Game Five Recap

Dave · April 9, 2010 at 7:29 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Boo, 1-4.

Jason Vargas pitched really well, honestly. Changed speeds, threw strikes, got some big swinging strikes when he needed to strand runners. It all came unraveled in the 6th inning when some good hitters hit some good pitches, but overall, it was an encouraging outing. If he pitches that well, the results will catch up.

The rest of it – meh. I don’t really feel like fighting the frustrated crowd. Rant away. Felix day tomorrow. Will be nice to expect a win for a change.

Okay, one comment. The correlation between the winning percentage after five games last year and the team’s final record is a measly .15 (remember, correlations are between zero, for no relation, and one, for perfect relation). A .15 correlation is basically nothing. I know, this sucks to watch, but it doesn’t mean anything.

Comments

54 Responses to “Game Five Recap”

  1. griffin on April 9th, 2010 7:36 pm

    I’m kind of confused on the “give these guys some time to gel” type of remarks about the beginning of this season.
    Aren’t these the same guys who just played all of preseason prepping themselves for the regular season. Do guys just not try very hard in preseason, meaning right now they really are getting themselves ready?
    We are so short on legitimate bats it’s crazy frustrating. Not to mention I feel like every game our pitching gives up a close/winnable game.

    ugh.

    Go M’s

  2. ThundaPC on April 9th, 2010 7:40 pm

    I don’t know whether to be disappointed or encouraged that the team slumping early. Last year, the slumping happened in the month of May. I still like the way this team is constructed and it’s hard to imagine the team not getting better going forward.

  3. flashbeak on April 9th, 2010 7:41 pm

    Are we supposed to be expecting a win?

  4. heyoka on April 9th, 2010 7:45 pm

    1-4 !!!!!!
    four game losing streak?1?!
    .200 winning pct.? It’s the worst mariner team ever.

    sell sell sell!!!

    there’s always next year….

  5. MrZDevotee on April 9th, 2010 7:49 pm

    Dare I say Sweeney and Griffey should hold a players only closed-door team meeting? No tickling and hugging, but more like some screaming and cussing. Reset the bottom line to something a little more passionate?

    It doesn’t feel awful to me yet, it feels more like guys just aren’t quite sure what their roles are offensively, or haven’t figured out how to grab ahold of those roles and do something useful yet.

    Almost like there’s a formula to get this lineup performing its best and we haven’t figured it out through 5 games. These guys are better hitters than they’ve shown (actually, verifiably better than what we’ve seen– not including Franklin, whose swinging pretty well).

    It’s not frustrating because they suck– it’s frustrating because they’re better than this. And we want to see some of that.

    Soon.

  6. spankystout on April 9th, 2010 8:11 pm

    They should force every batter to huff smelling salts before their AB. Hopefully Felix can help this “comatose” offense. I will stop being Scrooge when a multi-hit inning isn’t a suprise.

  7. nwdave on April 9th, 2010 8:16 pm

    I find it frustrating because the offseason was a pretty big high (Figgins, Lee, Felix extension, etc.) followed by some definite lows (Lee’s injury, Sweeney’s making of the roster, Griffey’s non-retirement, Langerhans DFA) and now this very disappointing showing by all facets of the team in 5 straight games. Talk about a buzzkill.

    I’m still excited for Monday though!

  8. mfan on April 9th, 2010 8:21 pm

    Correlations go from -1 to 1. Anyway, we can now figure out our new expected W/L record:

    (.15*.200 + .85*(.500 + .175))*162 = 98 wins!

    Voila!!

    For those of you wondering why the .175 is in there, it’s an adjustment I included.

  9. fixbil on April 9th, 2010 8:36 pm

    why is anyone surprised? 35 years of pathetic professional sports management, it’s just another team from Seattle living down to their potential. They’ll get some hits, the pitching is a little better than average. Maybe win 75 games. BUT fans will still fill Safeco Field. A profit will still be made. Maybe the management’s not so bad. They’re making money on a bad product and do so year after year after year.

  10. juicy_jew on April 9th, 2010 8:38 pm

    The problem with the offense seems to be the lineup.
    My idea is:
    1. Ichiro
    2. Figgins
    3. Kotchman
    4. Lopez
    5. Gutierrez
    6. Bradley
    7. Griffey
    8. Catcher
    9. Wilson

    Lopez in my eyes good or bad is our best power hitter. Admittedly this is based soley on last year and who knows if he can reproduce the same stats. Anyway although he hasn’t hit fourth much at all, he has hit over 40 2B the past two years and batted .282 with a .479 SLG last season with men on.
    Guti batted .306 with a .540 SLG in 32 games and 132 PA. in the 5 spot last year. Batted .294 with a .475 SLG with Men on Base overall. I think he will only get better this year.
    I just don’t have much faith in Bradley and who knows what Griffey will produce if anything. But I know Lopez had 96 RBI last year and Gutierrez carried us after the All Star break in June and most of July.
    Is it too soon to make changes? Is this idea completely ill conceived? Let me know.

