Game Eighteen Recap

Dave · April 24, 2010 at 3:56 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Boo, 9-9.

Well, you can cross Doug Fister off the list of guys who might be coming out of the rotation when Lee returns. After another strong performance today, there’s no way Wak will send him to the bullpen right now. It’s down to Vargas and Snell at this point.

Did you know the ball carries pretty well in Chicago? Like Rowland-Smith yesterday (and Vargas tomorrow), Aardsma relies on fly balls staying in the yard, and this park is one of the worst spots for him to pitch. It also doesn’t help when his command abandons him.

These one run losses suck, but as long as the M’s continue to run out a JV line-up to accommodate the hugging DH tandem, it’s hard to argue that they deserve to win. The M’s started four guys who are essentially replacement level today. You can’t expect to win too many games when you’re running Eric Byrnes out against a right-hander and starting Tuiasosopo at shortstop, especially when the DH and catcher positions were both chosen for their personality rather than their abilities. The M’s will eventually have to get serious and fix this roster, or they’re going to keep losing games that they should have won.

Comments

66 Responses to “Game Eighteen Recap”

  1. dennismk on April 24th, 2010 4:02 pm

    While I generally agree with your analysis, Aardsma’s throws were almost consistently up in the strike zone and I don’t know many pitchers who can do well when they are missing up like that. These losses are particularly demoralizing because of the way the team played in spite of their lack of power…it is disheartening to see Fister’s effort wasted in that way.

  2. Dave on April 24th, 2010 4:04 pm

    That’s where Aardsma pitches. He lives up in the strike zone. That’s why he gets so many strikeouts and fly balls. The idea is that hitters will swing through the high heat, and when they connect, he hopes his outfielders can run it down.

  3. MX on April 24th, 2010 4:05 pm

    April’s schedule is pretty easy. All we have to face are BAL, CWS, and KC. We don’t have to face the Yankees or RedSox like the other teams in the West.

    Schedule is easy, but the result is not pretty.

  4. jr on April 24th, 2010 4:09 pm

    Can somebody explain to me why RSS hasn’t been included in the getting sent out of the rotation when Lee comes back talk? Why is it only down to Vargas and Snell? RSS pitched awful yesterday. I’d rather see Vargas stay in, frankly.

  5. Liam on April 24th, 2010 4:13 pm

    Can somebody explain to me why RSS hasn’t been included in the getting sent out of the rotation when Lee comes back talk?

    Don Wakamatsu said this morning that RRS would be staying in the rotation.

  6. Chris_From_Bothell on April 24th, 2010 4:19 pm

    I wonder what it’d be like to do all the necessary roster moves all at once? Normally you see a guy brought up for injury replacement here, a guy DFA’d there. Just rip off that band-aid and switch everything on the same day.

    Heck, do it April 29th, and when Cliff Lee starts at home on the 30th we can all pretend April was some sort of weird extended spring training that actually counts.

  7. LewLegend on April 24th, 2010 4:20 pm

    I just don’t get why our relievers both days didn’t try to stay outside in the zone. Make the hitter hit something on the outer half to beat you. Lowe missed with his second or third best pitch on the inner half yesterday and lost. Aardsma at least lost with his best pitch but it was down Broadway.

    Frustrating…

  8. MBK on April 24th, 2010 4:23 pm

    It’s so painful watching Griffey ground out to second time after time.

  9. nickwest1976 on April 24th, 2010 4:30 pm

    What kills me is the walk to Quentin who is in a huge slump. Make Quentin hit a HR to tie the game or hit his way on base…walking him there was the KEY as once that happened, I was getting very nervous that something bad would happen as Aardsma was up in the zone to the point of putting the ball on a tee for the Sox hitters and in that park, it’s playing with fire.

  10. PackBob on April 24th, 2010 5:11 pm

    Griffy should be the guy you want up in that situation in the 9th, where you are thinking, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, hit a home run.

    I find myself thinking, c’mon, c’mon, c’mon, get a walk, not another stinking ground ball.

    Jeez.

  11. HamNasty on April 24th, 2010 5:20 pm

    The roster is extremely frustrating for as good as the front office is. Does the blame lay on Wak or JackZ? Wak must have some input into the roster, just wonder how much. Sort of glad this one was blacked out by MLB.tv.

