Series Preview: Seattle Mariners @ Tampa Bay Rays

Seattle: 58-94
Tampa: 91-61

-173.6 (30th) 0.6 50.7 (8th) Tampa
FIELDING (UZR) 11.9 (11th) 0.0 37.0 (4th) Tampa
5.7 (16th) -6.8 -5.6 (21st) Seattle
-30.2 (29th) 0.8 27.3 (6th) Tampa
-186.2 (28th) -5.3 109.3 (4th) TAMPA






Speaking to Japanese reporters after Ichiro's 200th hit, Nobuyuki Suzuki said his son's achievements are the result of a lot of hard work while showing the Chinese idiom meaning: "any packhorse that runs slow can run fast and overtake a fine horse if it keeps running with a cart for 10 days."

I guess we know where Ichiro Suzuki gets his sense of...humor? Sense of whatever you want to call it from.

Why hello there Tampa. How are things? I hear you're in a bit of a tussle for your division. That so? Were you looking for some aid to get atop the AL East? You were?

Well step right up, Tampa, and witness the magnificent medicinal miracle of playing the Seattle Mariners. No longer will you struggle to overcome harsh opponents. We promise to go down easier than anything this side of the Pacific. Put some bounce in your run prevention with our battle tested punchless, homerless, fightless, and overall incompetent offense. See the incredible ineptitude of the Puget Sound Pussywillows. For a nominal additional  fee, we'll even not throw our ace against you!

Yes, this offer cannot be beat. Order within the next ten minutes and we'll throw in the Mariner Moose free. Yours to keep, just pay shipping and handling!

Fri Sep 24, 16:10: Jason Vargas* vs. Jeff Niemann

Sat Sep 25, 16:10: Doug Fister vs. Matt Garza

Sun Sep 26, 10:40: Luke French* vs. James Shields

With ten games remaining, we enter the final two turns through the rotation. If by some miracle Vargas can toss 17.2 innings in his last two starts, he can reach 200 innings this year which would be quite an accomplishment both of recovery from injury and in actual skill improvement. I would like Vargas' last outings to go well so that he doesn't dip below league average on the tRA scale. He's floating just barely above it at the moment and I'd hate to have another red line to look at all winter long.

Funny story about James Shields. He's had an improved season in the strikeout and walks department but his home runs--already high--have risen even further. He's actually been a well below-average pitcher by tRA and FIP. I guess it's not really ha ha funny, but I enjoy seeing good pitchers laid to waste by elements that I personally have no experience with since the Mariners couldn't even tee off on an actual baseball tee. They'd probably all just hit that damn thing and pop the ball up.

Oh, hey there, Luke French. I like how your swinging strike rate has plunged since abandoning your slider you thick biped. Welcome to being a shorter and left-handed Doug Fister. And you know what? That sucks because a fly balling Doug Fister would suck. I know that because you suck,  you sucking suck. God. Throw your damn slider you idiot!

This series preview brought to you by: surprisingly renewed anger.

Jason Vargas Doug Fister Luke French
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 38% 87 50 40 30
Sinker 27% 86 30 65 30
Change 26% 79 75 75 40
Slider 6% 83 20 35 35
Overall -- -- 55 65 30
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 59% 88 25 65 60
Change 19% 81 35 80 60
Curve 9% 74 40 30 75
Sinker 7% 88 25 55 60
Slider 7% 83 35 80 50
Overall -- -- 20 70 65
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 55% 87 20 50 30
Change 24% 79 35 65 20
Slider 16% 78 55 45 20
Overall -- -- 30 60 20

Jeff Niemann Matt Garza James Shields
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 54% 91 50 60 50
Curve 15% 78 50 30 50
Sinker 15% 91 40 65 50
Slider 10% 85 35 60 25
Change 6% 84 80 65 50
Overall -- -- 45 55 45
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 68% 93 65 60 45
Slider 13% 86 75 50 40
Curve 9% 76 30 25 55
Change 6% 84 40 25 35
Overall -- -- 55 45 35
Pitch % Sp K BB GB
Fastball 37% 91 50 75 45
Change 24% 82 80 75 50
Sinker 16% 89 45 50 40
Curve 13% 77 65 55 50
Slider 11% 86 20 70 65
Overall -- -- 75 70 50
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