Mariners to be Visited by Much More Successful Team

MARINERS (42-55) Δ Ms YANKEES (57-38) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -84.5 (30th) -5.7 60.6 (2nd) Yankees
FIELDING (BABIP) 34.5 (4th) -0.2 -33.5 (27th) Mariners
ROTATION (tRA) 3.2 (17th) 1.5 33.8 (4th) Yankees
BULLPEN (tRA) -3.4 (18th) -0.3 14.2 (4th) Yankees
OVERALL (RAA) -50.2 (24th) -4.3 75.2 (4th) YANKEES
Explainer

The Mariners got to pal around with the Royals and the Rays and other R-based teams (the Raccoons?), but now they have to face the big boys. The men of baseball. The Mariners think they're prepared with the clubs and their nets, but the Yankees bring guns. Crummy flintlock rifles or something like that, but guns nonetheless. Those guns are equal to the task of hitting as the clubs are but also have the added benefit of actually occasionally firing projectiles in a line drive manner. Many people will encourage you to attend this series, but I think you should be afraid for your life instead.

The previous series against the Rays, also in Tampa, was a four-game set that the Mariners were swept in. They came to Tampa 11-12 and left 11-16, dropping games by the very Mariners' scores of 2-3, 1-3, 4-5 and 3-4. At least they explored all their options. Score two runs? Nope, that didn't work. Let's try tricking them by scoring even fewer! Nope, that didn't work. Try more maybe? What do you mean four wasn't enough? Ugh, I'm tired, let's just, oh c'mon even three doesn't work?

So mark me as unsurprised when the Mariners re-visited Tampa and promptly lost a 3-4 game that took time and a half to complete. Someone should have told them that they don't get overtime pay for extra-inning games and maybe they would have lost sooner. But now a pair of 2-1 victories have eased the stain of Tampa. In seven games, which is more like eight, the Mariners have scored 17 runs. They've also only allowed 21. The games average fewer than five runs combined per nine innings. Mariners and Athletics games average almost a whole run more per game, which is still hilariously inept, but should offer you the proper context.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB K (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
J Montero 37 3.9 .394/.447/.606 3 4 (2) 8 / 4 / 0 / 1 47 81 94.6
J Jaso* 25 3.0 .333/.440/.476 4 5 (4) 6 / 0 / 0 / 1 47 89 130.8
M Saunders* 41 3.8 .300/.390/.450 1 9 (8) 8 / 3 / 0 / 1 52 73 107.1
C Wells 51 3.9 .261/.333/.478 5 12 (9) 7 / 2 / 1 / 2 53 73 118.2
K Seager* 51 3.6 .217/.333/.326 5 7 (7) 7 / 2 / 0 / 1 49 84 66.2
I Suzuki* 53 3.4 .269/.296/.365 1 6 (6) 11 / 1 / 2 / 0 54 93 55.3
D Ackley* 47 3.9 .186/.277/.326 4 10 (6) 5 / 1 / 1 / 1 45 88 61.9
B Ryan 38 3.7 .171/.211/.314 2 10 (9) 2 / 3 / 1 / 0 55 73 47.0
J Smoak^ 49 3.7 .111/.184/.267 4 16 (11) 2 / 1 / 0 / 2 48 73 121.6
M Olivo 28 3.4 .143/.143/.143 0 11 (10) 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 61 65 35.4

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]

Thanks mostly to the road series in Kansas City, the bats are looking livelier. Well, some of the bats. Ichiro continues to be perfectly fine except for missing 5-10 singles per month. Which is a lot, of course, but this is a weird decline if it's actually a decline.

Stop sitting John Jaso for Miguel Olivo. Jaso's meager and limited splits against lefties are beyond a deciding argument at this point. Miguel Olivo cannot hit anybody, no matter if he throws with his right hand, left hand, left foot or some sort of elaborate yet predictable trebuchet device. Please stop playing him. He's done. He's so done that Dunn Lumber is going to change it's mascot guy to an image of Miguel Olivo. And that doesn't even make sense.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB SO (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
M Teixeira^ 45 4.0 .333/.422/.692 5 6 (2) 7 / 2 / 0 / 4 36 89 173.0
R Cano* 46 3.6 .349/.413/.558 3 6 (5) 10 / 3 / 0 / 2 52 84 167.9
N Swisher^ 35 5.1 .269/.457/.462 9 10 (5) 4 / 2 / 0 / 1 33 81 118.5
C Granderson* 44 4.4 .282/.364/.564 5 13 (12) 7 / 0 / 1 / 3 45 67 196.5
D Jeter 43 3.7 .366/.395/.439 2 7 (3) 12 / 3 / 0 / 0 45 92 73.4
A Rodriguez 46 3.3 .283/.298/.457 0 6 (4) 8 / 3 / 1 / 1 55 77 88.0
R Martin 23 3.4 .190/.261/.476 2 1 (1) 2 / 0 / 0 / 2 54 86 146.9
J Nix 22 3.1 .273/.273/.409 0 7 (4) 3 / 3 / 0 / 0 54 78 56.7
R Ibanez* 25 3.8 .250/.308/.375 1 5 (5) 5 / 0 / 0 / 1 47 82 112.0
E Chavez* 22 3.6 .238/.304/.381 1 4 (4) 4 / 0 / 0 / 1 50 83 117.7
A Jones 22 4.0 .182/.182/.455 0 11 (8) 2 / 0 / 0 / 2 46 68 166.4

Derek Jeter, April: 1.012 OPS. Since April: .690 OPS. That's almost as bad as Albert Pujols was in April. Remember when Albert Pujols had a sub-.600 OPS? Those were fun, really fun, times. I just felt like laughing about that again. Also funny is that Alex Rodriguez has five more years left on his contract still. Five years after this one going on. He turns 37 in a few days by the way.

