Week #20 in Review
King Felix makes his Safeco Field debut, and oh yeah, the Mariners played 5 other games this week…
Wins: 49. Losses: 64. Games out of first place: 16.5.
The Mariners drop another game in the standings. And they are staring up at the Athletics who now lead the American League West. And though they have still yet to be officially eliminated from the playoff picture (August still isn’t half way over), according to Baseball ProspectusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s playoff odds, the MÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s now have a 0.00128% chance of making the playoffs. It’s now a 6.5-game chasm between the Mariners and the Rangers in third place. They are 3.5 games below their projected wins according to third-order wins.
Runs Scored: 488 (13th in the American League, tied for last with Kansas City). Batting average: .257 (last). On-base percentage: .315 (last). Slugging percentage: .393 (last). Home runs: 93 (13th, thank you Kansas City). Bases on balls: 311 (11th). EqA: .248 (last).
Runs allowed: 518 (7th). Staff ERA: 4.38 (8th). DIPS ERA: 4.74 (13th). Strikeouts: 604 (last). Bases on balls: 369 (11th). Home runs allowed: 123 (10th). Starters ERA: 5.01 (11th). Relievers ERA: 3.10 (3rd). Defensive efficiency: 70.5% (4th).
Mariners won their first series in two weeks, and they were two strikes away from their first sweep since the close of the first half. They went 3-3 on the week, despite being out-scored 20-16. They were out-slugged in home runs 5-3, but drew more walks than the White Sox and Twins 17-15. It’s a sad thing to hold your oppoenents to a .601 OPS and still get out-scored.
Richie Sexson went 5-for-23 (.217/.280/.609). Sure, 5 hits in a week is nothing to get too excited about, but when all five go for extra bases, that’s a productive week. Proving that getting to first base just isn’t enough, Sexson slugged 3 doubles and a pair of home runs. But thanks to Ichiro!, Willie Bloomquist and Raul Ibanez (who were getting on base ahead of Richie at a clip of .357, .308 and .240, respectively for the week), those 5 XBH produced only 4 RBI for Sexson. And props go out to Doyle for his first major league longball since May 29, 2002. Dude hits home runs as often as George Lucas makes Star Wars prequels. Only Doyle home runs are better. And hopefully will happen more often now.
Felix Hernandez can own this space here for the pitching hero of the week. 8.0 – 5- 0 – 0 – 0 – 6 – 0. There’s his line for his second major league start. Making it against the Twins doesn’t hurt just one bit. Just imagine if Felix could pitch against his own Mariner lineup? On second thought, don’t. On third thought, buy your tickets for Monday’s game now. Against the limp Kansas City lineup, King Felix will look like a hot knife through butter.
Cursed catchers! Yorvit Torrealba goes 1-for-10 (.100/.100/.100). But then Raul Ibanez (.174/.240/.261), Adrian Beltre (.182/.280/.227) and Yuniesky Betancourt (.167/.211/.278) each provided their own respective misery at the plate.
The suckerpunch of Wednesday’s game has been mentioned in this space earlier. And while Jeff Nelson got tagged for the loss in the game (he did walk Lew Ford to start the inning, losing a 10-pitch battle, and then plunked Shannon Stewart, handing the Twins the winning run in scoring position), it was Shigetoshi Hasegawa who allowed three runners on base and watched four cross home plate before he even recorded an out. His line for the week: 0.2 – 3 – 2 – 0 – 0 – 0.
Coming to a stadium near you
This weekend the Mariners host the Los Angeles Angels. While they are just a game back of the A’s for the division lead, and own the wild card by 2.5 games, they’ve gone 13-13 since the All-Star break. They come from Oakland, where in any normal universe, they would have swept the A’s, but the A’s, of course being in their altered state of A’s conciousness, stole the last two games in the 7th inning from the Angels. LA stands at 9th in the league in scoring and 2nd in the league in run prevention. Pitching matchups will be Moyer/Washburn, Harris/Colon and Meche/Lackey.
On Monday, the Royals come to town. The Royals come to town! The Royals, who are buried 36 games out of first place! Never mind that that Royals score runs just as often (or not so often) as the Mariners and allow them at a rate topped only by Tampa Bay. Never mind that they’ve lost 13 straight now. Go buy your tickets for Monday’s game right now. I’m serious. Dead serious. Because I have three words for you: Felix versus Greinke. Which leads to the challenge question of the week: When was the last time two such heralded prospects playing for such irrelevant teams squared off against one another?
Felix versus Greinke.
You have no excuse to not be there.