Week #16 in Review
Short week. But the three-day vacation gives you all the more time to savor that four-game sweep.
Wins: 39. Losses: 49. Games out of first place: 13.5.
Finishing off a four-game sweep of the Angels, the Mariners game a couple of games in the standings this week. But the A’s keep winning, too, which now leaves the Mariners 6 games away from 3rd place. According to third-order wins, the Mariners are unlucky by not quite 3 games. Still, only Tampa Bay and Kansas City have fewer 3rd order wins.
Runs Scored: 380 (last in the American League). Batting average: .257 (last). On-base percentage: .317 (last). Slugging percentage: .389 (last). Home runs: 65 (last). Bases on balls: 247 (8th). EqA: .262 (tied for 10th with the Blue Jays, mere fractions above the last place White Sox, A’s and Royals).
Runs allowed: 393 (8th). Staff ERA: 4.26 (8th). DIPS ERA: 4.83 (13th). Strikeouts: 451 (last). Bases on balls: 296 (12th). Home runs allowed: 96 (11th, tied with Twins). Starters ERA: 4.88 (12th). Relievers ERA: 2.96 (2nd). Defensive efficiency: 71.7% (2nd, tied with Oakland).
Nice way to close the first half of ’05, but in all honesty, it hasn’t changed much. It was the Mariners’ third victorious sweep of the season (the Royals and Mets being the other shameful victims), and scored in double digits in consecutive games for the first time. In fact, those two games represented the 6th and 7th times the Mariners had scored 10+ runs all season. (By comparison, the ’04 club scored 10+ runs only 3 times in the first half.) More amazing, in those 5 previous victories, the Mariners garnered a victory only once in the following game and averaged little over 3 runs in that next game. And against, what at the time was, the second best pitching staff in the league. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, I guess.
In a truncated week, the Mariners went 3-1, after dropping the first game of the Baltimore Orioles. They dominated their opponents on the scoreboard (26-16) largely due to some well-sprinkled fairy dust. Their oppoents hit more home runs (6-3), the Mariners drew no more walks (12) and accumulated no more total bases (57). Chalk this up to the small size of only 4 games.
Richie Sexson went 4-for-13 (.308/.500/.615) with a double, a home run and 5 walks. With two outs in the fifth inning Saturday, Sexson clobbered a two-run double off John Lackey that scored the deciding runs in a 6-3 victory over the Angels.
Over the four games, the entire bullpen saw 11.1 innings of action and allowed just 2 runs. To be specific, J.J. Putz surrendered a Juan Rivera home run on Saturday and an infield single, walk and a run-scoring sac fly on Thursday. Even including Putz, the bullpen combined to allow 9 hits, while walking 6 and striking out 8.
Someone’s hamstrings feeling better? Adrian Beltre is hacking away again, going 2-for-16 (.125/.176/.125) with 1 walk and 7 strikeouts. That’s a total of 14 outs in 17 chances at the plate. Randy Winn contribued 17 outs of his own in 20 times to the plate.
Thursday against the Orioles, Aaron Sele lasted 6 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and a walk. He surrendered home runs to Jay Gibbons (SLG .595 versus righties) and Sal Fasano (.404 career SLG). He did strike out 5, only the third time he’s done that all season.
Coming to a stadium near you
The Mariners next play three more against the Orioles in at Safeco Field. Then they travel to Toronto for a three-game set at Rogers Centre.
While the O’s started the second half with a win over the Mariners, they closed their first half 6-13. They have scored 436 runs, 4th in the AL, and allowed 412, 9th in the league.
Toronto has scored 428 runs, 5th in the league. They’ve allowed 384 runs, also 5th in the league. The Blue Jays lineup is exceedingly balanced without any sinkholes, but also plain vanilla average. Eleven Blue Jay hitters have logged 150 or more plate appearances. All but Aaron Hill sport an OPS between .707 and .806. And a Roy Halladay-less rotation means the Mariners will at least get a sporting chance of it.