  12. charliemountain on April 24th, 2010 5:25 pm

    Signing players like Lee, Figgins and Bradley is great. But my dream isn’t just to see 25 strangers in Mariners uniforms win the World Series. I want to see players I care about. For me and the 99% of Ms fans who don’t comment on this blog, Griffey ranks highly on that list. Sure, you could replace him. You could replace Ichiro with someone younger too. But I wouldn’t value that championship the same way. I hope that Griffey will continue to have a job for as long as he wants to play, and that his career will end with the culmination of his decades of great service.

  13. Liam on April 24th, 2010 5:30 pm

    A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.

  14. Don Ward on April 24th, 2010 5:32 pm

    It’s obvious you have an irrational obsession about having Junior on the team. But how the past two defeats are the fault of the DH position is just absurd. Scoring six runs and four runs is good produciton that should get you wins, particularly on the road, against an adequate Big League team.

    It was the bullpen that gave up the one-run lead yesterday and the two-run lead tonight. Last time I checked, it wasn’t Griffey that served up a gopher-ball to Rios tonight. And Junior wasn’t on the phone last night sticking White into the game in the 7th inning.

  15. Marinerman1979 on April 24th, 2010 5:36 pm

    I can’t blame anyone but that pathetic line-up. They made Garcia look good. As for blaming the bullpen….a good offense doesn’t need the bullpen the last two games. The opposing pitching has not been very good.

  16. Marinerman1979 on April 24th, 2010 5:38 pm

    Signing players like Lee, Figgins and Bradley is great. But my dream isn’t just to see 25 strangers in Mariners uniforms win the World Series. I want to see players I care about. For me and the 99% of Ms fans who don’t comment on this blog, Griffey ranks highly on that list. Sure, you could replace him. You could replace Ichiro with someone younger too. But I wouldn’t value that championship the same way. I hope that Griffey will continue to have a job for as long as he wants to play, and that his career will end with the culmination of his decades of great service.

    Then you don’t want to win, you want a feel good story. Sorry, but “fans” like you are why this team still has issues filling out their roster. Griffey has no business being on this roster, period.

  17. Marinerman1979 on April 24th, 2010 5:39 pm

    Can somebody explain to me why RSS hasn’t been included in the getting sent out of the rotation when Lee comes back talk? Why is it only down to Vargas and Snell? RSS pitched awful yesterday. I’d rather see Vargas stay in, frankly.

    I doubt, outside of his first start, Snell has pitched as well as RRS did yesterday. If that were a home game, he wins going away.

  18. dsmiley on April 24th, 2010 5:53 pm

    Signing players like Lee, Figgins and Bradley is great. But my dream isn’t just to see 25 strangers in Mariners uniforms win the World Series. I want to see players I care about. For me and the 99% of Ms fans who don’t comment on this blog, Griffey ranks highly on that list.

    I’m not going to tell you what kind of fan you should or should not be. I don’t think you’re a bad fan. But I would point out that the Seatt Mariners are bigger than any one person.

  19. jr on April 24th, 2010 5:54 pm

    I doubt, outside of his first start, Snell has pitched as well as RRS did yesterday. If that were a home game, he wins going away.

    I’m not saying I’d rather see Snell in there, I was just curious as to why Hyphen’s name wasn’t in the mix in the original post. Didn’t know about Wak’s comment earlier. Snell excluded though, I’d still take Vargas over RRS.

  20. flashbeak on April 24th, 2010 5:56 pm

    Pure and simple, this organization does not want to win as much as they should want to.

  21. JMHawkins on April 24th, 2010 5:58 pm

    RRS is a perfect fit for Safeco, a flyball lefty. He’ll occasionally struggle on the road, and honestly he is not a front-line starter like Felix or Lee, but he’s better and more consistent than any other starter they have on the roster. Snell could potentially be better, he has outstanding stuff, but I’m starting to think of him as another Gil Meche or Brandon Morrow – tantalizing potential couple with frustrating performance.

