What‽ The Athletics Again‽

MARINERS (35-49) Δ Ms ATHLETICS (41-42) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -75.8 (30th) -4.7 -57.3 (29th) Athletics
FIELDING (BABIP) 28.6 (4th) 1.3 31.8 (3rd) Athletics
ROTATION (tRA) -4.2 (18th) 2.3 -6.5 (19th) Mariners
BULLPEN (tRA) -3.5 (19th) 2.2 2.0 (14th) Athletics
OVERALL (RAA) -55.0 (26th) 1.0 -30.1 (22nd) ATHLETICS
Explainer

You might note how far worse the Mariners' offense has been from the next worst team in baseball. You probably shouldn't note that though; it's depressing. Maybe I should have put that sentence first, like a warning.

The Mariners have played 84 games this season and I am pretty sure that at least 30 of them have been against the Athletics already. I don't know how this has happened. Maybe Major League Baseball (correctly) assumed that nobody would notice and/or care. That nobody wanted to watch these two teams anyways so might as well schedule them against each other a lot. That might also explain the rationale behind the Mariners "rivalry", and subsequent frequent scheduling, with the Padres.

In truth, the Mariners have played Oakland ten times this season, which means only six times after the opening pair of two-game series. I was taken aback that it had only been ten games so far. That means the season series is only about half over. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB K (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
J Jaso* 27 3.4 .333/.407/.583 3 5 (2) 4 / 3 / 0 / 1 42 90 132.1
F Gutierrez 24 3.5 .333/.333/.500 0 1 (0) 6 / 1 / 0 / 1 40 91 90.5
M Olivo 31 3.9 .207/.258/.414 2 10 (9) 4 / 0 / 0 / 2 56 68 181.6
M Saunders* 30 3.6 .207/.267/.345 1 5 (4) 4 / 1 / 0 / 1 56 84 79.8
C Wells 39 3.9 .147/.282/.294 5 12 (9) 2 / 2 / 0 / 1 47 67 102.1
I Suzuki* 56 3.8 .250/.316/.250 3 9 (9) 13 / 0 / 0 / 0 48 88 79.1
D Ackley* 45 4.3 .150/.340/.225 5 8 (6) 5 / 0 / 0 / 1 31 80 82.0
B Ryan 35 4.1 .161/.257/.194 4 5 (4) 4 / 1 / 0 / 0 40 89 96.8
J Smoak^ 47 3.5 .119/.229/.143 4 5 (3) 4 / 1 / 0 / 0 43 86 36.5
K Seager* 52 3.3 .091/.212/.136 7 9 (4) 2 / 2 / 0 / 0 47 85 52.9
C Figgins^ 21 4.4 .105/.143/.105 1 6 (4) 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 40 84 12.9
J Montero 33 4.4 .094/.121/.094 1 11 (9) 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 57 80 77.2

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]

John Jaso is a semi-part-time player. Franklin Gutierrez is on the disabled list with a concussion and general malaise. Miguel Olivo has been the Mariners third-best hitter over the last two weeks by my special sauce formula and he posted an OBP of .258. oauhfaouhaoiuwha. That was the digital sound of me retching.

Dustin Ackley is slowing morphing into a cardboard cutout of a hitter in order to take more vacations doing boring North Carolina-themed things. Which I think are hunting and maybe spitting out chewing tobacco.

Outside the top two, who are both limited in samples, the highest batting average belong to Ichiro Suzuki. Normally that is fine. When he has hit .250 it is not fine. It is not fine at all. It is bad. This team is bad.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB SO (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
J Reddick* 49 4.2 .275/.400/.625 8 10 (9) 5 / 2 / 0 / 4 43 84 181.0
B Moss* 38 3.9 .286/.342/.571 3 13 (11) 6 / 1 / 0 / 3 53 63 180.7
C Crisp^ 54 3.6 .300/.333/.480 3 11 (5) 11 / 1 / 1 / 2 43 84 89.9
D Norris 36 3.9 .294/.333/.471 2 10 (4) 8 / 0 / 0 / 2 42 83 157.2
Y Cespedes 56 4.0 .245/.298/.453 3 15 (15) 8 / 2 / 0 / 3 47 70 131.8
J Weeks^ 55 4.2 .184/.309/.245 6 8 (5) 7 / 1 / 1 / 0 37 91 55.2
J Gomes 25 4.0 .174/.240/.348 2 10 (8) 2 / 1 / 0 / 1 33 70 131.0
B Inge 54 4.2 .213/.278/.255 5 15 (13) 8 / 2 / 0 / 0 44 76 62.3
S Smith* 38 4.2 .125/.237/.313 5 10 (9) 0 / 3 / 0 / 1 45 81 108.7
B Hicks 22 4.2 .143/.182/.238 1 7 (7) 1 / 2 / 0 / 0 47 67 45.4
K Suzuki 20 3.7 .150/.200/.150 0 2 (2) 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 55 85 49.7
C Pennington^ 33 4.0 .069/.182/.172 4 7 (6) 1 / 0 / 0 / 1 45 75 60.6

Yoenis Cespesdes is settling in as exactly the median projection of what most people thought he would be in year one. This is almost as bad a recent performance as the Mariners, which I suppose is not surprising given the above, but still mildly is because it's difficult to fathom anybody being on par with the Mariners offense of late.

