Week #21 in Review
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.
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. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s his line for his third major league start. Making it against the Royals doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.
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.