Friday, May 08, 2009


Hear that sound? Is it the sound of the Mariners crashing to earth? Perhaps it is. The wheels haven't compeletely fallen off the wagon, or at least that's what you'd like to believe. This isn't the perfect sh$*storm team like last year's team was, but the 2009 team has lost four straight and eight of eleven. Around this time last year, the Mariners were in middle of what turned out to be 12 of 16 games that they lost. Last year's team was 13-14 after 27 games. Your 2009 Mariners are 15-14 after 29 games, and Felix doesn't throw until Saturday. Honestly, we should be surprised at how well the Mariners did to start the season, and I hope everyone enjoyed the ride, because the Mariners are closer to what we've seen the last four games and what we saw closer to the start of the season. By the way, they were 6-2 without Ichiro. They're not as bad as what we've seen the last four days. Of course, that's presuming the offense gets their act together and Beltre starts hitting and hitting for power. You can only have Russell Branyan and Franklin Gutierrez hold up the offense so much.

The 15-14 mark is even with the pace of the 2007 team. Other than that, it's better than every Bavasi team -- two better than 2008, and three better than all of 2004, 2005, and 2006. Fifteen wins is a worse pace than every Gillick team -- one worse than 2000, three behind 2003, five behind 2002, and seven worse than 2001.

Mariner hitting went a collective 9-for-33 at the plate, walking three times and striking out a staggering 11 times. Rob Johnson and Ronny Cedeno both got hat tricks at the plate, striking out three times apiece. Mike Sweeney came in to pinch hit in the ninth for Johnson and managed to break up the shutout. Multi-hit games belonged to Ichiro (three hits) and Ken Griffey Jr., who had two hits. Ichiro and Wladimir Balentien hit a double apiece to account for all of the Mariners' extra-base hits.

Mariner starting pitching will be discussed in the gameball section. Sean White threw the eighth inning and gave up one run on a hit and walked one. A 2-0 game became a 3-0 game under White's watch. Still, with the offense going the way it was going, White's inning was largely inconsequential.

1) Jarrod Washburn
Needless to say, the Mariner offense wasted yet another good start out of Washburn. His record at this point is 3-2, though he should easily be 4-1 or 5-1. His only crappy start out of six starts this season was the six-run start in Anaheim. He gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking none. He threw 62 strikes out of 95 pitches. The newfound sinker manifested itself in the form of 11 groundouts to five flyouts. I'll take a wild guess and say Washburn has 14 more starts before the trade deadline. Say he goes 8-3 or something, that'd take him to 11-5 and what I hope would be a very tradeable commodity. Or we could hope for 14-0. Okay, it's probably not going to quite happen like that. We know from last year that if Washburn is pitching for a way to get off this team, he gets sufficiently motivated and can pitch pretty well. He's got a second chance to get himself out of here, so let's hope he pitches like gangbusters again. I hope other teams can see through any occurrences of bad run support.

2) Ichiro
Just the Mariners' luck that they get him to the plate representing the go-ahead run with two on and two out in the top of the ninth and he grounds out. This was the only out he made in the game. Such is how it's going for the Mariners. Ichiro thusly went 3-for-4 with a double, walking once and stealing a base. I've been doing all his pace calculations using 154 games since he's an everyday player and missed the first eight games of the season. Taking that into account, his 30 hits in 21 games extrapolates out to a 220-hit pace for the season. He is also on pace to drive in 66 runs, but as we stastically get further away from the grand slam, that number should steadily decrease. Ichiro has also stolen bases on five of seven attempts. Ichiro has gone hitless in only four out of the 21 games he's played this season. Eleven of those 21 games have been multi-hit games for Ichiro, more than making up (at least numberswise) for the hitless games. Going 5-for-9 over the past two games has taken the batting average from .291 to .316.

3) Ken Griffey Jr.
Finally some good news out of Griffey. A 2-for-4 day in Kansas City skyrocketed his batting average to .214, the highest it's been since April 18th, when it was .233 after a game against Detroit. He was hitting .197 after the first game of the Kansas City series. He is slugging .343, which is lower than his on-base percentage of .353, but that's what happens when you're not getting extra-base hits and you're walking a lot. Junior has drawn 15 walks this season and despite limited playing time, that total is more than that of Yuniesky Betancourt and Ichiro combined. Of course, .214 is in icky average, and five RBIs is icky, and Griffey not being able to catch up to fastballs on the outside corner is an icky thing as well. I have no idea how much better Griffey will get or even if he'll get better at all. Any little bit helps out of Griffey though. I can only complain so much since he's not an everyday player like, say, Adrian Beltre. Did you know Griffey has hit two more homers than Beltre this season? It's true.

Ronny Cedeno
Did you know that despite being out for the last two weeks, Cedeno still has one more home run than Beltre? Cedeno homered against Detroit, which I was probably really pleased about at the time, but I've completely forgotten it. Cedeno's .276 slugging percentage is higher than Beltre's .274 mark. Beltre bashing aside, Cedeno has gone hitless in five of the nine games in which he's gotten an at-bat. Cedeno is hitting .138 this season, and he's appeared in ten games. In this game, he went 0-for-3 and got the hat trick with three strikeouts. It didn't stop there as he misplayed a ball at shortstop, which Betancourt easily could have done, and he could have at least gotten a hit out of the whole deal. The infielders weren't getting too many days off with Cedeno out, but the lineup seemed comfortable with Mike Sweeney drawing in every once in a while and with Wladimir Balentien drawing into the outfield every couple days. The way it is now, though, the only hitter I'd really want Cedeno swapping for is Beltre, but then you're losing some on defense.

Lithuanian laserage tonight, along with the Metrodome's absolutely horrible camera angle.

/ Click for main page

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Click for Sports and B's 

home page