Week #21 in Review

peter · August 19, 2005 at 8:40 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Take the bad with the good. Chris Snelling is done for the year. Felix Hernandez makes the Royals look like my old high school team. Feel free to start a petition for the Mariners to play the Royals all 162 next season.

Vital Signs
Wins: 52. Losses: 68. Games out of first place: 17.5.

The Mariners drop another game in the standings. The Angels retake the AL West lead this week. The gap between the Mariners and third-place Texas is now a mere 5 games. Please hold your tears back, but the Mariners are now unofficially eliminated from the playoff picture. Big shocker there. They are 3.7 games below their projected wins according to third-order wins.

Runs Scored: 525 (12th in the American League, tied with Minnesota). Batting average: .259 (tied last with Kansas City). On-base percentage: .317 (13th). Slugging percentage: .396 (12th, tied with Kansas City). Home runs: 101 (13th, thank you Kansas City). Bases on balls: 333 (9th).

Runs allowed: 561 (8th). Staff ERA: 4.49 (8th). DIPS ERA: 4.71 (13th). Strikeouts: 651 (last). Bases on balls: 382 (10th). Home runs allowed: 133 (12th). Starters ERA: 5.03 (11th). Relievers ERA: 3.38 (4th). Defensive efficiency: 70.4% (4th).

It was a week of the brooms. For the second time this season, the Mariners sweep Kansas City, and they are now 7-2 this year versus the Royals. And this followed suffering a sweep to the division-leading Angels. On the week, the M’s went 3-4. They were outscored 43-40 and out-homered 10-8. They did draw more walks than the Angels, Royals and Twins 22-15 and hit more doubles 11-6.

Adrian Beltre feasted on pitching and finally had the week we’ve all been waiting for. He went 11-for-27 (.407/.393/.852). He accomplished that rare feat of collecting a hit more often than his rate of reaching base. He also clobbered 3 (count ’em!) home runs and 3 doubles, and with 12 RBI topped his month total for either May or June. Special mention goes to Ichiro! with a 4-extra-base-hit week and Yorbit Torrealba, who with 6 hits just may have matched all other Mariner catchers with times on base. I’ll have to double check that one.

As far as the pitching hero of the week, like we said last week: Felix Hernandez can own this space here for the rest of the year. 8.0 – 3- 1 – 1 – 1 – 11 – 0. There’s his line for his third major league start. Making it against the Royals doesn’t hurt just one bit. King Felix makes his next start on Saturday, and as the P-I today notes, it will be his first pro start on artificial turf. For an extreme groundball pitcher like Hernandez, it’ll be something to watch.

Not-so-much Heroes
Scott Spiezio made 12 plate appearances on the week. We walked straight back to the dugout after 11 of those appearances. He walked in the other one. He went 0-for-11 (.000/.083/.000). And making an argument that he does not belong at the top of the lineup, Willie Bloomquist went 5-for-25 (.200/.222/.280). These were the Royals, dudes.

On Friday against Los Angeles in the 7th inning, J.J. Putz entered a 4-4 game with two outs. He popped out Orlanda Cabrera to end the inning, but the 8th would prove a greater obstacle. Putz faced 4 batters. And all four reached base. All four scored. The Mariners would lose 9-4. His line for the week: 0.1 – 3 – 4 – 4 – 1 – 0 – 0.

Coming to a stadium near you
This weekend the Mariners finish their 4-game set versus the Twins. Minnesota has won 5 straight and 7 of their last 8. And this against likely playoff contenders Oakland and Chicago. Like the Mariners, the Twins have struggled mightily to score any runs. Only the Mariners and Royals have scored fewer times. On the run prevention side however, the Twins are among the best in the league. Only the White Sox and Angels have allowed fewer runs. Matchups for the weekend are Meche/Silva, Felix/Lohse and Pineiro/Radka. Thankfully, no Johan Santana, who since the All-Star break is back to his usual untouchable self.

