||-13.4 (29th)||-2.9||12.1 (4th)||Detroit|
||7.0 (5th)||1.0||-13.0 (30th)||Seattle|
||-5.2 (23rd)||1.8||-2.2 (19th)||Detroit|
||-0.2 (14th)||-0.7||-4.5 (26th)||Seattle|
A much better series result as some of the BABIP bad luck started to wilt away. It was by no means a dominant series win, but it was a start toward what we would like to see and at least it stopped the bleeding for the time being.
The Mariners big edge in this upcoming series is on defense so they need to avoid too many strikeouts, a tough task against the opposing slate of starters. Detroit's -13 defensive runs saved (still using +/- based stats here) is not only last in the league, it's last in the league by seven runs! They are so far in last place that they might get lapped.
Detroit has been lucky to be 6-3 given their below average performances for the most part. Seattle has been a little unlucky on scoring runs thus far (BaseRuns now says they should have about four more runs and are neutral on runs allowed). Let's show the Tigers how much we can turn someone's good luck into bad luck here in Seattle!
Fri Apr 16, 19:10: Felix Hernandez vs. Jeremy Bonderman
Sat Apr 17, 18:10: Ryan Rowland-Smith* vs. Justin Verlander
Sun Apr 18, 13:10: Ian Snell vs. Max Scherzer
Aw man, I was hoping we'd get to face Dontrelle Willis. Also, boy am I glad we aren't facing Dontrelle Willis because if we lost to Dontrelle Willis and he looked good that would be more embarrassing than a member of the Jane Austen Team fathering a child out of wedlock and with a commoner no less!
Can Felix keep the ground balls up? It would certainly be a welcome return to 2005 if he could. It would be even nicer if he could do that and maintain the strikeout and walk rates from 2009. I'm not going to freak out about the walk rate so far, the strike zone during Opening Day was whack, it's only been two starts, and according to pitch F/X measurements, Felix has been throwing pitches in the strike zone at a rate just below what he posted in 2007, when he had a near career low walk rate.
Concerned about the swinging strike and strikeouts for Felix so far? Don't be. The Athletics don't swing all that often (a little below league average) and so far has the league's best contact rate. Felix only recorded four swinging strikes against them but racked up 13 against the far more free swinging (and missing) Rangers.
Scherzer's velocity has been down to start this year, which makes his fastball less intimidating and also preventing him from recording quick outs. Jeremy Bonderman is 5.2 innings away from eclipsing his 2009 innings total. I, for one, am rooting that he doesn't get there tonight. Before his injury woes of the past two season, Bonderman sat around 93 with his fastball. It's been 90-91 ever since.
Justin Verlander is really good at missing bats and pounds the strike zone like few strikeout pitchers can. Maybe we can distract him with butterflies or something. Everyone go out and capture butterflies all day today and bring them to Safeco tomorrow. We'll coordinate release times in the private blog so as not to tip off the feds.
|Felix Hernandez||Ryan Rowland-Smith||Ian Snell|
|Jeremy Bonderman||Justin Verlander||Max Scherzer|