MARINERS Δ Ms ATHLETICS EDGE
INFIELD 12.9 (8th) 1.0 16.9 (4th) Athletics
OUTFIELD 15.7 (8th) 0.4 14.9 (9th) Mariners
RBBIP 0.294 (3rd) .000 0.290 (1st) Athletics
OVERALL 28.6 (4th) 1.3 31.8 (3rd) ATHLETICS
Explainer

Oakland is the first team in awhile that the Mariners face that possess a better team defense than Seattle. Baseball's third and fourth best defense face off, in a pitcher-friendly park, on a pitcher-friendly-coast, against baseball's worst and second-worst offense. Runs ahoy!

06 JUL 19:05

TOMMY MILONE* KEVIN MILLWOOD
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Kevin Millwood's set backs must be making it more troubling for Jack Zduriencik to negotiate a trade return for him. With the struggles in the back end and nobody yet bursting through Tacoma, I wonder if Zduriencik, faced with likely a piddling return for Millwood, might just hang on to Kevin. It might be that the innings Millwood soaks up down the stretch are more valuable to the comfort and development of the prospects already in the system than whatever addition he brings back in a trade would be.

I doubt it, but I'm preparing myself for a July to come and go with the Mariners not having dealt any of Millwood, Jason Vargas or Brandon League.

07 JUL 19:10

JARROD PARKER JASON VARGAS*
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Vargas makes more sense to keep around since he's likely to outperform his salary again next year. The hope is that with 1.5 years before free agency he'd fetch more in a trade and that might yet be true. Aside from the home runs, Vargas has done well and thanks to good luck in stranding runners countering his bad luck in home runs, Vargas' ERA remains movable. Another opportunistic start against the Athletics, perhaps without a home run allowed this time, would be dandy.

08 JUL 13:05

BARTOLO COLON FELIX HERNANDEZ
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The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez. The Mariners are not trading Felix Hernandez.

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
C Furbush* 60 66.5 3 68.1 24 (15) 54.5 1 99.2 1.0
H Iwakuma 47 65.2 6 79.0 8 (7) 59.4 3 141.1 0.9
T Wilhelmsen 46 67.1 4 81.1 15 (11) 55.6 0 67.8 2.1
B League 44 63.0 2 83.3 4 (3) 44.7 0 90.1 1.4
S Kelley 36 67.4 0 73.4 11 (10) 24.0 1 127.0 0.6
O Perez* 34 77.0 2 81.4 9 (5) 36.4 0 64.5 0.3
L Luetge* 31 60.5 3 78.7 7 (2) 61.9 0 68.0 1.0
S Delabar 22 61.8 4 54.3 10 (8) 12.5 0 95.7 0.4

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]

Steve Delabar hasn't allowed a home run upon his return. Maybe someone should take his temperature or something.

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
G Balfour 53 61.1 7 80.2 8 (6) 34.2 0 85.9 1.7
R Cook 46 62.5 8 72.9 15 (10) 54.5 0 35.5 2.3
S Doolittle* 45 70.9 2 71.0 18 (14) 37.5 0 39.9 1.2
J Miller 45 60.6 10 83.7 9 (9) 52.0 0 16.5 1.0
J Blevins* 40 62.7 3 76.7 6 (5) 41.4 1 83.4 1.1
B Fuentes* 25 50.0 6 88.9 2 (2) 18.8 3 264.6 0.7
J Norberto* 23 56.8 4 71.7 5 (3) 35.7 0 32.9 0.6

Grant Balfour used to be a strikeout hawk. He's consistently struck out more than a man per inning over his career. But this season it's gone awry and he has only 30 strikeouts in 41 innings for the year and, as you can see, has been particularly struggling of late with the strikeouts.

Brian Fuentes is no longer with the Athletics. I cannot imagine why. Maybe he refused to shower and had bad odor. Meanwhile, Sean Doolittle, who I mentioned previously, is still rolling merrily along. And the cycle of bullpen life turns.

Series Drink: Maddalena Muscat Canelli
It is wine this time, a sweet white wine. Muscat grapes are among the oldest, if not the oldest of harvested grape types but the canelli subtype is a fickle beast. None of that matters to me because I have little appreciation for the rigors of wine making or viticulture. What I do like is tasty wines and since I have my fill of bitter from various beers, I tend to prefer my wines on the sweeter side. This particular fits the bill admirably and on a budget as well, running in the $10-15 per bottle range depending on your local availability.

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