Mariners Forced to Battle Invisible, Unreal Beings

MARINERS (64-68) Δ Ms ANGELS (69-62) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -108.5 (30th) -11.9 75.4 (2nd) Angels
FIELDING (RBBIP) 49.9 (2nd) 5.3 8.3 (13th) Mariners
ROTATION (tRA) 10.5 (14th) 0.7 5.2 (16th) Mariners
BULLPEN (tRA) -3.6 (18th) -5.2 -24.7 (29th) Mariners
OVERALL (RAA) -51.6 (21st) -11.1 64.1 (5th) ANGELS
Explainer

Despite taking the series 3-1 against the Twins, the Mariners were easily outscored 11-16 thanks to the 10-0 drubbing by the Twins on Wednesday.

CoolStandings currently has the Angels playoff odds at 16%. They're not likely to pass the A's and then catch the Rangers (8.5 games back) for the division lead so the wild cards are their goal. Even there the Angels are sitting behind Tampa Bay and Detroit for the spots currently held by Oakland and Baltimore. Put another way, the Angels have the 8th best record in a 14-team league. Below average!

The Mariners then have an opportunity to really put the squeeze on the Angels' postseason chances by either stalling their progress with a series win or outright thwarting them somehow with a sweep. To do that, the offense probably needs to show up. Please show up offense.

It was almost exactly five years ago this weekend that Lollablueza took place. Get revenge for us, Mariners.

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB K (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
M Saunders* 30 3.9 .370/.433/.815 3 4 (3) 6 / 0 / 0 / 4 46 85 243.1
E Thames* 42 3.8 .275/.310/.625 2 12 (6) 4 / 3 / 1 / 3 49 73 191.2
J Jaso* 37 4.2 .214/.395/.357 8 3 (2) 4 / 1 / 0 / 1 36 82 111.0
K Seager* 52 3.5 .267/.327/.444 5 4 (2) 8 / 2 / 0 / 2 49 91 103.0
T Robinson^ 49 3.4 .267/.327/.378 4 11 (8) 9 / 2 / 0 / 1 49 80 109.6
D Ackley* 57 3.4 .264/.316/.358 4 4 (3) 11 / 2 / 0 / 1 44 95 89.3
B Ryan 38 4.0 .229/.289/.286 3 5 (3) 6 / 2 / 0 / 0 47 86 27.5
J Smoak^ 49 4.1 .186/.286/.279 6 11 (7) 6 / 1 / 0 / 1 42 83 67.8
M Olivo 24 3.8 .208/.250/.333 0 10 (9) 4 / 0 / 0 / 1 56 69 104.5
J Montero 40 3.4 .158/.175/.342 1 4 (3) 3 / 1 / 0 / 2 54 84 119.4

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]

It's been a welcome and productive return for Franklin Gutierrez, but it will also be great to get both him and Michael Saunders on the field at the same time. Who thought that would be a reasonable desire five months ago?

Batter PA P/PA Slash line nBB SO (sw) 1B/2B/3B/HR Sw% Ct% Qual+
A Pujols 34 3.9 .382/.400/.735 0 4 (4) 7 / 3 / 0 / 3 49 86 139.6
H Kendrick 52 3.7 .340/.385/.580 2 10 (10) 9 / 6 / 0 / 2 50 84 135.3
M Trout 61 3.8 .309/.393/.509 6 14 (8) 13 / 0 / 1 / 3 35 76 128.6
C Iannetta 41 3.6 .350/.366/.475 1 12 (9) 12 / 0 / 1 / 1 47 73 118.5
A Callaspo^ 38 3.8 .267/.421/.333 8 2 (1) 6 / 2 / 0 / 0 35 94 75.4
T Hunter 58 3.5 .327/.379/.385 5 11 (8) 14 / 3 / 0 / 0 50 78 82.5
V Wells 32 4.3 .214/.313/.500 4 6 (5) 2 / 2 / 0 / 2 46 79 144.9
E Aybar^ 53 3.2 .294/.340/.431 2 5 (4) 10 / 4 / 0 / 1 57 93 73.2
M Izturis^ 22 3.6 .333/.364/.333 1 3 (3) 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 48 84 109.0
K Morales^ 46 3.9 .209/.283/.395 3 10 (8) 5 / 2 / 0 / 2 47 75 96.1
M Trumbo 56 4.2 .196/.250/.255 4 21 (17) 9 / 0 / 0 / 1 49 69 91.2

Pffft, whatever. Remember when Albert Pujols had zero home runs in April? I do. I will stubbornly not forget that. From now (actually then) until either Pujols's time with Anaheim is finished or he gives me something even more funny to point at (doubtful), I will bring it up.

