Week #15 in Review
Boone DFA’ed! Doyle recalled! Mariners score double-digits, not just for the week, but in a single game! Bloomquist hits like it’s September 2002!
Wow, what a week.
Wins: 36. Losses: 48. Games out of first place: 15.5.
The Mariners drop another two games in the standings this week. And now a 5-game chasm separates the M’s from the third-place Athletics. Last place rarely seemed so lonely. According to third-order wins, the Mariners are unlucky by more than 3 games, but that still doesn’t mean that their last-place position is undeserved. Only Tampa Bay and Kansas City have fewer 3rd order wins. And of course, those two teams’ payrolls together don’t match the Mariners.
Runs Scored: 354 (last in the American League). Batting average: .257 (last). On-base percentage: .316 (last). Slugging percentage: .388 (last). Home runs: 62 (last). Bases on balls: 235 (8th!). EqA: .261 (18th in baseball).
The Mariners get away with an offense last in every significant batting category in the league without being last in EqA on a couple of counts. First of all, they play in Safeco Field and EqA is weighted accordingly. Secondly, their most potent offensive weapon right now is their designated hitter, and 10 of the 12 teams behind them have no such luxury.
Runs allowed: 377 (8th). Staff ERA: 4.29 (8th). DIPS ERA: 4.82 (13th). Strikeouts: 427 (last). Bases on balls: (12th). Home runs allowed: 90 (11th). Starters ERA: 4.89 (12th). Relievers ERA: 3.03 (3rd). Defensive efficiency: 71.6% (3rd).
The M’s quietly have one of the best relief corps in the game right now. At least they have some marketable commodity for the coming trade frenzy.
Make it 5 straight losing series for the Mariners now. They went 3-4 on the week dropping 2 out of 3 to both Texas and Kansas City (shame on them) before taking Game #1 in the LA Angels series. Thanks to a couple of blow-out wins and close losses, they outscored their opponents 32-28. They were out-homered 8-5 (which happens to every team playing Texas), but drew more walks 24-19 (thank you, Bartolo Colon). The M’s lineup was feast or famine, where 3 starters logged an OPS over 1.000, and 4 starters below .700.
Feast: Adrian Beltre (10-for-29, .345/.367/.759, a double, a triple and 3 home runs), Ichiro! (12-for-26, .462/.531/.577, 5 walks), and Willie Bloomquist (9-for-21, .429/.455/.667, 5 doubles, 2 stolen bases and so much hustle broadcaster Dave Valle is rumored to have spontaneously combusted like a Spinal Tap drummer). At least someone got the memo that Kansas City’s pitching isn’t very good.
To celebrate Independence Day, Ryan Franklin threw a complete game shutout. He held the Royals to 6 hits and a walk while striking out 4. And he did it on only 103 pitches. Hey, if you got a defense that can catch the ball, you might as well use it. At 13.9, Franklin now has the highest VORP on the pitching staff. Give the boy a cookie.
Famine: Raul Ibanez (6-for-26, .231/.333/.346), Jeremy Reed (4-for-19, .211/.286/.316), Jose Lopez (3-for-18, .167/.167/.278) and Pat Borders (2-for-15, .133/.133/.133). Dincha get the memo?
Reed is now hitting .259/.329/.357. His 5.2 VORP is 12th among AL centerfielders with at least 100 at bats. On the bright side, he is the 2nd best centerfielder in the AL West according to VORP.
The shutout by Franklin must have really pissed off the Royals. The very next day, the team that makes an out in 68% of their plate appearance, shellacked Gil Meche for 5 runs on 7 hits and a pair of walks. Meche allowed more runners on base than he recorded outs, as he failed to sit a Royal down in the fourth inning. It was his worst start of the season, and against one of worst offenses to boot.
Coming to a stadium near you
Over the weekend the Mariners will play 3 more in Angel Stadium. Few teams are hot like the Angels are right now. Prior to last night’s bizarre turn of events, the Angels had gone 15-4 dating back to June 17. They’re cruising in first place of the AL West. Their offense has scored 409 runs, 5th in the league, while they’ve allowed 332, second in the league to the White Sox.
Next, all of baseball takes a 3-day vacation for an All-Star Game. Rumor has it that it counts. For something. Whatever. Feel free to watch if that’s your thing.
The M’s will then kickoff the second half hosting a four-game set with spiraling Baltimore. After starting the season as one of the more fun stories to watch in baseball, the O’s have dropped 11 of their last 14, including 3 of 4 to their archrival Yankees. Currently, the Orioles have scored 416 runs, 4th in the league, and allowed 400, 9th in the league.