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Series Preview: Seattle Mariners @ Cleveland Indians

Seattle: 46-42
Cleveland: 35-54


-50.2 (28th)
28.0 (8th)
33.4 (2nd)
-23.5 (28th)
2.7 (13th) -19.1 (22nd)
-15.5 (27th) -26.3 (29th)
-29.6 -40.9

Resounding success from the series with Texas! Huzzah.

Wow, Cleveland has a lot worse record than I imagined, thanks totally to their run prevention. Yikes.

The Mariners defense climbs back up into the second spot in the league, behind only the Rays. They are being dragged down by their errors, which will keep traditionalists from recognizing their greatness. The Mariners are tops in range and double plays according to UZR measurements.



Game 1: Garrett Olson* vs. Cliff Lee*
Game 2: Felix Hernandez vs. Tomo Ohka
Game 3: Jarrod Washburn* vs. David Huff*
Game 4: Erik Bedard* vs. Aaron Laffey*

Lefites! Lefties! Lefties!

It is weird how a month ago that was good news for us. Now, with Langerhans and Hannahan and some Griffey resurgence, I am unsure. I would certainly prefer to see the first two out there on defense than Balentien and Woodward. And it would be nice for Branyan to get some righties to help reverse his luck this month. At least we might see a Chris Shelton DH start?

Cliff Lee has reverted back to the 2005 version. That is by no means bad, but is also by no means like last year. With a ball% sitting around 34%, Lee pounds the strike zone and manages to miss about an average number of bats. Lucky for him, the ground ball increase has carried over from 2008 and so has his flukey home run suppression, coming in at just 3.3% of all balls in the air, roughly half the league average.

Ohka, who spent all of 2008 in Triple-A, has a lot of issues with generating strikeouts. So far he sits even with eight strikeouts and walks a piece through 20.2 innings in the rotation. It is a sample size too small to draw much of a conclusion, but his pitch results and history suggest that he will not be missing many bats. His level of success depends heavily on how much he limits the walks. Ohka throws a bad fastball, a mediocre slider and an okay changeup.

David Huff's swinging strike rate has taken a predictable nosedive since arriving in Cleveland from Triple-A, down to a below average 5.7%. He has still managed to generate a decent amount of strikeouts thanks to a good changeup. Huff is vulnerable to being hit hard.

Laffey likes to throw fastballs about 3/4s of the time and he will alternate with a slider and change at times. His fastball sits around 87 so it should come to no surprise that Laffey does not miss bats and consequently has to work outside the zone a lot. His totals this year as a starter include 17 walks to just 11 strikeouts. Laffey's calling card is ground balls. The Mariners should try to be patient and work themselves into more favorable counts forcing Laffey to either walk them or come up higher in the zone.


Sour Fest