Series Preview: Seattle Mariners @ Tampa Bay Rays

Seattle: 13-21
Tampa Bay: 24-10

-32.6 (29th) 1.7 8.8 (10th) Tampa Bay
FIELDING (?) 18.3 (3rd) 1.0 19.5 (2nd) Tampa Bay
-4.1 (21st) 1.5 15.0 (4th) Tampa Bay
-5.2 (25th) -0.3 4.3 (9th) Tampa Bay
-23.6 (24th) 3.9 47.6 (5th) TAMPA BAY


And I saw Sisyphus at his endless task
raising his prodigious stone with both his hands.
With hands and feet he tried to roll it up to the top of the hill,
but always,
just before he could roll it over on to the other side, its weight would be
too much
for him, and the pitiless stone would come thundering down
on to the plain. Then he would begin trying to push it up hill

Sigh. What a mismatch this series shapes up to be. The Mariners survived their initial tests in getting through the first 22 games without Cliff Lee, but have struggled --to put it mildly-- once the real test began in May. There aren't any more soft landings, they've used them all up. They need to start winning now and to do so will require beating some teams that are more talented then they are. It's not impossible, but we sure could use a check in the form of some good luck from the regression fairy.

Tampa tosses three more righties against us this series. How much Griffey plays might well give us a clue as to how the team is going to approach the roster moves when Milton Bradley returns. Or it might not. In case you haven't noticed, we don't know. I'm not entirely confident the actual front office knows but even if they do, they're not sharing that info with us. You can ask what we would do and we'll be happy to refer you to the countless times that we've gone over what roster moves we'd like to see made. You can ask us to speculate on why a certain move was or was not made. Just don't ask us what will happen. We don't know.

Fri May 14, 16:10: Doug Fister vs. Wade Davis

Sat May 15, 13:10: Jason Vargas* vs. James Shields

Sun May 16, 10:40: Cliff Lee* vs. Matt Garza

At least by tRA these three represent our best possible series rotation. Thanks to his jaw-droppingly bad pair of starts before yesterday, Felix finds himself with the team's fourth-best tRA from the rotation. Life is weird.

By the way, Doug Fister missed nary a single bat in his last start and got just two swings and misses in the one previous to that. Over those 206 pitches and 15 innings, he has five strikeouts (all looking) and one walk allowed. In his last 38 innings pitched, Fister has walked three batters. He has a 2.2% walk rate over that span. 2010 Doug Fister is Carlos Silva circa 2006 at 10% of 2006 Carlos Silva's cost which is a Grand Canyon filled with Kettle Chips sight better than 2006 Carlos Silva at 2008 Carlos Silva's cost and a lunar rocket to the perpetual orgasm planet better than what we actually got from Silva.

Doug Fister's BABIP is at .226. Jason Vargas' BABIP is at .223. Ohhhhhhhh no.

I will not cheapen our celebration of Felix Day by calling it Cliff Lee Day. I am slightly partial to the Cliffmas moniker, but that is neither here nor there at the moment. Every Cliff Lee start should be treasured from here on out. We have to face the reality that he's not likely to be a Mariner come 2011 and now start preparing that he may not even be a Mariner come August. I know he doesn't quite have the long standing emotional ties with many of you, but for me he represents not just himself. He is a symbol of all the hope that I had for 2010. I don't want that to leave, not this soon. 

Doug Fister Jason Vargas Cliff Lee
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 57% 88 20 60 45
Change 21% 81 40 80 60
Curve 10% 75 60 30 75
Sinker 6% 89 35 55 65
Slider 5% 82 40 80 55
Overall -- -- 20 70 55
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 54% 88 40 35 35
Change 20% 80 80 70 40
Sinker 16% 85 40 40 25
Slider 7% 82 20 30 50
Overall -- -- 50 40 30
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 60% 90 70 80 45
Change 14% 83 50 75 55
Sinker 11% 90 45 80 45
Curve 9% 76 55 50 75
Slider 6% 85 30 80 50
Overall -- -- 50 80 45
Wade Davis James Shields Matt Garza
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 59% 92 75 70 30
Sinker 15% 92 30 30 50
Curve 12% 79 20 75 75
Slider 10% 85 50 20 80
Overall -- -- 40 40 40
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 40% 91 50 75 50
Change 25% 82 80 80 55
Sinker 13% 89 45 50 30
Curve 12% 77 60 50 50
Slider 10% 86 20 65 70
Overall -- -- 75 70 55
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 69% 93 70 50 50
Slider 14% 85 70 65 50
Curve 9% 76 35 35 55
Change 7% 84 35 35 25
Overall -- -- 55 45 45
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