Week #26 in Review
Nine more games until the off-season. Normally this news would depress me. This year it doesn’t. That’s what depresses me.
Wins: 66. Losses: 87. Games out of first place: 21.5.
The Angels are on a 6-game win streak. The Mariners were swept by the Rangers. Not that it really matters at this point, but the M’s drop another 4.5 games in the standings in just a week. Third place is now 9 games away. So the Rangers have nearly the chance of catching the A’s that the Mariners do of escaping last place. And on the list of likely things to happen, escaping last place isn’t there for the M’s. According the third order wins, the M’s are playing nearly 6 games below what we would expect. Thus, the loss column looks a bit worse than it actually should.
Runs Scored: 676 (12th in the American League, nearly 200 fewer runs than the leading Red Sox). Batting average: .258 (last). On-base percentage: .318 (last). Slugging percentage: .396 (tied with Minnesota and Kansas City for last). Home runs: 127 (13th). Bases on balls: 435 (8th). EqA: .250 (tied with Chicago at 11th). The American league average is .268/.329/.425.
Runs allowed: 709 (7th). Staff ERA: 4.48 (7th, tied with Yankees). DIPS ERA: 4.67 (12th). Strikeouts: 835 (last). Bases on balls: 476 (9th). Home runs allowed: 171 (11th). Starters ERA: 5.00 (11th). Relievers ERA: 3.37 (4th). Defensive efficiency: 70.2% (7th).
The M’s suffered a four-game sweep against the Bunyan-esque Rangers. It was the fifth time this season the Mariners had lost four games in a row. They then split a four-game set against the Blue Jays. All six of the losses were by margins of either 1 or 2 runs, which makes for a heart-breaking week. The M’s were out-scored 40-34 over the past seven days. While the Mariners collected nearly as many extra-base hits as the Rangers and Jays (22-23), they were out-slugged 12 home runs to 5. But they drew more bases on balls, 22-20.
Richie Sexson went 9-for-27 (.333/.419/.704) with a pair of home runs, a pair of doubles, a triple and four walks. In what is sure to make the very short highlight reel of the Mariners’ 2005 season, Sexson dramatically ended Monday’s game with a ninth inning grand slam on the first pitch from Miguel Batista, which turned a 4-3 deficit into a 7-4 lead and eventual victory for the M’s on Monday night against the Blue Jays. Jose Lopez also went 7-for-19 (.368/.429/.737) with four doubles and a home run. Sunday in an 8-6 loss to Texas, Lopez doubled twice scoring two of Mariners’ runs and driving in another two.
The bullpen brigade of Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Gil Meche, Rafael Soriano, Julio Mateo and Matt Thornton combined to pitch 12.1 innings this week, allowing just 3 hits between them, without giving up a run. Soriano allowed the only walk, and they all struck out 9.
While Raul Ibanez led the team with five bases on balls, he reached base just five other times on the week, all singles. He went 5-for-28 (.179/.303/.179) accounting for 23 of the Mariners’ outs. In Saturday’s 8-7 loss to the Rangers, Ibanez went 0-for-5, striking out looking with Yuniesky Betancourt in scoring position in the first inning and the second inning.
I’d like to hear one good reason why Ryan Franklin even makes road trips to Texas. Between 2002 and 2004, Franklin made 5 starts in Arlington and allowed 26 runs in 25.1 innings, including 5 home runs. This season, Franklin has made 3 starts and allowed 20 earned runs in 13.1 innings, including 6 home runs. Sunday, Franklin allowed 4 home runs to the Rangers in 4 innings. His line for the day – 4.0 – 6 – 7 – 7 – 4 – 4 – 4.
Coming to a stadium near you
Tonight the Mariners begin a three-game series in Detroit. September has been far from kind to the Tigers. They have lost their last 7 games, including a four-game sweep at the hands of the Royals. That has to be humiliating. The plane has crashed into the mountain in Motown. The Tigers are 4-18 in September and 25-41 since the All-Star break. Detroit is 10th in the league in scoring and 10th in runs allowed. Pitching matchups are Franklin/Douglass, Moyer/Grilli and Meche/Maroth.
Tuesday, the Mariners mercifully play their last series with Texas. The Rangers have won 11 of 16 games against the Mariners this season. After sweeping the Mariners, the Rangers were swept themselves by the Angels. They are 11-9 in September. They are third in the league in runs scored but 12th in runs allowed.
Next Felix start should be Tuesday, when he can take his revenge on those dastardly Rangers.