At least someone gets it:
"We all make errors. I make errors," he said. "Instead of picking him up, I gave up two runs and made his day terrible because of it. It got away from me."
The Mariners didn't lose because of Mike Morse - they lost because Gil Meche followed up the error with some costly pitches of his own, and the offense couldn't rally back from the defecit.
How important was that error? Let's go by the trusty Win Expectancy numbers:
Morse error: -3.5%
Crisp single: -8.6%
Peralta single: -10.4%
Martinez single: -14.3%
Put another way, the entire team added up to a -0.481 win probability added rating; Morse's error accounted for just 7.3% of that. Six different players proved more costly on the day than the throwing miscue.
Why am I harping on this? Two reasons - one, I'm sick of hearing people say "so-and-so cost us the game with his error," because it's often not the case, and two, because I couldn't think of any other introduction.
To the chart:
Biggest Contribution: Randy Winn, +18.3%
Biggest Suckfest: Chris Snelling, -27.0%
Most Important Hit: Snelling groundout, -27.0%
Most Important Pitch: Martinez single, -14.3%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -13.7%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -34.4%
Boy, did Chris Snelling make his presence known in one plate appearance - with men on second and third and two down in the ninth, the Mariners had better than a one-in-four shot at winning the game, but Snelling grounded out to end it. That it was such an important play - nearly twice as important as anything else that happened in the game - should tell you a little something about how nervous Cleveland fans must've been at the time, and how relieved they were afterwards. Say what you will about Eddie Guardado, but I don't think I could stand having a closer like Bob Wickman, who seems to get himself into trouble before nailing the door shut more often than not.
Gil Meche has made 20 starts this year and walked as many or more batters than he's struck out in nine of them. So, you can imagine how surprised I was when he fanned six times as many guys as he walked over seven innings today. Of course, that pesky home run problem had to come up to bite him in the ass to ruin his outing, since God has ordained that nobody may ever see Gil Meche put everything together in a single start, ever, but I'm more comfortable with a few longballs than I am with a persistent inability to hit the strike zone.
Calculating the odds of Meche "putting everything together" in a single start, based on his '03-'05 line scores:
Odds of allowing zero homers: 45.3%
Odds of allowing two or fewer runs: 36.0%
Odds of striking out 6+ hitters: 24.0%
Odds of walking 2 or fewer hitters: 62.7%
Odds of allowing fewer hits than IP: 48.0%
Odds of lasting 7+ innings: 32.0%
Odds of all these happening in the same game: 0.38%
So, one time per 263 starts, or roughly once every eight years, Gil Meche will toss an absolute gem, prompting several fans to declare that Meche has finally realized his true potential and become the #1 pitcher they always knew he'd be. The last time it happened was June 15th, 2003, so, based on the odds, we've got another six years before he does it again. I gotta say, the people in Meche's corner are nothing if not fiercely loyal.
It's been an unfortunate few days for Adrian Beltre - in the last two games, his BA has dropped below .260, his OBP below .300, and his SLG below .400. He's one for his last 14, which doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, but seems to indicate that he's cooled off a bit after that insane hot streak. Because I know it's going to be a major issue during Beltre's stay in Seattle, I want to say this now: hitters like Beltre, no matter how good they are, are going to go through their unproductive slumps during which they contribute absolutely nothing at the plate. When I say "hitters like Beltre," I mean guys who prefer to swing at strikes, as opposed to those who like to get deeper in the count and draw some walks. Another way to think of it is that, while guys' swings can go into slumps, their patience doesn't, so guys who walk a lot (say, Adam Dunn) can still get on base a little bit when they're swinging a cold stick. Guys who don't walk a lot just have to swing themselves out of it, so to speak. Whether or not Beltre turns into an All Star third baseman in Seattle has yet to be seen, but even if he does, these little slumps are going to happen, and he's all but guaranteed to get himself labeled as a streaky player.
Miguel Olivo is also a streaky player, in that he'll interrupt his routine groundouts and infield pop-ups with randomly distributed strikeout flurries. Just as with Beltre, we just have to wait for him to fight himself out of it and return to his usual suckass productivity.
Randy Winn's last seven games: .370/.370/.556. July has actually always been his best month, with an .840 OPS that puts all his other months to shame. You think he knows that he's perennial trade bait?
That's all I've got today. Aaron Sele and Kevin Millwood tomorrow morning at 10:05am.