Every single one of us realizes that the Mariners have been carried to relevance on the back of their pitching staff. While the bullpen has generally been effective and the starters have been anywhere from good to amazing, the offense has been dreadful, aside from its assaults on Phil Coke. The Mariners have scored the second-fewest runs in the American League, and the only team with a lower total is 16-32.
To look at things a different way, the AL league average batting line right now is .251/.320/.392. Not too impressive, right? Correct. Run-scoring is down. Now, what about the Mariners? The Mariners, on the year, have a collective batting line of .232/.302/.335.
There was a veteran catcher named Gary Bennett. You might remember him, or you might not. He didn't do much worth remembering. He debuted in 1995, he wrapped up in 2008, and in between, he came to the plate 1,876 times, posting a batting line of .241/.302/.328. The era was different, and Bennett posted his numbers at a more run-happy time, but in terms of overall output, the Mariners have been hitting like Gary Bennett hit.
On a hunch, I decided to play with the Mariners' numbers a little bit. The Mariners have played 49 games this season. What happens if you add 49 doubles to their performance? This is the resulting batting line:
Bam. The average is right on. The OBP is right on. And though the slugging is a little below the AL mark, there are park effects and all that to consider.
The 2011' offense has been about one double per game below the AL average.
I can't decide if that makes the gap seem smaller than it is, bigger than it is, or exactly what it is, but it sure is something.