Series Preview: Boston Red Sox @ Seattle Mariners

MARINERS (50-66) Δ Ms RED SOX (72-44) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -128.6 (30th) 0.3 119.9 (1st) Boston
FIELDING 22.7 (6th) -2.0 59.1 (2nd) Boston
ROTATION (tRA) 31.6 (5th) -3.0 -13.3 (18th) Seattle
BULLPEN (tRA) -10.4 (21st) -4.5 33.1 (1st) Boston
OVERALL(RAA) -84.7 (25th) -9.2 198.8 (1st) BOSTON

Mariners current draft spot: 4th

Boston is the top overall team at nearly 200 runs above average. The next best team is the Philadelphia Phillies and my ratings peg them at +123 runs. That's a huge gap between 1 and 2. It's almost big enough to make the Mariners an average team.

I'm glad that the team doesn't have to face Erik Bedard this series. That would have been weird and sad to witness. Meanwhile, Jonathan Papelbon, who wears number 58, recently said this "Cinco Ocho needs to be told he stinks," in context of being motivated by other people's doubts. Really, Jonathan? Cinco Ocho? Because you're all about the Spanish? Also, been done man. Been done by people way cooler and way more committed than you. You're a pretty good reliever, but your third-person talking style? It stinks!

Fri 12 Aug 19:10

BLAKE BEAVAN JOHN LACKEY

The Red Sox are not new to Blake Beavan. He faced them in Fenway three weeks ago and pitched decently, as he's made an initial habit of doing. The worry for me on Beavan is that after his first start against the Padres, he's topped out at six missed bats (in that Red Sox start) and aside from that, hasn't topped four. For as strikeout averse as Doug Fister seemed to be, he was only a little below average in that regard. It's genuinely difficult if not impossible to be a good starting pitcher with a strikeout rate of 10%. I don't think we expect Beavan to be a good starting pitcher, but it's not fun to see someone hit their ceiling and still not be able to stand fully up.

Sat 13 Aug 19:10

FELIX HERNANDEZ JOSH BECKETT

It's odd how as Felix has seemingly transitioned to using his two-sinker almost exclusively, his ground ball rate has actually fallen off as time goes on. Felix was 60% ground balls in 2007 and is now at 48%. That's not a small drop. I'm not criticizing, since he has raised his strikeouts over the same span and Felix has reached the pitching equivalent of Ichiro! wherein I'm content to just watch and enjoy without picking him apart, but it's still a curious development.

Sun 14 Aug 13:10

CHARLIE FURBUSH* TIM WAKEFIELD

All right, so we've seen strike throwing, missed bats Charlie Furbush and we've seen hittable, wild Charlie Furbush. That was quick. Thank you, Charlie, for making the book ends right from the start. Now you need to purchase some books to put in the middle. I'd suggest you stay away from Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Palahniuk and Sedaris and go with more Asimov, Phil Dick, Chaucer, Douglas Adams and Jane Austen. Maybe, maybe you can expand out to the likes of Joseph Heller, but don't get too far or you might end up in Vonnegut territory.

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