  11. Dave on April 9th, 2010 9:05 pm

    Correlations go from 0 to 1, and they can be positive or negative.

    How’s that for semantics?

  12. mfan on April 9th, 2010 9:12 pm

    Mathemantics!

  13. spankystout on April 9th, 2010 9:20 pm

    Wow 98 wins! Give him the Nobel prize for horse$?@! Thirteen more wins than last year? Talk about lofty expectations. Wowwwww 98W’s

  14. luckyscrubs on April 9th, 2010 9:28 pm

    I wonder if the recent crazy travel schedule has had something to do with the disappointing start? Arizona, to New Mexico, to California, to Texas with zero days off. Of course this is something we could never quantify, but I’m just throwing it out there anyway.

  15. Paul L on April 9th, 2010 9:31 pm

    Don’t know if it’s been brought up yet, but apparently Lee is out until the first week of May.

  16. Liam on April 9th, 2010 9:52 pm

    Don’t know if it’s been brought up yet, but apparently Lee is out until the first week of May.

    (From that link)

    “Bedard is on the 15-day DL recovering from left shoulder surgery and isn’t expected to be activated by the Mariners until July or August.”

  17. hub on April 9th, 2010 10:28 pm

    Nearly 2/3rds of the games so far have come down to the final inning/out. Aside from the last two nights, this week has had some close/exciting outcomes. Sure beats December, anyway!

  18. dgood on April 9th, 2010 10:32 pm

    I have the solution! Jason Vargas – DH! He did it in college. They wouldn’t let him swing in spring training last game because they were saving it for his DH role!

  19. Jake N. on April 9th, 2010 10:43 pm

    Hmmm. Well If the M’s can only muster 6 hits and 2 runs tomorrow, they will lose no matter who pitches. That Texas lineup is going to be fun to watch this year..

    On another note our OBP really has not changed much even with half the roster new… bummer

  20. Griffin Cooper on April 9th, 2010 10:45 pm

    Interesting point about the first five games vs. ending record correlation, hadn’t even though to look into that. Even more evidence that we shouldn’t be jumping to conclusions or changing our views on this team based on what we’ve seen so far. It’s a long season folks.

    Also want to clarify that the “griffin” who posted the first comment here is not me. It is not exactly a common name and I can’t say I share all of opinions.

  21. HubofPNW on April 9th, 2010 10:45 pm

    Seattle and the Boston Run Prevention Sox are now a combined 2-7 with a minus 11 run differential. Both teams are second to last in their division in runs allowed and last in runs scored.

    I know it means nothing (so far). Any over/under on the month or year the run prevention strategy does mean something?

  22. IwearMsHats on April 9th, 2010 10:47 pm

    The Angels didn’t do much better against the A’s…10-4??? Ouch! If they can’t score more runs against their 5th starter they are screwed….Just kidding, but that seems to be the sentiment the Mariners get eh? Yeaaaaah…

  23. griffin on April 9th, 2010 10:59 pm

    Also want to clarify that the “griffin” who posted the first comment here is not me. It is not exactly a common name and I can’t say I share all of opinions.

    Do you want me to make a new username to avoid further confusion? I’m sorry if this is annoying.

  24. oldtimer on April 9th, 2010 11:06 pm

    Long time reader, first time poster.
    My RANT: I can only assume that many of you who post here will be booing on opening day? I used to watch this site for insight and analysis that I would not find elsewhere. Now? It is a rehash of complaints from the past. If any of you are that unhappy with the team, I will buy your opening day tix from you so there will be 1 less boo from the crowd. I for one love to cheer my boys no matter how bad they are, because when it gets good, THEY KNOW WHO I AM.

  25. jr on April 9th, 2010 11:13 pm

    One thing I’m not hearing a lot of is the possibility that the A’s might just be a pretty good ball club this year. I mean, I still don’t see them contending come September but I think a lot of people, myself included, went into opening day thinking “the A’s, huh? Well, there’s a cake walk”. The A’s had a solid off season and have some pretty good pitchers so to me, the real story so far is the A’s are a better club than expected.

