Seattle Mariners Deflate Our Smug NL Bashing, now Face Giants

MARINERS (27-38) Δ Ms GIANTS (36-28) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -46.0 (28th) -2.6 0.3 (17th) Giants
FIELDING (BABIP) 25.4 (2nd) -0.2 13.6 (10th) Mariners
ROTATION (tRA) -1.1 (17th) -1.9 26.7 (2nd) Giants
BULLPEN (tRA) -10.0 (28th) 1.1 5.2 (9th) Giants
OVERALL (RAA) -31.7 (21st) -3.6 45.8 (6th) GIANTS
Explainer

One of the more entertaining parts of writing for this blog network is occasionally searching around for references to Lookout Landing elsewhere. The level of mistruths* about the community here is pretty funny. Another branch of hilarity stems from the amazingly often assumption by others that what Jeff and I write is totally serious. I know it takes some level of familiarity to completely get another's sense of humor, but really, anonymous lurkers? You'd think that we think that the National League is on par with tee-ball or something.

*The number of people who apparently seriously believe that we ban people for making one comment with chatspeak or without a subject line is surprisalarious.

We don't. We think it's slightly less tougher than the American League (as interleague records, payrolls and various talent studies have consistently shown) and we think it's funny to dramatize everything. This is baseball. This is sports. This is a stupid thing to care about and I think you're really odd for taking it so seriously that you lead yourself into being trolled.

However, outside of any artificial bombast, this was a thoroughly embarrassing series. The Padres are not a good team. The Mariners didn't face an unrepresentative sample of their starters. The Mariners faced the Padres that were the Padres and they got swept, at home. Those are the series that make it difficult to see a bright future on the horizon.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB K (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual
M Saunders* 51 4.3 .383/.431/.681 4 8 (6) 10 / 5 / 0 / 3 51 82 141.8
J Jaso* 28 4.1 .304/.464/.348 5 5 (4) 6 / 1 / 0 / 0 37 83 79.3
K Seager* 49 4.4 .200/.347/.450 9 12 (9) 4 / 1 / 0 / 3 44 77 143.6
J Smoak^ 52 4.0 .205/.327/.273 8 12 (11) 8 / 0 / 0 / 1 39 77 54.7
I Suzuki* 56 3.1 .232/.250/.411 0 4 (2) 9 / 1 / 0 / 3 51 93 118.0
J Montero 48 3.3 .277/.292/.319 1 8 (7) 11 / 2 / 0 / 0 60 78 81.2
M Olivo 30 3.9 .200/.200/.467 0 6 (6) 2 / 2 / 0 / 2 54 75 89.1
D Ackley* 50 4.5 .205/.300/.250 6 15 (9) 7 / 2 / 0 / 0 35 79 64.5
M Carp* 28 3.8 .136/.345/.182 6 7 (6) 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 41 75 64.5
B Ryan 29 4.1 .040/.172/.080 4 7 (6) 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 48 70 20.1

P/PA = pitches per PA [avg~3.8], nBB = uBB + HBP, Sw = swinging [avg~45%], Ct = contact [avg~81%], Qual+ = a measure of quality of batted balls [avg=100, higher is better]

This is what a slumping team looks like on offense.

Miguel Olivo on the season has two walks, 28 strikeouts and a .211 OBP. I think I'd rather see Munenori Kawasaki be the DH against left-handed starters than Miguel Olivo. I'd rather the Mariners just let their pitchers hit than Miguel Olivo. At least the pitchers might sacrifice somebody along. Even if there aren't any runners on base at the moment.

What I'm getting at is that I really dislike Miguel Olivo.

Dustin Ackley's isolated slugging is nearly the same as Chone Figgins'. Kyle Seager leads the team in ISO by the way. How?

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB SO (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
B Belt* 32 3.9 .269/.406/.654 5 5 (4) 3 / 1 / 0 / 3 47 72 191.1
R Theriot 57 3.7 .340/.421/.415 4 4 (3) 14 / 4 / 0 / 0 41 85 79.3
M Cabrera^ 43 3.8 .310/.349/.452 1 7 (7) 10 / 1 / 1 / 1 52 85 77.1
B Posey 46 4.2 .289/.348/.447 5 7 (4) 7 / 3 / 0 / 1 42 90 102.3
G Blanco* 54 4.0 .240/.315/.500 4 12 (10) 6 / 2 / 1 / 3 46 86 118.7
A Pagan^ 48 3.8 .304/.333/.413 2 13 (8) 11 / 2 / 0 / 1 44 83 113.7
B Crawford* 39 4.0 .257/.375/.314 4 5 (5) 7 / 2 / 0 / 0 52 78 84.8
J Arias 36 3.3 .229/.270/.257 1 3 (2) 7 / 1 / 0 / 0 53 86 40.7

MARINERS Δ Ms GIANTS EDGE
INFIELD 15.3 (3rd) 0.3 -4.1 (18th) Mariners
OUTFIELD 10.1 (9th) -0.5 17.7 (6th) Giants
RBBIP 0.288 (5th) -.003 0.304 (13th) Mariners
OVERALL 25.4 (2nd) -0.2 13.6 (10th) MARINERS
Explainer

With the return of Franklin Gutierrez and Michael Saunders sliding over into left field and some playing time for Casper Wells, anyone care to guess where the outfield ranking will go from here?

