Anatomy of a losing streak

Dave · August 31, 2007 at 12:45 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

No real analysis required, so here’s some numbers instead. During the losing streak:

Offense: 216 PA, .262/.298/.332, .630 OPS, 19 runs scored (3.16 Runs per game)

Vidro: .250/.308/.292 (.278/.328/.389 over 61 PA in his last 13 games – is he still on fire?)
Guillen: .208/.240/.250
Ibanez: .273/.360/.273
Beltre: .304/.320/.435
Sexson: .167/.214/.167
Johjima: .500/.500/.550 (9 singles, 1 double, no walks in 20 PA)
Lopez: .286/.286/.357
Betancourt: .222/.222/.333

Johjima is the only guy who hit at all the last six games, and even that was all singles. The two through six middle of the order hitters combined for as much power as you’d expect from a pitcher, but it’s not like Betancourt or Ichiro were on base much to be driven in anyway.

The bullpen issues have been covered, but let’s not overlook that the offense hasn’t really picked up their teammates either.


57 Responses to “Anatomy of a losing streak”

  1. etowncoug on August 31st, 2007 3:32 pm

    McLaren wanted to give Ibanez a day off, so he decided to do it when 1) they were playing on turf and 2) when Washburn was pitching.

    Good job. Now it’s up to the club to win today which gives McLaren some leverage to make some changes.

  2. Grizz on August 31st, 2007 3:33 pm

    Richie’s only 32. Most power hitters thrive in their early thirties.

    You might want to take another look at that. Sexson’s list of comparables is an elephant graveyard of power hitters whose careers as effective everyday players abruptly ended in their early 30s:

    Jose Canseco
    Dale Murphy
    Cecil Fielder
    Frank Howard
    Jay Buhner
    Greg Luzinski

    Unlike Sexson, Frank Thomas and Jim Thome had hitting skills other than power that helped them age relatively well. Thomas has a career batting average of .303 and has walked more than he has struck out — 17.1 BB%/16.9 K%. Thome is a career .281 hitter who has balanced his high K rate with a better BB rate than Thomas — 17.6 BB%/29.9 K%. Sexson is a career .264 hitter with a 10.5 BB%/26.4 K%.

    For players with Sexson’s skill set, a career ending at 33 is the norm, not the exception.

  3. jlc on August 31st, 2007 3:36 pm

    49 – Thanks, Dave for the work. Interesting patterns.

  4. Dan W on August 31st, 2007 3:38 pm

    I think you have to have Vidro at 2b. Lopez has been a black hole offensively for months now. He’s clearly better defensively but he’s been given a free pass here for too long. Of course the Mariners should not give up on him. But for now, the Mariners cannot afford his bat in the lineup when Washburn or Weaver are pitching, at least.

  5. zugzwang on August 31st, 2007 4:03 pm

    Grizz @52 —

    Interesting post, worth looking at some more. has this list of comparables at this stage of Sexson’s career:

    Mo Vaughn (abrupt decline in performance at 31)
    Tino Martinez (peaked from 27-30, but remained above average through 37)
    Fred McGriff (some big years at ages 35, 37, 38)
    Ryan Klesko (big drop at 31)
    Willie Stargell (aged nicely, with big years out to 39)
    Mark McGwire (after big peak, stayed above average through age 36)
    Lee May (marked decline after age 30)
    Danny Tartabull (crashed at age 31)
    Gil Hodges (good years at ages 33 and 35)
    Cecil Fielder (huge peak at 26, average from 30 to 33, declined badly after that)

    I’m not sure any of this proves one way or the other whether Richie is toast, but given the stage of the season we’re at, I no longer support trotting him out there every day in the hopes of another late season surge. Straight platoon please, to be revisited if and only if he starts crushing lefties.

  6. Grizz on September 1st, 2007 10:30 am

    For the players who remained good into their mid-30s (Tino, McGriff, Stargell, McGwire, and Hodges), they all either hit for a significant higher average than Sexson, walked significantly more than Sexson, and/or struck out significantly less than Sexson.

  7. Chris88 on September 3rd, 2007 11:31 pm

    56 – In essence, the guys with Richie Sexson-power that were able to keep their power levels decent, or age less rapidly, were guys who made decent contact. The guys that were really all or nothing just fell apart as soon as they lost a little bat speed as they had nothing to fall back upon.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.