Dave · April 13, 2006 at 10:53 am · Filed Under Mariners 

And now, after running the Gauntlet of Death, the M’s actually get to face a below average major league pitcher. I don’t want to belittle Jason Johnson, who I made a case for acquiring in the offseason, but he’s just not the caliber of pitcher the M’s have faced in their first nine games. You want to see some tough competition? Check this out. The combined 2005 average performance of the starting pitchers the M’s have faced to date:

14-9, 3.65 ERA, 207 IP, 58 BB, 154 K, 23 HR allowed.

Or, if you like more advanced metrics:

4.42 FIP, 4.23 xFIP, 2.4 BB/G, 7.0 K/G, .96 HR/G

2.5 walks, 7 strikeouts, and keeping the ball in the park? That’s basically like facing the 2005 Kevin Millwood. Nine times in a row.

Bring on Jason Johnson.


45 Responses to “Breathe”

  1. wabbles on April 13th, 2006 10:57 am

    Well, I wouldn’t mind seeing us return to the offense of the first few games. This losing streak is giving me blue-acid flashbacks to 2004.

  2. Dave on April 13th, 2006 11:01 am

    You do know that the M’s won last night, right?

  3. msb on April 13th, 2006 11:02 am

    so do we just assume that Johnson’s first game of the season (7IP, 0R, 4H) was an abberation due to the Twins noted assbats?

  4. eponymous coward on April 13th, 2006 11:02 am

    Hey, maybe we could see The DH Gay Paleontologists Love hit his wife’s weight by the end of the game.

    The only catch is that with so many games against Oakland and Anaheim…we’d better get used to facing good pitching.

  5. Evan on April 13th, 2006 11:07 am

    I’m predicting a Spiezio-esque 1-for-47 streak for our DH. Sorry.

    That streak of nine Kevin Millwoods did contain Loaiza, who looks done from his first two games. He’s turned into a right-handed AL Leiter.

  6. wabbles on April 13th, 2006 11:08 am

    Yeah, they did, but let’s hope that wasn’t an abberation. (And what’s with giving up NINE runs? Your objective is to let the other team score FEWER times? Right?)

  7. Russ on April 13th, 2006 11:09 am

    Here’s hoping Carl doesn’t bat anywhere near his wife’s weight. The sooner he is gone, the better. He’s cheating pitches now, we really can’t have him vest or we’ll see him start his swing as the pitcher nods to accept the selection.

  8. dw on April 13th, 2006 11:10 am

    Having said that, Jason Johnson will throw a no-hitter and be a hero for type 1 diabetic kids around the world.

  9. Evan on April 13th, 2006 11:25 am

    Wabbles, we gave up 9 runs with Meche starting. I consider us lucky.

    I honestly believe that Meche is inferior to Ryan Franklin.

  10. West Coast King on April 13th, 2006 11:34 am

    I feel good with King Felix pitching today.

  11. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on April 13th, 2006 11:35 am

    Well, you have to admit that the majority of the games (the no-run affairs aside) have been pretty exciting . . .eventually. This team can mount a come-back or two. I just feel like I am in the twilight zone. A few years back the CO Rockies had to come up with double-digit runs to win games (though they did not win many) and the M’s kept opponents to very few runs, and could win games by scores of 3-2 or 2-0. Now the Rockies have held opponents to 5 or less runs in 8/9 games, and the Mariners need to score 11 runs to have a shot some nights. I am glad I don’t have a heart condition, this season is going to be a rollercoaster ride.

  12. beckya57 on April 13th, 2006 11:41 am

    I see I’m not the only one who thinks Meche is done. It’s too bad, he looked like the real deal at one point, but his arm is gone. If I remember rightly, he’s had repeated shoulder injuries, and the technology to repair those is not nearly as advanced as the Tommy John-type surgeries for elbows. Pitchers who seriously injure their shoulders almost never return to their previous form. Meche is even more of a junkballer now than Piniero, and he’s not as good at it. Running him out every 5 days, as though he’s capable of doing the job, is unfair to him, the team, and the fans.

