Week #19 in Review
For crying out loud. I step out about 10 days for vacation, I come back and half the team has been fired, Ryan Franklin has been juiced, and King Felix makes his major league debut. And to think, a week ago, I was sitting in Larry Lucchino’s seats in Fenway. But that’s another story. I tried catching up on all my USS Mariner reading in one sitting, and I’m still crazy confused as to who’s on the team and who’s not. Yuniesky Betancourt, Yorvit Torrealba — these are some of the coolest Mariner names since Puchy Delgado.
Almost makes one forget that the Mariners actually played games this past week.
Wins: 46. Losses: 61. Games out of first place: 15.5.
In the three weeks since we last visited this exercise, the M’s have dropped just 2 more games in the standings. But hey, check it: according to Baseball Prospectus’s playoff odds, the M’s still have a 0.0029% chance of making the playoffs. So there’s still a chance… right? The Rangers in third place are now 8 games out of reach. According to third-order wins, the Mariners are now 3 games “unlucky,” with only Tampa Bay and Kansas City with worse numbers.
Runs Scored: 472 (13th in the American League). Batting average: .259 (last). On-base percentage: .317 (last). Slugging percentage: .396 (last). Home runs: 90 (13th). Bases on balls: 292 (10th). EqA: .251 (10th, that pitcher’s park helps).
Runs allowed: 498 (8th). Staff ERA: 4.49 (8th). DIPS ERA: 4.79 (13th). Strikeouts: 566 (last). Bases on balls: 354 (11th). Home runs allowed: 118 (12th). Starters ERA: 5.14 (12th). Relievers ERA: 3.15 (3rd). Defensive efficiency: 70.3% (4th, tied with Toronto and Detroit).
The M’s picked up after the All-Star break just about the same place. They’ve batted .256/.309/.416 since the break and been out-scored 110-95 en route to a 7-13 record. They have outslugged their opponents thanks to Richie Sexson who has 12 extra-base hits and 11 walks in just 70 at bats since the break.
Over the past week, the Mariners went 2-4 against the Tigers and Indians. They scored 7 runs in a game twice, yet managed to lose both games. They hit .241/.299/.389 against pitching staffs that rank 7th and 5th in the league in run prevention. They were outscored 35-27. While the Mariners slugged more home runs, 8-7, they were simply beat to the punch just getting runners to first base as the opposition collected more hits 63-49 and drew more walks 18-15.
Raul Ibanez went 9-for-23 (.391/.462/.565) with a double, a home run and 3 walks. Sunday afternoon against the Indians, Ibanez reached base 4 times and scored 3 runs. Honorable mention goes Adrian Beltre for leading the team with 4 extra-base hits. Unfortunately, Beltre was on base only 6 times all week.
Six games, six different starters for the Mariners. So how can we not celebrate the debut of Felix Hernandez in this space? The 19-year-old phenom made his debut yesterday against the Tigers lasting 5 innings, striking out 4, while allowing 1 earned run on 3 hits and 2 walks. No, we cannot get enough of this guy.
Is there a curse behind home plate? Weak-i Gonzalez takes over the starting job behind the dish and goes 3-for-16 (.188/.278/.250). He hit a double and walked twice, scoring in 4 of the 5 times he was on base. Richie Sexson had a similarly bad week, going 3-for-19 (.158/.320/.211). He at least led the team with 5 walks.
So we mention the six different starters… the pathetic thing is only 3 of them (Hernandez, the now-suspended Ryan Franklin and Joel Pineiro) completed the fifth inning. And only Franklin entered the sixth. Aaron Sele made a most inglorious exit to the sequel of his Seattle career. Friday against Cleveland he was plastered for 9 runs on 12 hits and a pair of long-balls in just 4 innings. Adios, chuchacho.
Coming to a stadium near you
Beginning this evening the Mariners take on the Stacker of Wheat and Player with Railroads, their second journey to the Windy City to see the screaming White Sox this season. The M’s dropped two out of three to the Palehose back in April. The one victory came against Freddy Garcia. While the White Sox boast the best record in baseball, their offense would be lucky to intimidate a pack of timid kittens. Their EqA is a tick below the Mariners. It’s their pitching and defense to be concerned about. The M’s will face Freddy Garcia, Mark Buerhle and Jon Garland, who rank 22nd, 11th, and 15th in all of baseball in VORP.
Tuesday begins a three-game set against the Twins, another team with an offense on par with the Mariners. For those of you disappointed that Bret Boone will not be making his homecoming, hold back your tears. Tuesday King Felix makes his Safeco Field debut. If you missed the comment left below the last post, tickets are not only available, but by an act of Providence, coincidentally are available at discount prices. Password: RAUL.
You have no excuse to not be there.