    Ken Griffey Jr. is a great icon and probably the most talented ballplayer to ever put on a Mariner’s uniform. But that’s not him out there. It’s his ghost. The smile’s the same, but the rest of the body ain’t. Personally, I find it painful to watch him at the plate because that’s not the swing that I remember. The Mendoza-line batting average isn’t familiar either.

  22. Sweenylover on April 24th, 2010 5:59 pm

    Griffey’s parade of weak ground balls to the second baseman is taking it’s toll on me. I love(d) the guy but we can’t win with no production from the DH position. He needs to send himself to the DL for the good of the team.

  23. jephdood on April 24th, 2010 6:12 pm

    Attn: Mariners – Eric Byrnes, Mike Sweeney, and Ken Griffey Jr. are no longer major league caliber players. Please take the necessary steps to construct a better roster.

  24. Axtell on April 24th, 2010 6:26 pm

    There’s really no reason for us to post complaints about the lineup, as that horse has been beaten to death many times over. Dave’s spot on: until this club gets serious about fixing the known roster problems (Byrnes and jettisoning either Griffey or Sweeney) this team is going to be no better than a .500 club. This team will continue to lose games it should have won due to these inadequacies, and it will frustrate us all.

  25. jr on April 24th, 2010 6:30 pm

    It was the bullpen that gave up the one-run lead yesterday and the two-run lead tonight. Last time I checked, it wasn’t Griffey that served up a gopher-ball to Rios tonight. And Junior wasn’t on the phone last night sticking White into the game in the 7th inning.

    Gotta agree here. I mean, it’s easy to pick on the older guys on the line-up but 4 runs should be more than enough to get a win against the White Sox. Aardsma blew it today, not Sweeney/Griffey/Brynes.

    But I do agree that if this team wants to contend come August/September, they’ll need to make a push for a more consistent DH/OF bat. And frankly, we don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. Maybe Z is working on lining up a trade closer to the deadline? Who knows? It’s still ridiculously early in the season to be sounding the death knell for this team.

  26. jjenson on April 24th, 2010 6:38 pm

    If we have a lead going into a 8th or 9th inning the offense has done there job. Its that simple this was blown by the bullpen.

  27. Jeff Nye on April 24th, 2010 6:55 pm

    Since we’re headed down the Griffey road already:

    Ken Griffey Jr. is a great icon and probably the most talented ballplayer to ever put on a Mariner’s uniform. But that’s not him out there. It’s his ghost. The smile’s the same, but the rest of the body ain’t. Personally, I find it painful to watch him at the plate because that’s not the swing that I remember. The Mendoza-line batting average isn’t familiar either.

    This illustrates one thing that really puzzles me about the whole “we love Griffey he should be on the roster until he’s 65″ crowd.

    Do you really enjoy watching your “icon” ground out weakly to the right side time after time? And if he does manage to get on base, do you enjoy watching him trundle painfully around the bases, one misstep from watching his hamstring go flying into the stands?

    Wouldn’t you rather remember him as he was, instead of seeing the shameful reality of a once-great player that just doesn’t know when it’s time to quit?

  28. unkrusty on April 24th, 2010 6:57 pm

    Eric Byrnes, Mike Sweeney, and Ken Griffey Jr. are no longer major league caliber players

    Gotta disagree about Byrnes. He’s a decent platoon option and a defensive asset.

    Unfortunately, because Sweeney is here and Langerhans is in Tacoma, Byrnes gets the call in Left against righties when Bradley is hurt.

    This can be fixed pretty easily. Cut Sweeney. Like, oh, I dunno, now.

  29. Dave Spiwak on April 24th, 2010 7:12 pm

    At least the rest of the teams in the division are mediocre. All lost or are losing. A’s pen gave up 5 runs in the 8th and 9th. Texas just lost a four-run lead.

  30. jjenson on April 24th, 2010 7:30 pm

    I am not defending the Griffey being on the team debate. My whole point is that put blame where yesterday and todays losses are. Griffey and Sweeney and Byrnes are not the cause these last two games.

    I am all for them bring cut but to blame them for the last two days is nuts. Im mean l fetus blame global warming for making the balls fly out of the park today that is as much to blame as those three players.