  26. spankystout on April 9th, 2010 11:30 pm

    So is Bradley expressing himself or imploding? I personally laugh everytime a athlete gives the one finger salute. I don’t find it offensive, because its a finger. But my perception doesn’t have any effect on the club. Let’s see what Wakamatsu, and Griffey do with him after tonight. Remember he killed the ball his last season in Texas. It wasn’t the safeco response to A-rod (über-douche) coming back. But bad enough for him to flip them off in the fourth, and glare at them in the ninth……… Easy Milton! We are pulling for you just take your aggression out on their pitchers.

  27. bongo on April 9th, 2010 11:45 pm

    The injury to Cliff Lee has hurt us in ways that we probably didn’t imagine. Not only have we suffered from the loss of his services, but also due to the increased bullpen usage that this lead to. This in turn has lead to moving to a 7 man bullpen, losing us some flexibility. So there are at least two secondary effects to think about.

    Had we had Lee in the rotation and been able to trot out Langerhans in LF as a defensive replacement, it’s quite possible we would now be 3-2 now instead of 1-4.

  28. Typical Idiot Fan on April 10th, 2010 12:07 am

    Wow. The hyperbole throttle switch appears to be set on “tea bagger”.

  29. Marinersmanjk on April 10th, 2010 12:18 am

    Guys we’re 1 and 4! Oh shoot we’re never going to come back now that we’re 3 games out of the division!

    But on a serious note, (and I know it’s early in the season) but we really need a hitter. Not necessarily a power hitter, but someone who can hit the gaps and drive in runs. We really lack that. And looking up and down the order, there isn’t anyone who you look at and think “oh jease, there’s a tough out” other than maybe Ichiro. I’m sorry, but that’s not going to win in this day and age. We need a pure hitter, pure and simple. And normally that would be where the DH plays, but now that we have our big league “huggers” solidified there, we need to look somewhere else. I like Kotchman, but Adrian Gonzalez is looking mighty fine right about now…

  30. Griffin Cooper on April 10th, 2010 12:32 am

    Do you want me to make a new username to avoid further confusion? I’m sorry if this is annoying.

    No idea if you’re being sarcastic or not, but no that’s really not necessary. I just happened to have someone mention that comment to me today thinking it was me and that was a little bit annoying.

  31. NBarnes on April 10th, 2010 12:46 am

    I’m kind of confused on the “give these guys some time to gel” type of remarks about the beginning of this season.

    I’m pretty sure that Dave didn’t say anything about gelling. I’m pretty sure he said that the record over the first five games doesn’t have a large correlation with record over the course of the season.

    Feel free to look at how the Angel’s season last year started out.

  32. Brendan on April 10th, 2010 1:26 am

    Wow… everyone back off the cliff. It’s only been five games, and it isn’t like anyone (reasonably) expected this team to be a juggernaut. If this little stretch happened in June, I doubt we’d see anything like this kind of response.

    As for Vargas, yeah he’s nothing special but it isn’t his fault Guerrero and Cruz are freaks. Tough game to watch, but a couple of encouraging signs, particularly Kotchman’s bomb.

  33. Chris_From_Bothell on April 10th, 2010 2:00 am

    If the offense is still this disjointed and anemic in a month, then yeah, it’s time to ask the Padres if they’d do Lee & Kotchman for Gonzalez.

    But for now… hey, all that happy chemistry and “Believe Big” stuff is supposed to help clubs ride out times like this, and more. So this part of the season, this kind of ragged start, is exactly when Griffey and Sweeney are supposed to be earning their paychecks.

    And it’d sure be nice to figure out quickly which 1 out of those 7 bullpen guys is gonna be the go-to guy, because the starting staff needs someone who can stop the bleeding 4 of every 5 days.

  34. thegroovewrangler on April 10th, 2010 2:44 am

    Hmm. If 20 years of Mariners fandom has taught me nothing else, it has at least taught me to be good-natured about not winning. Also, if we’re in the mood to make broad proclamations based on five games, hey… the 2009 New York Yankees had stretches of 1-4 or worse, and things turned out okay for them…
    All snarkiness aside, these first five games have been the worst-case warnings come home to roost, but it’s the morning of April 10th and I’m not ready to jump ship. There’s plenty of good baseball in this team to come, no matter what the W-L record at the end of the season may be.

  35. spankystout on April 10th, 2010 2:53 am

    How can you not be concerned? Every facet of this team is struggling. Pitching, hitting, baserunning, and yes even the defense. Mix in some missed calls, and some good pitching and D from the opponent, and you will rack up losses quickly. Plain and simple. Plus Bedard (our china plate of a pitcher) is not a guarantee to return to any sort of his former self. Labrum surgery and apparently a new wind up to eliminate his twist. He won’t be “Bedard” for at least a few starts. Honestly, I would love to eat this words with some gravy on top. I just don’t see that meal on the menu.