Tuesday, the Mariners start a 3-game set in Texas. Since the break, the Rangers have a record of 11-23. (The Mariners are 13-20.) Wednesday the Rangers broke an eight-game losing streak at the hands of the Yankees, Red Sox and Indians. For the month of August they’ve won only 4 games. Despite the recent skid, the Rangers are still second in the league in run scoring, but their pitching is worst’ed only by Tampa Bay in runs allowed. What happens when two immovable forces collide? We’ll find out on Tuesday when the Mariner hitters meet the Ranger pitchers. The Mariners have hit .248/.318/.368 in 302 at bats thus far in 2005.


40 Responses to “Week #21 in Review”

  1. Dumy on August 19th, 2005 8:59 am

    OK……Is it getting time to talk draft?

  2. Russ on August 19th, 2005 9:14 am

    …and the glimmer of hope fades oh so surely.

    If not for The King, there’d really be no point in watching anymore this year. If I watch 1 in 5 games, does that make me a bad fan?

  3. Adam S on August 19th, 2005 9:22 am

    And making an argument that he does not belong at the top of the lineup, Willie Bloomquist went 5-for-25

    When do you think the Mariners/Hargrove’s fascination with Bloomquist will end? He had a nice run for two weeks in early July, and it made sense to play him while he was hot (if there is such a thing). But the last month he’s returned to his .270/.290/.330 form. Do we have to wait until Sept 1 for Lopez to be called back up? Could we let Jamal Strong play — moving Ibanez to DH, Morse to SS, and Betancourt to 2B? Might we move Bloomquist to the 7th spot?

    To Jeff’s prior thread, I realize that’s in jest, but if playing Bloomquist every day and batting him second isn’t quitting, I’m not sure what is.

  4. Myron Marston on August 19th, 2005 9:25 am

    The Mariners have hit .248/.318/.368 in 302 at bats thus far in 2005.

    No wonder they have such a hard time scoring runs–2 to 3 at bats a game isn’t much to work with :).

  5. paul on August 19th, 2005 9:26 am

    Wednesday the Rangers broke an eight-game losing streak at the hands of the Yankees, Red Sox and Indians.

    I enjoy these columns. Well summarized, factual, with strong and carefully reasoned opinions.

    I have one question. I thought that a streak is “broken” by one team only. For example, the Royals broke their 18-game losing streak against the A’s on Friday. How can a team break a losing streak against three teams when the streak is broken in one game and one game only? Did they play them simultaneously?

  6. Josh on August 19th, 2005 9:28 am

    The losing streak was at the hands of those teams.

  7. Josh on August 19th, 2005 9:28 am

    But then you probably knew that, and I was just named Captain Obvious.

  8. paul on August 19th, 2005 9:38 am

    Geez, I completely missed that. Thanks Josh.

  9. DMZ on August 19th, 2005 9:40 am

    What happens when two immovable forces collide?

    Can a force be movable?

  10. Todd in Phoenix on August 19th, 2005 9:42 am

    Better question, how can two immovable forces be moving enough to actually collide?

  11. Jeff on August 19th, 2005 9:43 am

    Just watch out for that irresistible object.

  12. paul on August 19th, 2005 9:44 am

    The possibilities are infinite.

  13. ChrisK on August 19th, 2005 9:56 am

    The Mariners will never give up on Bloomquist. He has a lifetime contract with the club (a la Mike Krzyzewski at Duke).

  14. Evan on August 19th, 2005 10:02 am

    Just watch out for that irresistible object.

    You mean Jason?

  15. DMZ on August 19th, 2005 10:41 am

    I thought Jeff was the cute one.

  16. Evan on August 19th, 2005 10:51 am

    Yeah, but Jason can cook.

  17. planB on August 19th, 2005 11:07 am

    I believe the line you’re looking for is “What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?”

  18. Jeff on August 19th, 2005 11:09 am

    Irresistible force. Hence the jokes about the irresistible nature of Jason and his food.