  31. Dave on April 24th, 2010 7:33 pm

    If we have a lead going into a 8th or 9th inning the offense has done there job. Its that simple this was blown by the bullpen.

    Nope, sorry, that’s not how baseball works. Even teams with great bullpens blow late game leads about 10 percent of the time, so good teams limit the percentage of games that can be lost in the 9th inning by building a big enough lead earlier in the game.

    It’s not the bullpen’s job to protect 100 percent of the leads they are given.

  32. jephdood on April 24th, 2010 7:38 pm

    Well, I for one didn’t blame those three on the past two losses specifically, but when you contribute absolutely nothing on the field, and generally don’t.. I think they can share some of the blame.

  33. Slurve on April 24th, 2010 7:38 pm

    It was the bullpen that gave up the one-run lead yesterday and the two-run lead tonight. Last time I checked, it wasn’t Griffey that served up a gopher-ball to Rios tonight. And Junior wasn’t on the phone last night sticking White into the game in the 7th inning.

    League/Lowe/Aardsma will have their bad days but they’re still assets to the team and while I don’t like White pitching in a close game it was the start of a new inning with no runners and he’s a handy reliever even though Wak has a huge crush on him.

    Griffey on the other hand his glory days are gone. He’s a liability and when your DH can’t turn on a fastball any more you have a problem especially when it comes at the cost of your bench.

    The point is you have so many players that shouldn’t be starting games starting game and the chief culprit is the DH tandem which is a huge liability at this point because you have a weak bench. The bullpen has looked bad but should be reliable, there are bigger problems at hand.

  34. Don Ward on April 24th, 2010 8:13 pm

    How many runs would you reasonably expect any MLB lineup to score on a road game? How big of a lead does the bullpen need on an average night? If we were told that they’d have put up six runs and four runs and have leads in both games, even the most pessimistic blogger here should (SHOULD) be happy with it.

    That’s how baseball is played.

  35. jr on April 24th, 2010 8:15 pm

    How about we just cut all the pitchers, just put out a pitching machine on the mound and trade for enough offense to put up 30 runs a game?

  36. Dave on April 24th, 2010 8:32 pm

    Freddy Garcia came into the game with more walks than strikeouts. Chicago is one of the best hitters parks in baseball.

    If you really think four runs today is the offense doing their job, your expectations are way, way too low.

  37. Chris_From_Bothell on April 24th, 2010 8:42 pm

    But a team built primarily around pitching and defense should be able to win with 4 or 6 runs.

    And yes, my expectations for the offense are low, when said offense includes on any given night some combination of Griffey, Sweeney, Johnson, Moore, Wilson and Byrnes.

  38. Jeff Nye on April 24th, 2010 8:44 pm

    Not every time, and not in every ballpark.

  39. Dave on April 24th, 2010 8:55 pm

    Well, sure, with today’s line-up, the expectation may have been four runs. But that’s kind of the point of my post. If you can only expect to score four runs in Chicago when Freddy Garcia is starting, you need to make some roster changes.

    And the M’s do.

  40. Chris_From_Bothell on April 24th, 2010 8:55 pm

    True. It is just one game.
    Well, ok, it’s just 2 games in a row.

    Still. The sky didn’t fall when they went 2-6 on their first road trip. Perhaps this year’s Mariners are just built to dominate at home, and be depressing on the road… I thought the old saw was something like “win at home and play .500 on the road”, not “…and play .250 on the road”.

  41. Utis on April 24th, 2010 9:01 pm

    Win as a team. Lose as a team. The offense today only put up 4 hits and managed 3 BBs. Ichiro, Tui, and Johnson were also part of the lineup. Figgins is carrying a .592 OPS. We are punting 2B, C, LF, DH and (until the few games) 3B and SS on offense. There is no way all of that can be laid at the feet of Griffey and Sweeney.

  42. Slurve on April 24th, 2010 9:17 pm

    Win as a team. Lose as a team. The offense today only put up 4 hits and managed 3 BBs. Ichiro, Tui, and Johnson were also part of the lineup. Figgins is carrying a .592 OPS. We are punting 2B, C, LF, DH and (until the few games) 3B and SS on offense. There is no way all of that can be laid at the feet of Griffey and Sweeney.

