No, I'm not dead. I've just been out of town, and now my Internet isn't working at home, so I don't have any idea when things are going to be back to normal. But then I don't think "back to normal" is what anybody wants right now on account of holy crap 7-2
- 7-2! CoolStandings.com gives us a ~1-in-3 chance of making the playoffs, up from 1-in-9 at the beginning of the season. I'm not taking those numbers as gospel, and neither should you, but there's no arguing with the fact that we've put ourselves in a good position with this hot start. A three-game lead over second place means that, if you thought that we were three games worse than the Angels (or Rangers, or A's) in true talent at the start of the year, we're now essentially even. That's big. We knew it would be of vital importance for this team to play well out of the gate and take advantage of LAnaheim's injury problems, and that seems to be just what they're doing. Now we get to play the game where every time the Mariners lose we all look around at each other and wonder if that'll spell the end of the magic. Only 153 games left to go!
- 1% playoff odds for the Nationals. And Lastings Milledge is off to the minors. I wonder how long it'll be before the flyball pitching staff/exclusively high fastballs thrown/seven outfielders tactic becomes a reality.
- The Mariners have the lowest LD% as an offense and the third-lowest LD% as a pitching staff. With luck their inevitable regressions will cancel out, although it's worth noting that our offensive .296 BABIP is unlikely to go that much higher. Our .263 BABIP against is a testament to both the defense and the low rate of line drives allowed. That's going to come up - even the 2001 Mariners came in at .269 - but as long as Wakamatsu's good about keeping Griffey out of the outfield, it should remain pretty terrific. I'm looking for something in the .270s. Our outfield has an RZR of 1.000 and is +10 on plays out of zone, and that's pretty much all without Ichiro. This is like a team full of what Bill Bavasi thought Ramon Santiago was.
- The Mariners, as an offense, have the highest contact rate in baseball, at 84.6%. They're the highest on pitches both in the zone and out of it. Now Ichiro's back. Russell Branyan must feel like he's lost.
- We've also thrown the most fastballs as a pitching staff, leading the Dodgers 72.2% to 70.4%. Why? Just thank Carlos Silva, David Aardsma, Brandon Morrow, and Roy Corcoran, all of whom come in at north of 85%. We can only hope Felix walks around the clubhouse with blinders on.
- Our team FIP is 3.75, but that comes with a home run rate that's going to regress. Supporting what we already assumed to be true: the pitching staff is somewhere around average to a little better than that, but the defense will take us into the upper tiers of run prevention. It can only be taken as encouraging that Griffey's only played three games in the field despite our missing Ichiro for the first week. I don't care about the official excuses - be they the turf or his back or whatever - Wakamatsu's found reasons to keep Griffey off the field in the early part of the season, which bodes well for the later.