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Series Preview: Oakland Athletics @ Seattle Mariners

-14.0 (26th) 4.5 -10.5 (22nd) Oakland
4.8 (9th) -1.4 18.5 (2nd) Oakland
1.1 (16th) 0.4 -1.0 (19th) Seattle
-8.1 (19th) 3.6 7.0 (9th) OAKLAND

Josh Lueke seems broken. The troubling lack of zip on the fastball is a warning flag, but that honestly could have any number* of causes and some of those are minor and no cause for alarm. What worries me more is the horrific control and so far (small sample) dearth of ground balls. Lueke profiled as a high-strikeout, low-walk, medium-ground ball guy and so far he's been average-strikeout, high-walk, low-ground ball. It's a toss-up between Lueke and Erik Bedard for biggest pitching disappointment this season.

*Except four. It does not have four causes. Three? Sure. Five? It's a possibility. But not four.

Speaking of disappointments, Jack Cust went to the plate 15 times against the Tigers. He struck out five times and walked in four. We knew Jack Cust was a three-true-outcome guy. We just didn't know that the home run outcome had been replaced with a single to right field outcome.

The Oakland rotation is good, our hitters are not and it's not supposed to rain until Sunday. I might spend this series frolicking rather than watching.

Thu 21 April 19:10


Jeff already spent a lot of words writing about Brandon McCarthy so go read his. You can pretend they're mine if you need to. I have probably wrote all of those words at some point so really Jeff is just plagiarizing me. What an asshole.

Felix Hernandez only had two starts in which he did not make it at least six innings last season. Coincidentally, they were back to back at the start of May, right when the 2010 Mariners took their runs and went home for the year. Felix's last outing was not as bad as either of those two and he easily could have reached that six inning mark if there had been a need. He only threw 90 pitches through five innings, but the game was gone and I think it was a fine decision not to push Felix just for the sake of one more inning. 

Fri 22 April 19:10


The Athletic hitters are stingy swingers, even moreso than the Mariners are. That might not work so well against Michael Pineda and his strike throwing ways. By all means, Oakland, take strikes. And if you do swing, and if you do make contact, maybe hit some on the ground? Tyson Ross meanwhile is yet another reliever turned spot starter and so who knows with the pitch graph. The above are his relief grades. Ross is stepping in for the fatigued Dallas Braden which could not be more uninteresting. 

Sat 23 April 18:10


Jason Vargas has started off the season in a good way, raising his strikeouts and ground balls and reducing his walks. That is the sort of progress that will see your xFIP drop from 4.60 to 3.42. Will it hold up? Yes and no. Vargas is missing fewer bats and throwing more balls so that seems like uh-ohs on the strikeout and walk front. The ground balls might be real though. All that plus "is what you're doing right now about to kill you?" at eleven. 

Trevor Cahill is known for the sort of start he had against us in the opening series of the season. Lots of ground balls and walks with a few* strikeouts sprinkled in. His third start of the season was of a similar nature in Chicago. Alternating between those two however has been a no-walk, seven-k outing at Toronto and a no-walk, nine-k start against Detroit. Time for some more walksies, Trevor. Please? It's not like we're going to be able to do anything else.

*Okay, eight is more than a few. That was, at the time, a seeming outlier

Sun 24 April 13:10


Brett Anderson is really good and lately he's been missing bats. He's also the only lefty that we will be facing and in the only day game and you know what that means! Bastard lineup, ahoy! Jeff is probably going to cover some ground on Doug Fister's rising curve ball usage. He will again probably use words that I have written previously at some point. So feel free to copy and paste my entire internet archive into a word jumble and just read that instead.