    Except Ichiro/Chone are just having a poor season so far. Griffey and Sweeney in polite terms aren’t good any more. Because you have Griffey/Sweeney you’re forced to start Tui/Brynes against a righty instead of Langerhans or Hanners(Well when he comes off the DL). They’re dead weight and even though you can’t do much about Griffdawg without being crucified by the media, Sweeney could get the axe. The point isn’t we lost this game because of them, it’s we’re going to keep losing winnable games because we’re running out a horrible line-up and Griffey/Sweeney are taking up a valuable roster spot which can give you a more flexible line-up and in turn better line-up than we’re currently running out.

  43. jjracoon on April 24th, 2010 9:30 pm

    Dave’s argument BEFORE the season ever started was this team couldnt afford to have Griffey and Sweeney on the team because Bradley and Wilson were injury prone. Guess what?? We are now seeing that actually come true. Whether it is for short periods of time or not the games that this happens in result in less offense and/or poorer defense. Cant afford to lose very many “should” win games or the 90 plus season becomes an 81-85!!
    I felt last year that Griffey did contribute but this year he is looking his age. I have got to quit seeing a young kid at the plate when he steps up and admit it is time for him to retire!!!

  44. zjmuglidny on April 24th, 2010 9:43 pm

    The point isn’t we lost this game because of them, it’s we’re going to keep losing winnable games because we’re running out a horrible line-up and Griffey/Sweeney are taking up a valuable roster spot which can give you a more flexible line-up and in turn better line-up than we’re currently running out.

    Right. All the people who are pointing out that the bullpen had a few bad games, what’s your point? On the whole they’ve been pretty good, and should be pretty good going forward. The same can’t be said for our DHs, and I think that’s the point of the post.

    The timing of a post calling out our replacement-level DHs might seem strange, given that the Ms did have a 2-run lead going into the 9th tonight, but the message is still spot on.

  45. jjenson on April 24th, 2010 10:02 pm

    Whats the point on a great bullpen if you can’t expect them to hold a 2 run lead?

    I disagree that we shouldn’t hold accountable the bullpen for giving up a 2 run lead at any point.

    The night before we put up 6 runs that means our pitchers didn’t hold up their end there as well.

    I can agree that we need some better options but the last 2 games I don’t believe were their fault we had the lead in both late and pitchers gave it up.

  46. jjenson on April 24th, 2010 10:11 pm

    Question then so maybe I can see your point. How many runs are we supposed to be up where we can reasonably we can expect a win?

    TO me a 2 run lead should be plenty big enough going into a 9th inning. But what is the math that backs the claim that it is not?

  47. Utis on April 24th, 2010 10:34 pm

    I get the point about Jr and Sweeney but right now you could replace them both with a league average DH and the team’s offense would still underperform significantly. What was that Beane advised? Take about 1/3 of the season to figure out what you got, 1/3 to adjust, and 1/3 to finish up. The division remains winnable as all four teams have flaws. The Mariners should improve from here. Wasn’t the prediction, even with Sweeney and Jr, for improved run scoring over last year?

  48. Slurve on April 24th, 2010 10:44 pm

    I disagree that we shouldn’t hold accountable the bullpen for giving up a 2 run lead at any point.

    We never said that. We said the bullpen coughed up the lead but they’re supposed to be reliable and they will give up the lead sometimes ALL bullpens will. We don’t need to worry about the bullpen they’ll have their share of struggles but they’ll be rock solid as well.

  49. jjenson on April 24th, 2010 10:47 pm

    Thats fine from the sounds of it people blamed the offense for this loss and all I am saying is this 1 game was not their fault.

    I agree we need better options for the long haul. But sounds like the blame for this game was being cast on that instead of who blew it.

  50. Slurve on April 24th, 2010 10:50 pm

    I see your point. It’s games like these that are frustrating especially when League/Lowe/Aardsma are normally dangerously good.

  51. jjenson on April 24th, 2010 11:00 pm

    My point isn’t over a season that we don’t need better offense. My point was it’s not their fault today is all.

    Anyways I hope Sweeney is removed soon. I think the point about Griffey is pointless as we all no he is not going to be removed this year so its not worth a debate in my opinion.