  13. Jim Thomsen on April 13th, 2006 11:47 am

    Unfortunately, in Jamie Moyer, the Indians also get to tee off against a below-average major league pitcher. It could well be another 11-9 game.

    I wonder how Hargrove will handle giving Everett a day off, when it comes. My guess is that Petagine will never see a start at DH because that would insult Everett, who is higher than Petagine in the baseball pecking order. Lawton would be less of an insult because he’s more or less on Everett’s veteran strata. Either way, the first day off could well be the first day of the winter of Carl Everett’s Seattle discontent. Which will be bad because it could poison a clubhouse starved for leadership.

  14. Jim Thomsen on April 13th, 2006 11:47 am

    Sorry, forgot today was Felix day.

  15. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on April 13th, 2006 11:48 am

    Has the team completely given up on Soriano as a potential starter? I know I have heard little about it since before he was injured. Granted he may be too valuable in his current role, but he’s probably already light-years ahead of where Meche will be all season. I realize that starting would take a whole different toll on Soriano’s arm.

  16. Thingray on April 13th, 2006 11:53 am

    I would love to see Soriano get at least a “spot start”, unless there is an issue with his arm strength or overall health that would prevent it.

    I had read tidbits about Soriano in a starting role early in ST, but nothing since then except comments about his velocity in relief appearances.

  17. SoulofaCitizen on April 13th, 2006 11:55 am

    Two questions we’re probably all wondering? If Petagaine’s perfect three appearances one homer, one walk and one double isn’t enough to get him starting in place of Everett, will he have to hit for the cycle before they finally start him?

    And how long will it take for Hargrove to realize that they Jojima is indeed a middle of the order hitter, as he was in Japan, and move him up to follow Sexton.

  18. SoulofaCitizen on April 13th, 2006 11:57 am

    PS–apologies for bad punctuation that I just noticed. I’ve only made my living as a writer for twenty-five years, but sometimes I type and post too fast.

  19. Thingray on April 13th, 2006 11:58 am

    How will Petagine ever hit for the cycle when Hargrove won’t start him?

    As for Johjima, I think they may wait a while before they move him up in the order, just to see if the pitchers make adjustments to him once they have better scouting reports.

    That being said, he sure looks like he is going to be the same kind of hitter here that he was in Japan!

  20. Evan on April 13th, 2006 11:59 am

    Follow Sexson? I want Johjima batting second, right in front of Sexson.

    I really don’t care what happens with spots 4-9, but I want our three best hitters in the top three spots.

  21. eric on April 13th, 2006 12:06 pm


    I think he meant as a PHer cummulatively:-)

    At his current rate that should take 2 or more ABs, but given how Grover uses him that could take 12 or 13 games:-(

  22. eric on April 13th, 2006 12:06 pm

    You guys need an edit feature, my post should of course say 2 or 3 more ABs

  23. Thingray on April 13th, 2006 12:17 pm

    21, 22: I meant that as a shot at Hargrove (exactly as you said in your post, it will take poor Petagine 2 more weeks just to get a few at-bats!), not as anything towards #17 of course. 🙂

  24. nickpdx on April 13th, 2006 12:31 pm

    Let’s hear it for 1 fewer pitcher in the ‘pen, and 1 more hitter on the bench to take their hacks off the likes of Jason Johnson.

  25. davepaisley on April 13th, 2006 12:39 pm

    Of course those opposing pitcher numbers get less rosy after today’s trhashing of Blanton by the newly awakened non-assbats of the Twins.

    Makes you wonder about last Friday’s game… where was this “11 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings” Blanton then?

  26. Dave on April 13th, 2006 12:40 pm

    Actually, they don’t, because those are last years numbers.

  27. joser on April 13th, 2006 12:41 pm

    A few years back the CO Rockies had to come up with double-digit runs to win games (though they did not win many) and the M’s kept opponents to very few runs, and could win games by scores of 3-2 or 2-0. Now the Rockies have held opponents to 5 or less runs in 8/9 games, and the Mariners need to score 11 runs to have a shot some nights. I am glad I don’t have a heart condition, this season is going to be a rollercoaster ride.

