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The Mariners have been known to occasionally take days off in the middle of the season. Being distinctly human myself, I also feel the need to take a break from time to time, so consider this one of those days. No extended recap for this one, so let's go right to the chart:

Biggest Contribution: Richie Sexson, +19.5%
Biggest Suckfest: Jeff Nelson, -26.9%
Most Important Hit: Sexson homer, +22.9%
Most Important Pitch: Ordonez walk, -20.9%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): +9.3%
Total Contribution by Hitters: +23.7%

(What is this?)

A few notes real quick:

Why Closers Are Overrated, Example 2345987236947823: JJ Putz getting Rondell White to ground out with two down and the bases loaded in the top of the seventh was twice as important as Eddie Guardado's entire inning.

That said, it says something about just how good Guardado has been this year when people claim that he "made things interesting" by walking one batter in the ninth.

Pat Borders would need eight consecutive home runs to reach an .800 OPS.

Adrian Beltre in July: .253/.287/.518
Adrian Beltre in 2004: .334/.388/.629
Net difference: -.081/-.101/-.111

That's a pretty consistent drop across the board; his walks are down a little bit, possibly because he's not hitting well enough to make a guy pitch around him, and his isolated power is down 10%, but the numbers are all within the same general range. (Hell, the .265 IsoP figure Beltre is sporting in July would still be good enough to rank 14th in baseball over the entire season.)

The point here is that, given the nature of batting average, these kinds of dips are not out of the question for any player. Sometimes he hits balls that drop in, and he puts up MVP numbers, and other times he hits balls that get caught, and he looks like Tony Batista. As one example, it happened to Pat Burrell - he looked great in 2002, lost a few singles and doubles and looked terrible in 2003, then split the difference and looked pretty good in 2004. It happens.

There are two reasons to be encouraged: one, Beltre's finally showing the same kind of power that he flashed a year ago, and two, check out how his July numbers stack up against his post-ASB splits from 2003:

This year: .253/.287/.518
2003: .257/.295/.506

(And we all know what he did the following season.)

It's entirely possible (probable?) that I'm reading too much into a three-week sample size, but even if I were to concede that point, it's easy to see that Beltre's swinging a power bat right now, and that's just a factual observation. We've seen him take some walks in June and slug the ball in July - here's to Beltre putting them together in August.

Ryan Franklin's walks are up 19% from last year, and his strikeouts are down 12%. This is approaching the point of statistical significance.

Joel Pineiro and Jason Johnson tomorrow night at 7:05pm.