, Jamie Moyer, who had less stuff than these guys, and he won 269 games.”

Abbott’s major league career included five years in Seattle when he was a teammate of Moyer, who enjoyed a 25-year career with a fastball in the low 80s, a curveball and change-up.

Kent, 25, didn’t see himself as a Jamie Moyer-type growing up. An All-State pitcher at Midway High in Waco, Texas, Kent struck out 122 in 66 innings and threw three consecutive no-hitters.

“I was the power arm, the guy who could throw fastballs by people,” said Kent, who also had a developed curve and a change-up.

Then Kent pitched for Texas A&M, and his high 80s fastball was not going to be enough.

“I entered college, 135 pounds soaking wet, still throwing the same way in high school, thinking I was going to get by with it,” Kent said.

“I’m facing guys who have four years of weight (training). They’re 225 pounds and can hit it over light towers … I had to figure (a different approach).”

Kent added a slider and mixed his pitches much more. He was 6-0 his junior year, and was Boston’s 13th-round draft pick in 2015.

As a pro, Kent added a cut fastball. He also can change angles, throwing sidearm with his fastball and slider. Counting the angles, Kent uses seven different pitches.

“He comes at you with elbows and knees and the kitchen sink,” Abbott said. “He gives hitters a headache … He’s intuitive and can adjust on the fly. He reads the hitter well.”

Kent knows his fastball will never reach the mid-90s.

“I don’t have the velocity to blow it by people, but I can make my 87-88 fastball look like it’s 93-94 with the bevy of other pitches I throw,” Kent said. “If I slow them down, then speed them up, the brain plays tricks on hitters, so it looks a little faster.”

Just ask a hitter.

“Somebody that can mix speeds well, you just don’t know what you’re going to get. Those guys are challenging,” said Sea Dogs infielder Tony Renda, who played briefly for the Cincinnati Reds in 2016. “The velocity guys – unless you’re throwing like (Aroldis) Chapman, at 100-plus – you face velocity so much, you get pretty used to it.”

It’s hard to get used to facing Hart.

“Kyle can command four pitches really well,” Abbott said.

At 6-foot-5, 170 pounds, Hart, 25, reminds Sea Dogs fans of Henry Owens, who pitched briefly with Boston. Both pitchers feature excellent change-ups. But Hart’s slider, which he began throwing last year, is now a big weapon, too. He also has a curve and a 90-mph fastball.

“With a tailwind, I might get 91,” Hart joked.

“You have to be a combination of things. You have to know the other team well. You have to be very precise. And you have to mix – mix, mix, mix. Just don’t get patternable.”

Hart says success comes from “just throwing a lot of strikes, trying to get ahead and using four pitches. If you watch the game, I don’t think there is anything too secretive about it. Just throw the ball over the plate and not fall behind. When I fall behind, just like most pitchers will tell you, it can get a little sketchy out there.”

His last start on Thursday was sketchy. He did not command his fastball early, and he left his secondary pitches up. Hart gave up five earned runs in the first inning before settling in for five more innings (and two more runs). Still, in nine of Hart’s 12 starts, he’s allowed two earned runs or fewer.

Jimenez’s ERA is not as impressive as his ability to throw a deceptive fastball, with an effective slider and developing change-up. Inconsistency is a problem. In his last five starts (28 innings), he threw 19 scoreless innings – many of them 1-2-3. But he allowed multiple runs in many of those other innings.

“I’m getting better,” Jimenez said. “Working in the bullpen to keep the ball down.”

Abbot would agree: “He can live on the corners. But when he gets in trouble, he kind of loses his focus and will get too much plate … He’s too good of a pitcher for that to happen. He’ll turn it around.”

Jimenez is only 22. Like his fellow crafty lefties, he’s working on precision.

None of the three will ever blow away hitters in the big leagues. But they might be pitching there someday.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-7411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: ClearTheBases

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