And welcome to everyone who’s reading us for the first time thanks to a mention in this Slate article.
Fear not, regular readers, I’m working on a new Big Board.
Oh, and sorry I couldn’t make it, Derek. I had to work.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the feed today.
One and Six. Yech. We all realize the M’s are playing poorly right now. The pitching looks bad, the defense looks bad, and the offense looks bad. A sample of seven games isn’t meaningful enough to tell us anything about what will happen, but we can figure out what parts have gone so horribly wrong to cause this slide.
The team is averaging 4.85 runs per game comapred to 4.90 last year. The difference is negligible, and it would appear that run scoring has not been the team’s problem to date.
The defense independant categories show slight declines, but not horrendous numbers overall. The team walk rate has gone from 2.9 BB/9 IP last year to 3.5 BB/9 IP this year. The home run rate has jumped from 1.08 HR/9 IP to 1.33 HR/9 IP. The strikeout rate has risen from 6.25 K/9 IP to 7.23 K/9 IP. The pitchers are putting less balls in play, but they’re also putting more men on base and letting hitters clean the table. Overall, however, the decline in walk rate and home run rate don’t account for the huge change in runs allowed. Which brings us to the…
The numbers here are staggeringly bad. The team just isn’t converting balls in play into outs. At the current rates of performance, the M’s defense would be one of the worst in modern history. This won’t continue as the poor performance is likely an issue of sample size, but it quite clearly the main reason the team is 1-6 after 7 games. Below are the numbers. There is across the board decline, but it is especially noticable in the outfield, where the rate of extra base hits per ball in play and per flyball have nearly doubled. Keep in mind that we aren’t saying that this is predictive in any way or that this performance will continue, but to date, the defense has been a huge problem.
H/BIP 0.27 0.35
1B/BIP 0.22 0.25
2B+3B/BIP 0.05 0.10
2B+3B/FB 0.13 0.23
1B/GB 0.53 0.63