    You realize Sea plays Col this year? It’s at home though. That’s either good or bad. On the one hand, I’d love to see Sexson or Johjima tee off on a fat pitch at Coors. On the other hand, I don’t want to watch Colorado hitters doing the same to Moyer (or Meche, or Pineiro, or especially Mateo).

    As far as the batting order goes — Kenji is a little too slow to be right behind Ichiro. He also hasn’t shown much tendency to hit into the right field gap (then again if he keeps hitting home runs it doesn’t much matter). I’ve got to assume Lopez is going to cool off some (while Ibanez seems to be heating up), but I’m not sure putting Johjima in there is a good solution. One point in favor of it: like most Japanese players he’s probably very good with a bunt (even if he’s too slow to run it out most times). But I’d really like to see him hitting behind Sexson. At some point opposing teams are going to start walking Sexson to get to Beltre (since walking Ibanez to get to Sexson has proven so spectacularly disasterous) so it would be nice to have Johjima there instead.

  28. Brian Rust on April 13th, 2006 1:00 pm

    Maybe Ichiro and Johjima will point out to Hargrove that a few successful years in Japan ought to count toward one’s place in the baseball pecking order. As if the Mendoza line isn’t enough.

  29. msb on April 13th, 2006 1:10 pm

    #14–Sorry, forgot today was Felix day.

    yup, Jamie draws Fenway and Curtis Montague Schilling (2G 14IP 0.79WHIP 1.93ERA)

    #15–Has the team completely given up on Soriano as a potential starter?

    not according to Bavasi– they didn’t want to push his repaired elbow this spring…

    #25–Of course those opposing pitcher numbers get less rosy after today’s trhashing of Blanton by the newly awakened non-assbats of the Twins.

    it was the anti-assbat rituals, I tell you.

  30. msb on April 13th, 2006 1:13 pm

    sigh. heading over to listen to some mlb radio, I see this, online:

    “Stayin’ Hot: Casey Stern and Darryl Hamilton welcome Bonds on Bonds producer Mike Tollin, get a visit from Brian McRae and the Thursday AL West report with Dave “Softy” Mahler of KJR radio in Seattle.”

  31. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on April 13th, 2006 1:17 pm

    Joser — Yeah I know they play each other this year. I was trying to figure out any way I could make it to Seattle to catch 1 or 2 of the games. No dice. If they were playing in Coors, I would have tix to all 3 games. Interestingly, the Rockies have started using a bit more home-grown talent that have spent a little more time at the AAA level in Colorado Springs, getting used to the thin rocky mountain air. It’s not an across-the-board thing but it seems to be helping.

  32. msb on April 13th, 2006 1:19 pm

    maybe we need a teflon roof over Safeco…

    “The Twins stumbled home this week after going 1-5 on a road trip to begin the season and struggling mightily with their bats. The A’s were fresh from a sparkling weekend of starting pitching. Both those trends were quickly reversed. After allowing a total of eight hits in three previous games, Oakland gave up 34 hits in this series. Minnesota batted only .225 last week.”

  33. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on April 13th, 2006 1:21 pm

    how about a leaky concrete roof?

  34. Jack Howland on April 13th, 2006 1:33 pm

    It amazes me that they can paint “renewed sense of agressive recklessness” as a cute trait that’s fun to watch. Sort of like Willie Bloomquist. This type of baserunning is so going to bite us in the ass pretty soon.

  35. loki on April 13th, 2006 1:52 pm

    I’m wearing my Felix fealty shirt today! I’ve had one “who’s Felix?” question so far, which I was happy to answer. =)

    Another Oakland tidbit from their loss to the Twins today: “Michael Cuddyer homered off A’s reliever Jay Witasick in the eighth. Witasick rolled his left ankle at the end of the inning after stepping off first while covering the base to retire Punto on a grounder. He was taken off the field in a cart.”

    So not only did the A’s starting pitchers implode against the Twins, but they had to cart one of their relievers away… although it is quite possible that Witasick being injured actually helps them depending on who they replace him with…

  36. Ed on April 13th, 2006 1:54 pm

    Well, it IS fun to watch, isn’t it? Granted, stuff like Ibanez going for that triple with two outs yesterday was nuts, but it only has to not bite us in the ass two or three times for every time it does for it to be an effective strategy.

