Week #22 in Review
Happy Felix Day!
(We here at USS Mariner choose to look at rosy side of life when we can.)
Wins: 54. Losses: 72. Games out of first place: 18.5.
The Mariners drop another game in the standings. Again. The Angels widen their AL West lead to 2.5 games. Third place is still a gaping 5 games away. They are 3.4 games below their projected wins according to third-order wins.
Runs Scored: 556 (12th in the American League, tied with Minnesota). Batting average: .256 (last). On-base percentage: .315 (last). Slugging percentage: .397 (13th, thank you, Kansas City). Home runs: 110 (13th, again, thank you, Kansas City). Bases on balls: 352 (9th). EqA: .250 (11th).
Runs allowed: 595 (8th). Staff ERA: 4.55 (10th). DIPS ERA: 4.70 (13th). Strikeouts: 682 (last). Bases on balls: 403 (10th). Home runs allowed: 140 (11th). Starters ERA: 5.12 (11th). Relievers ERA: 3.47 (5th). Defensive efficiency: 70.0% (7th).
The Mariners spoiled a perfect opportunity to gain ground on the slumping Rangers and the ever elusive third place in the division. They dropped 2 of 3 to the Twins and then 2 of 3 from those pesky slugging Texans. I say “slugging” – the Mariners actually outslugged their opponents 9 home runs to 7. Despite this muscle-fest by the M’s, they were still out-scored 34-28. How does this happen, one asks? That’s the difference 18 singles in a week makes. There’s more than one way to get on-base. They drew the same amount of walks as the Twins and Rangers, 19.
For the month of August, Adrian Beltre leads the team in home runs (6), doubles (8) and RBI (23). He is the only starter with an OPS above .800, and it happens to currently rest at a healthy .933. This week, Beltre went 7-for-24 (.292/.320/.583) with 4 doubles and a home run. On Tuesday, Beltre doubled to lead off the seventh inning, starting a 3-run Seattle rally that brought the Mariners within one run. In the 8th, he again doubled, driving in Raul Ibanez and, again, the Mariners were within a run. But with Beltre standing at second, representing the go-ahead run with no outs, the Mariners failed to score again and lost 6-4.
On Thursday, 31-year-old rookie Jeff Harris limited the Rangers to just 4 hits and 2 walks in 7 scoreless innings. He also struck out 2.
What happens when The Ignitor no longer ignites? Willie Bloomquist ignites an offense like a sack of soaking wet charcoal ignites my barbecue grill. For the month of August, Bloomquist is “hitting” .245/.258/.309 with 2 bases on balls and 5 extra base hits in a whopping 94 at bats. He has consumed 71 of the Mariners’ outs, which is more outs than Yuniesky Betancourt as seen trips to the plate. This week, Bloomquist went 4-for-26 (.154/.185/.192) with a double and a stolen base. He and Ichiro! both contributed 22 outs each this week. And that’s exactly how you kill an offense. The madness of not only starting Willie Bloomquist, but also batting him second in the order, must stop. Please now, Mr. Hargrove.
Sunday afternoon, Joel Pineiro allowed 8 earned runs on 13 hits and a walk in just 5.2 innings.
Coming to a stadium near you
Things get no easier for the Mariners this week as they play host to the White Sox and Yankess. In addition, they begin a stretch of 13 consecutive games without a day off. The Mariners attempt to not repeat the series of two weeks ago, when the Sox and M’s combined to score 16 runs in a three-game weekend. The Mariners are 2-4 versus Chicago this year. The White Sox are one team with an offense comparable to the Mariners (.248 EqA, 10th in runs scored). Their pitching is the best in the league, leading AL teams with a 3.60 ERA. Tonight is the Hernandez Family Throwdown: Felix versus El Duque. Only they’re not really related. Tomorrow Pineiro versus Contreras. Sunday Moyer versus Garcia.
Monday, the Yankees come to town. Go on, let the hateful spittle fly from your mouth when you say it. Despite shopping hard for Jason Barker to fill their starting rotation at the trade deadline, the Yankees now have the third best record in the AL, according to third order wins. They’re 14-9 in August. And they’re pitching staff has a 3.75 ERA for the month. Overall, their pitching has allowed more runs than the Mariners, but their all-star-at-every-position-except-second-base has scored more runs than every team except the Red Sox. Darth A-Rod has been particularly scorching hot as of late (as is his August habit) with 9 home runs and 7 doubles on the month.
The highlight of week may come Wednesday. If the Mariners hold their current rotation Felix will start against the Bronx Bombers – his first start against a seriously quality offense.