15 JUN 19:10

JASON VARGAS* RYAN VOGELSONG
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I assume Danny Hultzen makes his way to Tacoma before June is over. If he dominates right off the bat, could he come up in July if Jason Vargas is traded? Yes. He could. Which doesn't mean he will. And doesn't mean it's likely. Or unlikely. Just that the probability is not 0%. They say there are no stupid questions, but I disagree.

The Mariners claim to not be shopping Jason Vargas, which means nothing since what the Mariners say bares no relationship to what they do. And also that even if they are being genuine about their desire to keep Jason Vargas, some team might offer what Zduriencik believes is too much to turn down.

Likewise, just because the Mariners actively shop Jason Vargas doesn't mean that 29 other teams are interested and willing to part with what Zduriencik believes is a fair or close to fair price. It's all very unknown in the Dance del Vargas.

16 JUN 19:10

KEVIN MILLWOOD TIM LINCECUM
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Tim Lincecum's contact rate is the same. Tim Lincecum's strike rate is the same. Tim Lincecum's strikeout rate is only down one percentage point. He is walking a few more batters, but Lincecum's entire problem this season appears to be one of event sequencing. His strand rate, usually and unsuspiciously in the high-70s is at 60% so far. His BABIP is up over .330.

Remember Horatio Ramirez in 2007? That's pretty much where Tim Lincecum's LOB% and BABIP are at right now. There might be some parts of those rates that are Tim's fault, but most of it has to be random bad luck.

Unlike his haircuts which are entirely his fault and frankly, good, I'm glad you're struggling Tim. Ugh. You. Do you own mirrors?

17 JUN 13:10

FELIX HERNANDEZ MADISON BUMGARNER*
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That 2007 draft is looking stacked! David Price, Mike Moustakas, Jason Heyward, Matt Wieters, Jarrod Parker, Madison Bumgarner and many many others. Fun fact: The pick before the Mariners in the first round was Bumgarner. The pick after the Mariners in the second round was Giancarlo Stanton. At least Phillippe Aumont sort of turned into Cliff Lee who sort of turned into other stuff and also pissed off Yankee fans.

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
S Kelley 56 64.5 4 77.4 15 (14) 27.8 0 88.5 1.1
B League 51 66.1 3 80.7 10 (9) 44.7 1 125.8 1.3
T Wilhelmsen 44 73.8 2 72.4 14 (10) 50.0 1 82.7 1.4
H Iwakuma 44 62.0 7 78.7 5 (4) 67.7 0 67.5 0.7
S Delabar 33 61.0 4 68.1 11 (11) 61.1 1 126.6 0.5
C Furbush* 32 67.9 1 71.0 14 (11) 62.5 0 54.6 0.5
S Pryor 21 65.6 2 79.2 5 (5) 57.1 1 79.5 1.5
L Luetge* 20 56.3 3 82.1 2 (2) 46.7 0 49.0 0.6

Str% = strike rate [avg~63%], Ct% = contact rate [avg~78%], GB% = groundball rate [avg~45%], Qual- = a measure of quality of batted balls [avg=100, lower is better], LI = leverage [avg~1.2]

The bullpen continues to slowly creep toward neutrality, or average, if you prefer that word. I've been wondering how it might look next season with presumably no Hisashi Iwakuma or Brandon League around. Perhaps it will include Blake Beavan; pushed out of the rotation by the upcoming starters, but I doubt that will happen so fast. I don't want to presume anything with Taijuan Walker's timeframe. He's so young!

Unrelated, but have you seen Oliver Perez's numbers lately? 141 batters faced, 42 strikeouts (30%, great) 19 walks (13.5%, awful). It won't mean anything long term since Perez is 30 and almost certainly won't be a Mariner next year, but I want to see him in Seattle sometime. A couple innings in September maybe. Just for the wildness. Wildness can be fun, even from your own team, if you don't care about the pitcher's success.

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
C Hensley 49 62.0 9 82.6 10 (7) 58.6 1 80.2 1.5
S Loux 44 59.2 2 84.6 5 (4) 43.2 1 109.4 0.3
J Affeldt* 42 65.2 4 72.3 11 (8) 51.9 1 154.4 1.1
S Casilla 42 65.6 3 85.3 9 (7) 56.7 1 101.2 1.9
S Edlefsen 38 61.4 4 78.8 6 (4) 60.7 1 140.1 0.5
J Lopez* 26 67.5 2 71.4 6 (4) 55.6 0 81.6 1.8
S Romo 20 71.1 2 53.3 10 (9) 75.0 0 12.5 1.8

Reading down through the relievers, I was struck by a sense of a not very good strikeout-to-walk ratio despite their overall top 10 rating in tRA. My hunch proved correct as the Giants' pen has baseball's seventh lowest strikeout-per-walk ratio at just over 2.

For funsies, baseball's second worst pen is the Angels, at 1.8 strikeouts for each free pass. Baseball's absolute worst pen belongs to the Cubs with a staggeringly bad 1.3 K/nBB.

Series Beer(s): Monk's Indiscretion
Sound Brewing is out of Poulsbo, Washington which is a town that is probably way more fun in my mind than in reality. I miss the days when Ballard was more an enclave of Scandinavian-descended fisherman than Yuppies in townhouses and condos. I've heard that Poulsbo still carries some of the heritage of our Nordic immigrants, but I doubt anything lives up to the Almost Live™ stereotype that I desire.

Anyways, this beer is good.

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