    Anyways that was my whole point was only about today.

  52. Diehard on April 24th, 2010 11:15 pm

    Tough ending to the game, the M’s lost two close ones but hey, they can go out and win tomorrow and then take care of business against the KC Mariners, er I mean Royals and finish with a 4-2 roadtrip. The offense needs Milton Bradley’s bat and I really hope that he is feeling good enough to be in there tomorrow. Give Junior a day off and DH Bradley, pleeeeeease Wak!

  53. Diehard on April 24th, 2010 11:17 pm

    And this whole bench situation is getting ridiculous. You know you’re bench is thin when Jack Wilson with a jacked up thumb is pinch running for Junior. Ugh I hope they can fix this soon and get the bench lined up the way it was meant to be, meaning Langerhans and Hannahan are back with the team.

  54. G-Man on April 24th, 2010 11:38 pm

    Wilson pinch running for Griffey was a clever move.

    Keeping two DH-only players is silly. Something has to give there.

  55. dgood on April 25th, 2010 12:33 am

    Jeff Nye, your Griffey post makes me happy, the longer he plays and looks nothing like his old self the less respect I have for him and the faster the sparkling image of a god among baseball players tarnishes and leaves me with no fond memories as recent memory of a player is far stronger. Griffey, Please Retire!

  56. spankystout on April 25th, 2010 12:34 am

    Well cross our fingers Lee throw good tomorrow in his rehab start. Hopefully by the time he gets back the offense will be settled. But if Milton and Jack are already hurting it could be a long road ahead. This roster is very fragile.

  57. TomTuttle on April 25th, 2010 4:35 am

    Face it people, until the Mariners pony up for Adrian Gonzalez or a similar left-handed power hitter, the M’s offense will not be as good as it should be.

    Nothing against Z, he’s a more than competent GM, and certainly it will help when Ackley and/or Saunders are good enough to play every day in 2011/2012 but WHERE IS THE OFFENSE?

    If you want to be an elite team and beat the best in the American League to get into the playoffs and win in October, you have to be a little bit good in EVERYTHING.

    And you can’t just rely on being good at one specific thing to survive.

  58. Chris_From_Bothell on April 25th, 2010 7:38 am

    Face it people, until the Mariners pony up for Adrian Gonzalez or a similar left-handed power hitter, the M’s offense will not be as good as it should be.

    Oh, p’shaw. All the team needs is good players, remember? It doesn’t matter what they’re good at, how their WAR is derived… you just need better. If you find a left fielder or a catcher with a better WAR than what they’re running out there now, even if that’s due to better defense the team gets better. Same for the pitching – better relief work over the last 2 games and the Ms would be in first place by a half game now.

    The team doesn’t need more offense. Just better players overall.

  59. zjmuglidny on April 25th, 2010 8:37 am

    The team doesn’t need more offense. Just better players overall.

    True, but right now the most obvious and probably easiest way to upgrade is offensively. I don’t see much of a way the Ms can efficiently better their run prevention (getting Cliff Lee excepted). Seeing how to make the O better is pretty clear.

  60. Chris_From_Bothell on April 25th, 2010 8:42 am

    True, but right now the most obvious and probably easiest way to upgrade is offensively. I don’t see much of a way the Ms can efficiently better their run prevention (getting Cliff Lee excepted).

    They can improve at LF, C, DH, backup infielder, backup outfielder, at least 1 if not 2 starting pitching positions, and likely improve over White and Teixera.

    DH is the only one of those where an upgrade has to come from offense. Everything else, you can find an overall better player in terms of WAR without shopping for offense specifically.

  61. jimmyzzz on April 25th, 2010 9:38 am

    18 games in the M’s seem quite vulnerable on the road. It is true that the team ( and all teams ) are built to win at home first and then the road. But as yet they don’t seem even close to being capable of playing .500 ball on the road. What good is it to have a closer who is that much more vulnerable on the road? Or 2 fly ball lefties in the rotation? And while it is true that dingers aren’t the cat’s meow as many fans and even team managements think, even the offense seems inadequate to take advantage of ballparks like the White Sox play in.