Mark Trumbo has been this bad for all of August, which thank god. The Angels totally do not deserve a player like Mike Trumbo becoming amazing so he better go on OPSing in a Mariners territory.

Hey, did you know that the Angels will pay Vernon Wells more, over the same time period, than the Mariners will pay to Felix Hernandez? Hahahaha, Angels.

MARINERS Δ Ms ANGELS EDGE
INFIELD 27.3 (3rd) 1.6 11.9 (9th) Mariners
OUTFIELD 22.6 (8th) 3.7 -3.7 (17th) Mariners
RBBIP 0.292 (1st) .001 0.302 (9th) Mariners
OVERALL 49.9 (2nd) 5.3 8.3 (13th) MARINERS
Explainer

Aside from the 10-run outburst, the defense did a swell job helping to keep the Twins off the scoreboard. Notably, the outfield defense got improved. One is tempted to attribute that to Franklin Gutierrez, but of course Franklin basically took over Michael Saunders' spot and Saunders is a competent center fielder. Also, there's no causation shown. But, it's reasonable to think Gutierrez's presence played a positive part.

Trayvon Robinson's defense seems better this time around as well.

31 AUG 19:10

KEVIN MILLWOOD DAN HAREN
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Kevin Millwood is on waivers right now so there is still a chance, remote, that he gets dealt before making this start. It might not mean all that much, but currently starting on the same schedule as Millwood -- and already on the 40-man roster -- is D.J. Mitchell.

01 SEP 13:05

FELIX HERNANDEZ ERVIN SANTANA
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No worries about Felix getting traded!

02 SEP 13:10

HISASHI IWAKUMA JERED WEAVER
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Mini opinion trawl: you're the Mariners' GM and knowing right now what you know, what's your limit on how much you give Hisashi Iwakuma to return next year?

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
J Kinney 42 72.2 4 75.3 8 (8) 48.3 0 66.1 0.9
T Wilhelmsen 35 57.4 7 82.7 6 (4) 45.5 1 85.4 2.6
C Capps 34 60.0 5 77.8 7 (6) 18.2 0 136.0 0.7
S Pryor 32 68.2 1 65.7 13 (11) 16.7 3 233.4 1.3
L Luetge* 32 61.9 5 77.4 4 (2) 39.1 1 111.8 0.7
O Perez* 30 66.2 2 77.8 7 (4) 33.3 0 81.3 1.2
C Furbush* 22 58.6 2 76.9 3 (3) 35.3 0 94.0 1.2

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]

Tom Wilhelmsen's struggles has now been officially upgraded to a Cascadian Depression. The control has seemingly abandoned him. Watching some of his last outings however, while he has clearly been worse at locating, he hasn't been completely all over the place. Many of his misses have been mere inches off the strike zone. The caution level is raised but not yet on alert.

Stephen Pryor is going to be our new Steve Delabar eh?

Reliever BF Str% nBB Ct% K(sw) GB% HR Qual- LI
J Williams 54 65.1 3 75.6 12 (11) 56.4 2 102.9 0.4
L Hawkins 46 61.0 3 81.0 9 (8) 44.1 3 159.3 0.9
K Jepsen 46 64.7 4 80.4 12 (6) 36.7 1 137.8 1.2
J Isringhausen 37 60.0 4 82.4 7 (6) 23.1 4 224.3 1.0
E Frieri 35 65.2 2 69.9 13 (9) 30.0 1 97.1 1.3
H Takahashi* 33 60.6 1 69.1 10 (8) 31.8 0 61.0 0.4

Hisanori Takahashi had been one of the few good relievers of late for the Angels but his innings have mostly been thrown away, used in the lowliest of circumstances and now he's a Pirate. Ernesto Frieri at least has been given over to higher leverage. The rest of the pen has been blech.

Series Drink: Hale's Cream Ale
I don't often venture to the English/Irish/Isles-style pub droughts or cream ales or whatever you choose to call them. They tend to taste rather similar to me, no matter the color, and present with a thin palate that couldn't quench the thirst of a drowning kitten. But among those, Hale's Cream Ale is a small outlier. It's not so thin and has some taste and importantly, is just a perfectly nice inoffensive beer and sometimes that's all you want.

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