  36. Typical Idiot Fan on April 10th, 2010 3:10 am

    How can you not be concerned?

    This is an asinine question. We’re always concerned. We’ve been concerned for a while now. We all have concerns about this team in one form or another. If we had no concerns, we would think this team was perfect. It isn’t.

    The question should actually be “How can you not be MORE concerned than you were before this losing streak?”. The answer is “because we don’t overreact”. We don’t take a fraction of a season and pretend that it is a microcosm of the entire season. These 5 games are not a predictor of future performance. Unless you believe the M’s are going to only score 3 runs a game and give up 4.6 all season long.

    If you really believe this start means anything, then you have not learned a damned thing.

  37. stats schmats on April 10th, 2010 3:58 am

    Seriously everybody… It’s the first week of the season. Why are we firing Wak and Jackie Z? You’d think this message board was for Philly fans or something, the way we are bailing out on the team. Starting the season on the road is never easy, and there’s going to be a learning curve for the players being put into new roles.

    Personally, I’m ok with the aggressive base running, even if it isn’t working right now, eventually it will pay dividends in stolen bases, scoring opportunities that weren’t available previously, or even making the opposing manager plan for the run and potentially opening up a hole in his defense… On a small side note, I like that Milton Bradley cares enough to be upset when he screws up.

    I’ll be at opening day to cheer on this team.. Hopefully the rest of the fans will show up and not write off the season until at least May.

  38. TomTuttle on April 10th, 2010 4:06 am

    Ditch Milton Bradley for Jack Cust or a right handed guy with pop not named Mike Sweeney.

    Bradley is a loser for a person and he may or may not be able to hit anymore.

  39. certaindoom on April 10th, 2010 6:52 am

    CandyLand is already in mid-season form. Great to see. I never lost faith in his ability to generate heat where none was needed, then to perform under expectations.

    I know he is a darling of the sabermetric crowd, and with good reason, but is not there some point at which you just say enough is enough, I don’t want this guy no matter how much ability he might have?

    The dropped game-ending flyball, the flipped off fans. We’re only in week one and Bradley’s already got a great start on a highlight reel for 2010.

  40. certaindoom on April 10th, 2010 6:54 am

    spankystout: Every facet of the team is not struggling, Aardsma buried his first and only save opp last monday. 2 K in one IP, 8 or 9 pitch total.

    A lot of people were looking to League as the heir apparent, but lets don’t give up on the DA. There are still cases left to be closed!

    – Aardsma for Rolaids Relief Award

  41. dchappelle on April 10th, 2010 6:54 am

    Similar to how last year’s great start made us feel a little more hopeful, this start should make us feel a little less hopeful.

    If we believe the talent on this team should produce an 85 win team then the current results should temper that down to an 82(.4) win team. (85/162*157) + 1. BUT that 85 win prediction already had assumptions about Bedard’s playing time baked into it.

    So I’d say we’ve probably lost 1 more game then we “should” have and our season still rests largely on our high vol players (Bedard, Bradley).

    Have to also say that the bomb by Kotchman sure got my hopes up!

  42. florient on April 10th, 2010 7:28 am

    If you thought the mariners were and 85 win team, the first 5 games shouldn’t impact that assessment, should they?

  43. argh on April 10th, 2010 8:05 am

    Along the same line as florient’s question, what’s the correlation between the first 5 games win average to finishing over/under .500? Make that the first 6 games just so it comes out nice and even.

  44. shmup-o on April 10th, 2010 8:12 am

    Some of you up towards the top of the comment list are idiots. It’s been 5 games. Boston is 1-3. Angels are 1-4. Dodgers are 2-2. Oakland is 4-1. If you think you really think that all of these teams will have the same winning percentage (or even close to the same winning percentage) 157 games from now you need to leave this site forever. Go post on the Seattle Times blog.

    kthxbai

  45. argh on April 10th, 2010 9:07 am

    Comfort stats are available.

  46. fiftyone on April 10th, 2010 9:19 am

    Seriously?
    Closed-door meetings? Z made the wrong moves? MB needs to go?
    The passion is great. But let’s not go all sports-radio on this team yet. When they fall to 3-14, we can *begin* to pre-panic, mildly and all grown-up like.

  47. tubbabubba22 on April 10th, 2010 9:37 am

    Nelly- Really? Dave was right! Did you actually watch the game? for 5 innings Vargas through almost all strikes, and kept them down. Most of our pitchers haven’t been throwing strikes and so watching Vargas was refreshing. Remember too, he is our 5th starter! And even when he gave up those runs, they were mostly on good pitches. I agree with Dave, Vargas really did not pitch badly.