    One of the things about it I’ve liked watching is not only does it put pressure on the defense, it pressures the umpires. They’ve missed a lot of calls already. I wonder if that’s normal for aggressive plays, or whether it’s just been good luck so far, or that the umps would learn to be on their toes a bit more whenever a Mariner knocks a sure double.

    If nothing else, it sure helps get my mind off Meche’s last 25-pitch inning.

  37. Steve T on April 13th, 2006 1:56 pm

    Joser — what Colorado hitters? Aside from Helton, outside of Coors they’re no better than us.

  38. DMZ on April 13th, 2006 1:56 pm

    Mmmmmmore than 2/3 times, as it turns out.

  39. G-Man on April 13th, 2006 2:45 pm

    Johjima sure looks like he should be the #5 guy, but I’m for holding off on that move for awhile. I wouldn’t want the other pitchers figuring him out and a little added pressure from the promotion to weigh on him. Call me chicken, but we might as well handle him with kid gloves, like Felix. He might even help protect Beltre/C-REX in the order.

    Why Petagine hasn’t earned a start at DH is beyond me. Is this some special respect that Carl is afforded? They should be looking for excuses to reduce his PA’s so that his option doesn’t vest.

  40. byronebyronian on April 13th, 2006 3:07 pm

    #37 – guess you weren’t watching the trashing the Rockie hitters gave to the Padres in the PITCHERS haven known as Petco, LOL.

    The Rockies have Matt Holliday who many projects out to be a stud (Dave? Would that be correct?). Atkins and Hawpe sure look good too. Ardoin and the former backup Tiger 2b (whose name is escaping me) are the weak links in that offense.

    Pitching has looked good as well. Sure, they won’t win the division, but the Rockies will be fun to watch (hmmm, sounds like the Mariners).

  41. loki on April 13th, 2006 3:14 pm

    Top 10 reasons why the Mariner’s are ecstatic about Carl Edward Everett:

    1. he leads the team in walks (6)
    2. he has a higher OPS (.483) than Beltre (.406) and Borchard (.444)
    3. he has more home runs (1) than Ibanez, Beltre, and Ichiro combined! (0)
    4. he has more RBI (2) than Ichiro! (1), Reed (1), and Beltre (1)
    5. he has struck out less times (7) than Beltre (8), Ibanez (9), and Sexson (11)
    6. he has a higher on base percentage (.250) than Betancourt (.241) and Borchard (.222)
    7. as recently as April 6th, he had an OPS of .950!
    8. he is an invaluable switch hitter with lefty sock!
    9. he is one day younger than Roberto Petagine (Born June 3rd and 2nd 1971)
    10. and of course: he’s “gritty”

    So nevermind that he’s hitting .100 this year or that he swings at the first pitch hitting weak grounders for double plays with the bases loaded. C-Rex is clearly worth his $3.4 million dollar salary!

  42. loki on April 13th, 2006 3:16 pm

    hm, my blockquote didn’t work out as I’d hoped.

  43. ira on April 13th, 2006 3:26 pm

    The Mariners might find a way to make Jason Johnson look like Cy Young.

  44. Jim Thomsen on April 13th, 2006 3:27 pm

    Jamie Moyer absolutely can’t pitch in Fenway (20.25 ERA the last three years). If Hargrove is dumb enough not to use a spot starter (which, thanks to the demotion of Harris, he doesn’t), it’s going to be an ugly game in a hurry.

  45. Grizz on April 13th, 2006 4:08 pm

    Moyer has pitched exactly one game at Fenway over the last three years (2.2 IP, 6 ER). Granted, the outlook for Moyer tomorrow is not good (Moyer struggles outside of Safeco, Fenway is tough on lefthanded pitchers, and the Sox will likely start eight righthanded batters plus David Ortiz tomorrow), but one bad start fails to establish that he “absolutely can’t pitch in Fenway.”

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