  62. Jeff Nye on April 25th, 2010 9:40 am

    Most of the potential offensive upgrades also come with the tradeoff of a defensive downgrade.

    If you add MOAR POWERZZ but don’t actually make your team any better, you’re not doing yourself any favors.

  63. djw on April 25th, 2010 9:59 am

    This conversation about who to “hold accountable” for this or that particular loss or how many runs we should “reasonably expect” in any particular game seems very wrong-headed to me. I expect a team with a great offense to score somewhere between 0 and 17 runs in any given game, and and I expect a team with a terrible offense to score somewhere between 0 and 17 runs in any particular game. The point is, if you have better players, or even so-so players better suited to opposing pitcher and park, you move up the expected runs curve, making higher numbers in that range more likely and lower numbers less likely. If you’re wasting roster/lineup spots (for sentimental reasons, or just because you’re wrong about a player’s value, or whatever) you increase your chances of scoring less and giving up more. This is most likely to cost the team wins in close games. That holds equally for 1-0 games and 11-10 games, and everything in between.

  64. jimmyzzz on April 25th, 2010 10:00 am

    ‘Most of the potential offensive upgrades also come with the tradeoff of a defensive downgrade.’

    True, but 8 hr’s in 18 games?!?! How about just SOME more power? At least a DH with some pop. And why is management ready to deal an arm and a leg to get Gonzalez from SD if they aren’t interested in more pop? I know he isn’t a defensive liability like many other offensive-minded only hitters out there are, but the M’s lack of power is troubling… at least to me!

  65. JMHawkins on April 25th, 2010 10:06 am

    But a team built primarily around pitching and defense should be able to win with 4 or 6 runs.

    But see, for the strategy to work, your marginal hitters still have to score more runs against the other team’s marginal pitching/defense than their good hitters score against your good pitching/defense. The idea was to have good run prevention and average offense. The M’s can have a great defense, if they don’t have Bradley in LF where his legs are too beat up for him to run, and don’t have Tui playing out of position at SS. They currently have decent pitching, hopefully soon to get better with Lee and then later Bedard joining the rotation. But they still need an offense that’s close to average if they want to be a contender. They’re tied for 4th best run-prevention in the league, so that part is going according to plan. But they’re also tied for 3rd worst run-scoring in the league, scoring half a run less than the average offense. That part is seriously lagging. Part of it is guys slumping, but part of it is giving up too many outs with bad hitters.

    Going with the “make adjustments” idea, there are a few pre-season assumptions that aren’t panning out. One is that Bradley could be an everyday LF while staying healthy and contributing good defense. So far, he can’t, he’s been a defensive liability and his legs are bothering him, keeping him out of the lineup (likely the two things are related). For him to contribute, he needs to get most of his ABs at DH. Another assumption that’s looking bad was that Griffey could still contribute as a DH against RHPs. And then there was the assumption that Jack Wilson could stay healthy enough to have a bench with only 1 reserve IF (and that guy not really a SS). We’re almost done with April, I think it’s safe to say that we need to move Bradley to DH, find a starting LF (either trade, Saunders, or a Byrnes/Langerhans platoon), and get another IF onto the active roster to spell Wilson . None of that has anything to do with Aardsma or Lowe.

    They’re currently on pace for about 85 wins, except they’ve had a pretty easy schedule so far, so that number is probably too high. Offset that with getting Lee back, but 85 wins isn’t a playoff team. They need to pick up the pace on offense a bit.

  66. themedia on April 25th, 2010 11:44 am

    I almost entirely agree with Dave here about Aardsma and our roster construction. Aardsma pitches up in the zone at Safeco because it works. I think the other side of this point though, Dave et al., is that Aardsma wasn’t pitching in Safeco last night. It’s obvious, sure, but if you hold that one formula works (Aardsma+Safeco=Success) and you take out Safeco, then you must supply something else. Maybe Aardsma just shouldn’t close in parks like US Cellular; if he is going to close, though, he cannot afford to pitch up in the strike zone against hitters like Konerko and Rios.

    Dave’s absolutely right about the roster, though. If hitters can’t score more than 4 runs against Freddy Garcia in US Cellular, then we can’t expect too many wins—regardless of where Aardsma throws the ball.

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