MARINERS Δ Ms YANKEES EDGE
INFIELD 19.3 (3rd) 0.8 -28.9 (29th) Mariners
OUTFIELD 15.2 (9th) -1.0 -4.6 (20th) Mariners
RBBIP 0.293 (2nd) .000 0.320 (23rd) Mariners
OVERALL 34.5 (4th) -0.2 -33.5 (27th) MARINERS
Explainer

I thought the defense would come out looking much rosier after taking part in giving up only six runs over 3+ games, but as it happens, Tropicana Field is rather a poor place for hits to land no matter who is defending them, so go figure.

Well? Go.

23 JUL 19:10

KEVIN MILLWOOD HIROKI KURODA
chart chart

Hmm, Millwood's still here.

24 JUL 19:10

FELIX HERNANDEZ FREDDY GARCIA
chart chart

Broadcast note: Mike Curto will be on the Mariners' radio broadcast for this game and the following game.

I believe that the three categories listed in these charts are the major keys to evaluating the success of a pitcher, and furthermore, of pitches. With better data, eventually ground ball rate will get usurped by an actually useful form of Qual, but for now I think it's the best proxy. Going across and averaging the ratings for all three*, each one of Felix's pitches comes out with a grade above 50, which is the benchmark for average in Major Leagues.

*also somewhat dubious to assume each skill is equally important, but eh, close enough for now

In other words, each of the five pitches that Felix Hernandez throws is, on its own, compared only against others who also throw that pitch, better than average. Most pitchers do not throw five different pitches. Most pitchers specialize. That gives them a greater opportunity to hone each pitch and makes it difficult for pitches to achieve high ratings. Felix has five and they're all good.

25 JUL 12:40

HISASHI IWAKUMA IVAN NOVA
chart chart

Last year Ivan Nova was a guy who didn't particularly throw a lot of strikes and didn't miss many bats, but got ground balls and rode the Yankees' offense to a lot of wins and fanfare. This year he's suddenly missing a lot more bats, he's throwing more strikes and walking fewer hitters, but the grounders are greatly diminished and he's seen seven more home runs leave the yard already in 42 fewer innings pitched. It's an intriguingly different Ivan Nova, and I really wish the Mariners had gotten him instead of Hector Noesi.

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
T Wilhelmsen 49 65.2 4 81.2 12 (7) 45.5 0 41.4 2.5
B League 41 59.5 3 75.8 4 (3) 44.1 0 84.2 1.6
O Perez* 39 71.0 3 80.0 9 (7) 25.9 0 93.9 1.1
C Furbush* 32 67.2 3 71.0 10 (8) 44.4 1 152.1 1.5
S Delabar 30 63.8 4 62.0 11 (9) 53.3 1 107.0 0.9
S Kelley 28 64.7 0 67.3 8 (7) 25.0 1 71.3 1.3
L Luetge* 26 66.4 1 70.9 9 (6) 68.8 0 44.3 1.4
J Kinney 22 54.1 5 63.3 5 (5) 41.7 1 107.8 2.3

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]

Notice the average leverages for the Mariners' pen? A whole mess of very close games of late. High leverage situations probably tax a pitcher's arm more.

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
D Robertson 49 63.4 6 76.5 16 (8) 37.0 1 81.9 1.6
R Soriano 44 62.3 5 70.4 16 (14) 30.4 1 132.3 2.3
C Eppley 37 61.5 4 81.4 6 (4) 70.4 0 63.4 1.6
C Wade 30 62.2 2 87.5 4 (2) 33.3 2 182.9 0.7
C Qualls 30 62.3 2 93.2 2 (2) 48.0 0 61.7 0.7
B Logan* 28 62.5 5 70.9 7 (6) 18.8 2 187.0 1.2
D Phelps 27 65.5 1 74.4 12 (10) 42.9 1 118.7 0.9

It looks weird without Mariano Rivera. And it's still a very good unit.

Series Beer(s): Full Sail Amber
Continuing the amber from last series I move to this offering from Full Sail an under appreciated, I think, brewery in Oregon. What's great about this amber is a lot of the same about what's great from African Amber. It's smooth and it's malty. As the weather heats up, I find myself drinking many more ciders, hefes and pale ales, but the bitter, slightly astringent flavors can get tiresome. And that's when a malty amber tastes like the best, more timing perfect beer in the world.

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