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There's something appropriate about this series ending up 3-1 Seattle on the eve of the draft in which Kansas City will select first overall - while the Mariners haven't been real good for a real long time, it takes a special kind of suck to get to the top of the draft order year after year, and the way the Royals looked for much of this four-game set served as a striking reminder that the M's still have a long way to go before they get to experience that for themselves (again). Terrible hitting, worse pitching, defensive breakdowns, tactical miscues, getting throttled by Gil Meche...these are all symptomatic of a team that's much more efficient and effective at losing games than the hometown nine, and while you may think that it's better to be just bad instead of historically dreadful, any publicity is good publicity, and I can guarantee you that the Royals will get a lot more airtime this summer than the Mariners. So in that respect, kudos to Buddy Bell for squeezing every last drop out of his active roster, even if the results may not be encouraging in the "traditional" way. After all, on a scale centered at the origin, -10 is just as far away from zero as +10, so who are we to criticize the Royals for choosing their own direction? It takes a lot of effort and determination to be that consistently bad.

To the chart:

Biggest Contribution: Gil Meche, +29.1%
Biggest Suckfest: Adrian Beltre, -18.6%
Most Important Hit: Ibanez single, +15.1%
Most Important Pitch: Costa single, -12.4%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): +44.2%
Total Contribution by Hitters: +0.8%

(What is this?)

Kind of a fun game in terms of Win Probability Added, as the team was carried by four players - Meche, Raul Ibanez, Jose Lopez, and Rafael Soriano - who added up to +91.6% WPA, while the rest of the squad checked in at -46.6%. Where the win the other day was a total team effort, this was almost the complete opposite, with just a few guys shouldering the load for the entire roster. As the old adage goes, there's more than one way to skin the Royals.

Final score reported by 4-1 Mariners
Final score reported by Yahoo!: 4-3 Mariners
Final score reported by ESPN#1: 5-0 Royals
Final score reported by ESPN#2: 3-0 Royals

(As of ~10pm PDT)

In light of a few of his recent starts, I've decided that it's time to re-visit the criteria for a game in which Gil Meche "put everything together," because it's been happening a little too often of late, and we can't have that. As such, I present to you the following updated list, laid out in mathematical form:

  1. +3 points for every inning pitched
  2. +2 points for every strikeout
  3. +1 point for every groundball
  4. -1 point for every flyball
  5. -1 point for every hit allowed
  6. -2 points for every walk
  7. -2 points for every hit batsman
  8. -3 points for every run
  9. -5 points for every homer
  10. Add up total points
  11. Divide by zero if done as a Mariner
  12. If resulting value is an integer, Gil Meche has finally put everything together
A lot of cool stuff actually happened in this game, from Rafael Soriano's three strikeouts on 13 pitches to Jose Lopez's RBI double to Raul's perfect day at the plate to Richie Sexson only striking out once, but I need to rest up in preparation for tomorrow's draft coverage (after work, of course), so I'm going to go ahead and cut it off here. Which I can do, since I'm the one writing. If anything else stood out to you, let's hear about it.

Liriano and Felix again tomorrow at 7:05pm PDT. If that isn't enough to make you excited, just remember that less than twelve hours from now this system will have a shiny new #1 pitching prospect.