Week #8 in Review
It’s May 20. And we all know what that means. In 325 A.D. the first ecumenical gathering of bishops met in Nicaea to hammer out the particulars of orthodox Christianity. In 1861, the commonwealth of Kentucky proclaimed its neutrality in the Civil War. In 1971, the world found out What’s Going On, thanks to Marvin Gaye. And in 2005, by 5 p.m. my semester will be complete. Yeah, and it’s also time to take a look at what happened to the Mariners last week.
And its still not too late to send Busta Rhymes a birthday card.
On this Friday we find the Mariners 16-24. Rumor has it “one” is the lonliest number, and now the Mariners aren’t quite so lonely in last place. The Mariners now share that distinction with the Oakland Athletics. They dropped one more game back of the Angels and now stand 7 games out of first place. Please don’t jump ship yet. We’ve only played two months of baseball here. The Mariners have been outscored 195-173, and that’s not too shabby at all when you consider the Angels’ run differential of +4 and the Rangers of +3. And those two teams have yet to play New York and Boston. According to third-order-wins, the Mariners are still underperforming by a little less than a game. They should be in second place and the M’s, Angels and A’s are all dead even. Things really aren’t as bad as they may seem.
The offense ranks 10th in the league in runs scored (173), same as last week. Their 29 home runs rank 13th in the league. Their 116 walks rank 10th. The team is hitting .250/.312/.376. Think a lineup of Endy Chavez times nine. Their OBP is 11th in the league, and the SLG is 13th (the Angels, Mariners and A’s occupy the three bottom slots).
Their runs allowed is 9th in the league. The defense is turning 70.6% of balls-in-play into outs, slipping to fifth in the league.
Random stat of the week: Home runs from Seattle first basemen in 2004: 15 in 600 AB. In 2005: 11 in 145 AB.
Break out the bubbly. The Mariners won their first series of the season since a three-game sweep of the Royals in the second week of the season. And they did it against the reigning champ Red Sox. In baseball’s version of reincarnation this week, the Mariners came back with some better karma and split the week against New York and Boston. This has to be seen as a moral victory. Perhaps if the Mariners could play these teams yet again this week, we’d see more improvement. The Mariners nearly matched these offensive powerhouses, being outscored by just 3 runs (35-32), despite being out-homered 10-6 and out-walked 30-14. The Mariners did slug twice as many doubles as their opponents (16-8).
That 14-run outburst on Friday certainly helped.
Raul Ibanez led the team in batting .348/.400/.739 with 3 doubles and a pair of home runs. with 15 total bases.
Saturday against Boston, Ryan Franklin stymied the Sox to just a 1 run, walked 3, but struck out 9 in 5.1 innings. He tossed 110 pitches and didn’t finish the sixth inning, so this isn’t a Cy Young week or anything. Still, Franklin struck out twice as many batters as he had in any other outing this year. The M’s failed to offer much run support and the bullpen imploded, as the the M’s lost the game.
Wilson Valdez went 2-for-12 (.167/.231/.250).
Friday against Boston, Joel Pineiro lasted just 3.2 innings. It took him 81 pitches to collect 11 outs, and just half of those pitches he threw for strikes. He walked 4, allowed 2 home runs and struck out none. The Mariners scored 14 runs and won the game. Go figure. He was sent to Tacoma.
Coming to a Stadium Near You
The homestand continues with interleague play beginning this weekend (already?). Like the Christmas decorations at Wal-Mart, interleague play seems to come earlier and earlier each year. Maybe it’s just me. The Mariners host “archrivals” San Diego Friday-Saturday-Sunday. The Padres currently lead the NL West, ranked 3rd in the National League in runs scored and 9th in runs allowed.
The Mariners get a Monday day-off while they travel to the east coast for a three-game set against the heavy slugging Orioles. The O’s are 2nd in the league in runs scored and 6th in the league in runs allowed. Just because the Yankees and Red Sox are leaving town doesn’t mean a reprieve from the heavy-hitting offenses.