Today is what yesterday felt like if you take out all the hope.
Biggest Contribution: Ichiro, +7.5%
Biggest Suckfest: Raul Ibanez, -18.5%
Most Important "Hit": Ibanez DP, -7.0%
Most Important Pitch: Kendall double, -19.9%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -15.1%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -42.2%
The hardest part of writing about a lousy, predictable team every day isn't watching them, but rather having to come up with fresh material on a regular basis (Thesaurus.com has a very limited collection of synonyms for "sucked"). Sometimes I get into a groove and hammer out a recap in no time, but far more often I spent an hour or two sitting here staring at the monitor, wondering what to say and why I even bother in the first place. After all, if the Mariners aren't going to try, why should I? There's a certain sense of accomplishment that comes out of writing a solid recap, but there's a way more tempting sense of accomplishment in just shutting down my laptop and getting some sleep, because the weekdays are long, the games are longer, and it's probably in my best interests to listen to my body more often when it tries to close my eyes instead of flooding it with mocha Frappuccinos. Oh, to be young again.
Here's what you need to know about tonight's contest - beginning with the third batter of the game, the Mariners forgot how to hit, and Joel Pineiro allowed as many or more runs than he had innings pitched for the fifth time in his last seven starts. If that isn't a clear enough indication of how it went, consider that Jake Woods tossed long relief out of the bullpen; the M's are now 3-13 when Woods makes an appearance (and 1-4 when he goes 3+ innings). It's also worth pointing out that exactly one Mariner player made a positive Win Probability Added contribution. In other words, we were one Ichiro away from having to give the "Biggest Contribution" label to a guy who actually hurt our chances of winning. That's...well, I don't know what that is, but it's not good, I can tell you that much.
-The Mariners have a team .298 BABIP this year, while the A's have a .295 BABIP against. However, against Oakland, Seattle's team value drops to .263 - about 34 points below what you'd expect - with 63 hits on 240 balls in play. Binomial probability tells us that there isn't a significant difference between .263 and .297 in a sample size of 240, but still, that's extraordinarily low, and lends some credence to the statement that the M's have been hitting a lot of line drives right at outfielders. And also that they suck.
-While we're on the subject, Mariner hitters have exactly one home run against Oakland pitching in 315 plate appearances.
-Joel Pineiro has fanned just 9.4% of the batters he's faced this year, with more walks/HBP's than strikeouts. He also has the highest line drive percentage of any starter in baseball. He's getting a few groundballs, but he still isn't fooling anyone. If I didn't know that Joel's only 27 years old, I'd say he has the statistical profile of a guy who's really, really close to burning out for good. There's a short list of guys less likely to get back to their old form than Adrian Beltre, but Joel's one of them.
-Yuniesky Betancourt has a higher slugging percentage than our everyday DH.
-Over his current eight-game hitting streak, Adrian Beltre's BA and OBP have improved by a combined five points.
Requisite "Frank Thomas is out of shape" joke of the day:
Frank Thomas went out for a jog and lost.
I have neither the energy nor the stamina to come up with anything else, so I'm just going to go collapse in bed. Tomorrow's a day game, with Jarrod Washburn going up against a colossal dumbass at 12:35pm PDT. Apparenty it's not going to be televised in the Seattle area. Now now, don't get too upset.