Did you know that the Mariners currently have the largest positive difference between actual record and Pythagorean record in baseball? Yeah, it's starting to feel like it.
(AP photos aren't working properly tonight)
- Another turn through the rotation, another unimpressive start for Ian Snell. Once again he struggled to throw consistent strikes, recording just 54 out of 100 pitches, and for all the talk about how he's blessed with good stuff, there's no evidence in his strikeouts or missed bats. Since coming over from Pittsburgh, he's struck out just 11% of the batters he's faced and allowed an 86% contact rate, putting him with other notable hard-throwers like Jamie Moyer and Jon Garland. It's obvious that he does have good stuff, and by and large it's the same stuff that made him so good a few years ago, but so far the batters haven't seen it as good stuff, with the result being that Snell's really struggled. This is Gil Meche at his headcasiest, and it's not easy to watch.
With the season winding down and Snell having so much trouble getting into a groove, I'm wondering if it wouldn't be in everyone's best interests to shut him down for the year as far as game action is concerned and just work with him in the bullpen. You can only do so much with a guy on a regular turn, and when you have someone like Snell who has to be working on so many different things, you run the risk of him reverting to what's comfortable during a game and negating any prior progress. We've seen that Snell hasn't really learned to point his lead foot towards home plate yet, and that can't be the only thing they're trying, so I'm thinking it might be best to get him into a supportive, relaxed, and instructional environment, where he and the coaches can work on getting things submitted to muscle memory without dealing with the stress and occasionally negative feedback of a game.
I can't imagine that Snell got a lot out of tonight's game. Did he string some outs together? Sure he did, but will he be better for it? I'm skeptical. The team should consider another avenue with this particular reclamation project. Most pitchers likely benefit more from game action than from work in the bullpen, but most pitchers aren't Ian Snell, and if anyone should require a little more of a private school approach, it's probably someone like this.
- There are two things I love about this:
For one, two innings earlier Beltre got robbed by a diving Chone Figgins on one of them hybrid line drive ground balls. That he made an out on a ball like that and then doubled on what goes in the books as a pop up to the first baseman is precisely why results-based analysis is a dance with the Devil.
For two, my favorite coaching visits are the coaching visits after something like this or an error.
Coach: That was a bad break.
Coach: So uh
Coach: :gently slaps thighs:
Coach: So just keep doing what you're doing.
Pitcher: well no shit
Sometimes the pitcher will get pulled in these visits, as if the error or bad break were the last straw. Those are the best of the best.
- Ian Snell hasn't been good. Jack Wilson hasn't been good. Bill Hall hasn't been good. Ronny Cedeno is playing well. Wladimir Balentien is playing well. The NL Central is the worst division ever.
- The AL average BB/K ratio for hitters is 0.50. The Mariners are at 0.39 on the season and 0.31 since July 23rd. July 22nd was the last time we walked five times in a game. Tonight the Angels drew five walks in 5.1 innings.
- In hey-I-bet-you-kind-of-forgot-about-him-there-for-a-little-while news, so far in 2009 Kenji Johjima has hit as well as Matt Wieters. This can be interpreted in two very different ways. It's a shame about his unfortunate salary and reputation, because the truth of the matter is that Kenji isn't a bad player, and if this team had a must-win game tomorrow, it's still an open argument as to which catcher they'd be better off selecting.