Okay, so I was lying about today being the return to full recaps, but it's not every day that you get three hours of sleep and put your shoulder through a wall. A Lightning Round Wrap-Up will have to suffice, although maybe it's better that way anyway, since having a job prevents me from being able to watch 11 o'clock baseball games and it doesn't make much sense to try and write at length about a game I didn't watch.
Biggest Contribution: Raul Ibanez, +23.9%
Biggest Suckfest: Tie! Willie Ballgame, Kenji Johjima, -3.8%
Most Important Hit: Ibanez homer, +15.6%
Most Important Pitch: Matthews grand slam, -19.1%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): +3.9%
Total Contribution by Hitters: +44.3%
- Depending on your perspective, this was either a satisfying beatdown of a division rival or the most bittersweet of victories. On the one hand, the Mariners are only six games out of first despite totally sucking, which is practically unfathomable, but on the other, Mike Hargrove is unlikely to be fired after a win, much less several wins, since the Royals shouldn't pose much of a challenge. I think those are pretty much the only two stances people have on the team right now.
- ...of course, you can't ever be sure; I haven't bothered to check, since I wouldn't know where to start, but I'm sure managers have been fired after wins before, and I'm sure it'll happen again in the future. We're at the point where one game really shouldn't make any difference on how the manager is viewed by the organization, especially a game that was only watchable because the M's strung together another one of their patented weakass 17-single onslaughts. It seems unlike the Mariners to make that kind of move at a time like this, but if ever there was a team in need of a total shakeup, this is it.
- ...no, I don't know if firing Mike Hargrove will help the ballclub, but I think the odds are pretty slim that they come out looking worse, so in that respect, yes, I'm looking forward to Grover's termination. I'm beyond sick of his act.
- My archived MLB.tv feed isn't working, so I can't check up on how Felix was mixing his pitches (I'll leave that to David Cameron), but I think it comes to absolutely no one's surprise that Matthews' grand slam came on a fastball. The more I see that happen, the more I think that Felix's crazy home-run-per-outfield-fly-ball percentage is less a factor of luck and more a factor of guys knowing with 100% certainty what's coming and gearing up for a powerful swing. It should still even out over time, only for different reasons than usual, and ones that we've gotten into time and time again after seemingly every Felix start this season.
- Felix is the only pitcher in baseball to have allowed more than one grand slam on the season (there were 23 such pitchers a year ago). The Mariners as a team have allowed six, also the highest total in the league. There's no real reason for this to be the case - they're not a disproportionately fly ball-oriented pitching staff, nor have they had more bases loaded situations than anyone else - but it's interesting nonetheless. Good to see them leading the league in something.
- In six innings since coming off the DL, Julio Mateo has fanned seven hitters while walking just one. More importantly, his velocity has been up around 91-92, where a month and a half ago he was hovering in the high 80's. With his shoulder soreness seemingly behind him, Mateo should spend the rest of the season as a moderately effective middle reliever capable of preventing Jake Woods from allowing more nine-run innings.
- Kenji Johjima's current batting line: .274/.330/.405. Quick and dirty offseason "projection": .270/.319/.413. I thought it was a little pessimistic at the time, but as of right now, it's not looking too bad.
- The Mariners don't have a single player with an OPS above .800 (Mike Morse doesn't count). Just putting that out there...
BB% 8.1 6.7
K% 14.5 20.6
1B% 60.0 80.4
GB/FB 1.02 1.33
HR/FB 23.1% 3.8%
The Adrian Beltre that we paid for is gone, replaced by a completely different type of hitter. Get used to it.
Off day tomorrow, getting ready for a four-game set against Kansas City in Seattle. Jamie Moyer will go up against some guy I've never heard of Friday night at 7:05pm PDT.