  48. mfan on April 10th, 2010 9:56 am

    If you thought the mariners were and 85 win team, the first 5 games shouldn’t impact that assessment, should they?

    Well, actually, it would affect it, but only slightly. Ignoring the fact that the team will get better through the additions of Lee, possibly Bedard and, to a lesser extent, Hannahan, if you thought the M’s were an 85 win team, you would now expect them to win 83.4.

  49. terry on April 10th, 2010 10:29 am

    Baseball is a marathon not a sprint.

    Baseball games are won between the lines.

    It ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings.

    Its a beautiful day for baseball….

  50. JMHawkins on April 10th, 2010 10:30 am

    I’m not panicking yet, but I’m dissapointed, particularly that the roster problems are already rearing their heads. Wak couldn’t easily pinch hit for Wilson in the 7th, nelly34e, because we don’t have a backup SS. Even when Hannahan is back, he didn’t get time to work at SS in Spring, so he’s going to have to pick it up on the fly. Realistically, we have Jack Wilson and three emergency SS on the active roster. The bench is full of pinch hitters, but not enough people to play the positions you’d pinch hit for.

    Things will get better, but I sure wish Jack-n-Wak would either figure out a way to use their bench better, or find a better bench.

  51. Jeff Nye on April 10th, 2010 10:42 am

    Find your return key, “former great player”.

  52. JMHawkins on April 10th, 2010 11:37 am

    Find your return key, “former great player”.

    ???

  53. Mike Barton on April 10th, 2010 11:58 am

    One thing I’m not hearing a lot of is the possibility that the A’s might just be a pretty good ball club this year. I mean, I still don’t see them contending come September but I think a lot of people, myself included, went into opening day thinking “the A’s, huh? Well, there’s a cake walk”. The A’s had a solid off season and have some pretty good pitchers so to me, the real story so far is the A’s are a better club than expected.

    Most people around these parts of the internet have been saying that they were close to even with the rest of the AL West and that it would be a 4 team race. They definitely don’t get enough credit for their pitching, and their defense is of the same order as ours. Rajai Davis is like Gutierrez lite. No reason these 5 games should make us think that they’re better than us, though (I realize that’s not what you’re saying, I’m just pointing it out given the tendency in this thread to extrapolate meaning from an insufficient sample size).

    Ditch Milton Bradley for Jack Cust or a right handed guy with pop not named Mike Sweeney.

    Bradley is a loser for a person and he may or may not be able to hit anymore.

    Fun Fact: Milton Bradley’s OPS and wOBA have been higher than Jack Cust’s every single year of either of their careers including last year (excpt for 2001 when Jack Cust had 3 plate appearances). Milton Bradley was a far above average hitter last year, though not up to his standards from 2008-2009. You might not think so if you only look at the .257 BA and 12 HRs, but there’s no excuse at all for ignoring walks, doubles, and triples. Even if we expect no improvement from Bradley over his stats from last year (which would be somewhat pessimistic), he’s our best option at both LF and DH. Jack Cust would be a fine pickup, but you would have to drop Griffey. If you want to make the argument that we should do that, go ahead, but don’t say we should ditch Bradley.

    CandyLand is already in mid-season form. Great to see. I never lost faith in his ability to generate heat where none was needed, then to perform under expectations.

    I know he is a darling of the sabermetric crowd, and with good reason, but is not there some point at which you just say enough is enough, I don’t want this guy no matter how much ability he might have?

    Once his non baseball antics interfere with his actual playing, or if it has a negative effect on the M’s revenue. There’s absolutely no way that flipping the bird to Texas is crossing that line. Personally it makes me like him more.

    If we believe the talent on this team should produce an 85 win team then the current results should temper that down to an 82(.4) win team. (85/162*157) + 1. BUT that 85 win prediction already had assumptions about Bedard’s playing time baked into it.

    You must have typed numbers into your calculator wrong or forgotten to add the 1, because that comes out as 83.4. Which makes sense, because we’re a little more than 1.5 games back of where we would expect to be.

  54. goat on April 10th, 2010 12:13 pm

    It seems like if Vargas is a bad match for going against Texas, they should have switched the order with Fister to start the season. Not sure it would have changed anything, and maybe there’s something else I’m not considering. (They could have switched RRS and Snell if they didn’t want back to back LHP, but other than that, I can’t think of a reason to not stack it up the way they want at the start of the year.)

    Trading Lee for AG doesn’t make sense for either team. There are other players on our roster that are both more expendable for us, and more desirable for the Padres than another soon to be top line free agent.

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