  19. msb on August 19th, 2005 11:13 am

    or, to quote John Herndon Mercer:

    “When an irresistible force such as you,
    meets an old immovable object like me”

  20. planB on August 19th, 2005 11:19 am

    In the novel Walking on Glass (Iain Banks, 1988), the question describes the force as “unstoppable”; I’m not sure if that’s the original source. I get a similar number of hits for both “unstoppable force” and “irresistible force”. Basically, “whoops”, but yeah, I was responding mostly to the “two immovable forces” thing.

  21. Spike on August 19th, 2005 11:19 am

    In this case it would be “What happens when a resistable force meets a movable object?” Or it might be “2 resistable forces meet.”

    Then there’s the whole inertia thing, where a body at rest tends to stay that way, like Grover and the FO.

  22. planB on August 19th, 2005 11:22 am

    Upon review, I just didn’t get it 😉

  23. Zero Gravitas on August 19th, 2005 11:43 am

    Force is equal to mass * velocity if I recall my high school physics correctly. If force has to have velocity, isn’t an immovable force impossible?
    Did this have something to do with baseball? I forget now…

  24. troy on August 19th, 2005 11:46 am

    [italics]The Mariners will never give up on Bloomquist. He has a lifetime contract with the club (a la Mike Krzyzewski at Duke).[/italics]

    Let’s see, Coach K is the best college hoops coach of the past 25 years, Bloomquist is our best pinch runner. . . they should totally get the same treatment.

  25. Matt Williams on August 19th, 2005 12:02 pm

    Zero Gravitas force=mass*acceleration, but that’s the formula to get the force acting upon an object (or vice versa). A mass at a fixed velocity either has no forces acting upon it (ideal situation) or balanced forces (for instance force of friction vs. the propulsive force). From a purely practical standpoint it is possible to have a moving force (the propulsive force of a rocket) or a stationary force (a fixed magnet pushing something away).

  26. Long Suffering on August 19th, 2005 12:03 pm

    3: I’m hoping it ends whenever they come to their senses and recall J-Lo.

    23: It’s force = mass * acceleration, not velocity.

  27. Shoeless Jose on August 19th, 2005 12:11 pm

    I never missed Randy Winn so much as when I looked up and saw WFB batting second. But that got me thinking — who should be batting second? Reed doesn’t get on base enough, and apparently his stealing instincts are not to be trusted (though having Ichiro on the base in front of him would eliminate that problem). Betancourt has the same problem. Morse? Lopez, whenever he comes back?

  28. Benjamin on August 19th, 2005 12:34 pm

    27 – I would bat Reed second. He is patient, puts the ball in play, bats left (better when Ichiro is on), and has enough speed to keep the bases open. Just don’t let him steal right now. It brings up the three lefty problem at the top of the order, but it might be time to consider moving Beltre back to the #3 spot.

    I would have to look, but I would be suprised if Bloomie’s OBP is higher than Reed’s.

  29. Evan on August 19th, 2005 1:20 pm

    I’d bat Ibanez second. Ichiro, Ibanez, Sexson to start the order. After that I’m not sure it matters.

  30. msb on August 19th, 2005 1:24 pm

    sigh. It’s nice having Dave Grosby back healthy, but today he has decided that last night was the ‘absolute low point’ of the last two lowly years of Mariner history: because there was an argument between a player and a coach … because there was miscommunication when a player tried the hidden ball trick … because ‘that’s what lousy teams do’. He thinks they are just as bad a team as the Randle Mariners, and that rookies never made ‘dumb rookie mistakes’ when Lou was here… e-yup.

    oh, and apparently no good team ever argues in-house.

  31. Adam S on August 19th, 2005 1:48 pm

    Reed batting second, or Morse if you want to play the “overachiever” with a good stat line this year. Reed, who I think has underachieved this year, has the same SLG as Bloomquist and on OBP 20 points higher.

    There’s a belief that lineup construction doesn’t make a lot of difference, but still it doesn’t make sense to me to hit (er, bat) Bloomquist 2nd and Reed and Morse 6th and 7th.

    The Mariners low point was last year, either when they repeatedly trotted Moyer and Franklin to the mound when neither had won in two months, or they got EXCITED about the chance to avoid losing 100 games.

  32. paul on August 19th, 2005 2:17 pm

    It’s a confidence and development issue.

  33. jim on August 19th, 2005 2:20 pm

    Is Meche’s fastball the irresistable object? Or maybe Frankie’s? Certainly the Ti-Gar is NOT the irresistable object – frightening!

    Mass*Velocity=Momentum BTW – Generally useful for describing bat hitting ball. I would bet it is a reasonable approximation to assume the ball and the bat have negligible acceleration (rate of change of velocity) in the moment just before impact. Of course if you then consider compression of the ball, it gets much more complicated and is left to the student as an exercise OUTSIDE THIS BLOG!

  34. Shoeless Jose on August 19th, 2005 2:47 pm

    The low point last year was Moyer coming out in relief. Things started to improve (from a watchability standpoint, regardless of the w/l record) when they started bringing the kids up. And that’s still true today. Of course I watch Ichiro do his thing. But I watch to see Yuni make a play, to see Morse and Torrealba suprise us by hitting above our expectations, and of course to see Felix. Hopefully we’ll get to see Bucky swing the bat again before the end of September. And I hope we’ll get to see Yuni and JLo turn some double plays.

    I would bet it is a reasonable approximation to assume the ball and the bat have negligible acceleration (rate of change of velocity) in the moment just before impact.

    Well, not really. The bat is moving in an ellipse, so it is undergoing centripetal acceleration. And the ball is being accelerated downwards at 9.81 m/s/s throughout its flight (plus whatever acceleration it is undergoing due to parasite drag and — in breaking balls — induced drag and lift). At the moment of contact the spin of the ball will have an effect also (in addition to worrying about the normal vectors when two circular cross-section objects impact with their velocity vectors not collinear). And that’s why the best do it less than 4/10ths of the time.

  35. Chief on August 19th, 2005 2:57 pm

    WFB will sit in Sep when Jose Lopez is finally brought up. Lopez should hit second. As of yesterday Lopez was .370 OBP, .331 avg and .562 SLG for 33 games in Tacoma. Time to give him a chance and return WFB to the bench and a utility role.

  36. DG on August 19th, 2005 3:05 pm

    Nothing last year was as bad as seeing spiezio try to hit in the angels series.Its all uphill now.

  37. Zero Gravitas on August 19th, 2005 3:07 pm

    D’oh! you’re right it’s acceleration, not velocity. There you go kids, better pay attention in high school physics. Could be tangentially relevant to a baseball discussion someday…

  38. jim on August 19th, 2005 3:36 pm

    34 – yes, all those factors exist, but in terms of how far a batted ball goes you can really ignore everything but ball velocity and mass, bat velocity and mass, angle of impact, and the effects of the compression of the ball (which depends on ball and bat velocity, ahd which is probably a closely-guarded secret of Rawlings). Spin will slightly reduce the energy released when the ball decompresses I would guess.
    Engineering vs science. Right after they teach engineers science they teach us to estimate.

    All of which is moot with Willie batting 2nd – it’s time to end that experiment I agree. What about Ichi-Raul-Beltre-Sexson-Reed-Morse-3blindmice? Maybe Beltre’s off his slump and is ready to resume a higher spot in the order? Moving him down may have helped him but didn’t do much for the W/L record.

  39. peter on August 19th, 2005 3:44 pm

    I’m really hoping no one’s heads exploded due to my choice turn of phrase.

    I would feel real bad about that.

  40. Jeff on August 19th, 2005 3:49 pm

    It’s “asploded,” Peter.

    Um, I mean “peter.”