Bats Have Come To Life
Very interesting how things can change for a team from series to series.
In one instance you’re having a perfect game thrown against you in the process of being swept by the Chicago White Sox and in the very next series, you’re the doing all the damage against the Detroit Tigers.
It’s the part of baseball that fans (as well as .500 teams) can enjoy because these offensive series’ are few and far in between.
It’s because most of those teams have one thing in common with their lineups, they have trouble consistently scoring runs. In the context of 162 games, it has the potential for a very long season.
Not the Seattle Mariners though
Not by a long shot, or at least not by the standards in which Seattle Mariners fans hold them to. The series against the Tigers didn’t happen by accident. It’s not like they stumbled into the series in dire need of producing runs in the manner in which they did.
They were already scoring enough runs to wins the games they played. I’ll repeat that again so everyone can understand me. They scored enough runs to win the games they’ve played.
I know it’s incredibly hard to understand because people are trained to see what they want to see and considering they were 3-6 from April 13th to Sunday April 22nd, most notably the perfect game to Phil Humber, people watching this team are having a hard time seeing the forest through the trees.
Here is something you may not have known, the Mariners offense scored 29 runs (3.2 runs per game) in those 9 games.
They received a 4.84 ERA from the rotation in those three series, and a 4.36 ERA in the other three series’.
If you break it down even further, through 5 starts this season Felix Hernandez has a 2.75 ERA while Jason Vargas has a 3.83 ERA. If you combine the two, you have an ERA of 3.25 compared to the 7.55 ERA between Blake Beavan, Hector Noesi, and Kevin Millwood (to be fair though, Blake Beavan has been effective in his three starts with a 3.62 ERA).
This suggests that in 10 starts the Mariners offense, given their offensive output, has given Felix Hernandez and Jason Vargas enough runs to win their ball games, while Hector Noesi and Kevin Millwood have either squandered their leads or have placed the bullpen in a situation to blow a lead.
When you add in the numbers from the Detroit series, the Mariners have scored 50 runs in 12 games (4.1 runs per game).
The Mariners never benefited from a 12-game stretch last season that matched the recent offensive output they are currently enjoying.
Remember when they swept Detroit in Comerica Park that ignited a month and a half run that pulled the Mariners within 2 games of first place?
Even then the Mariners never came came within 15 runs of the 50 they have scored at any point during that stretch or during any point last season.
So the Mariners are hitting?
Yes and no.
They are scoring runs and in the recent series in Detroit they did an outstanding job of hitting with with two outs and with runners in scoring position.
Could they be doing better than the .240/.291/.365/.656?
Of course, but the lineup is getting good production from Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager, Alex Liddi, and Ichiro Suzuki, which is important to highlight considering Chone Figgins, Justin Smoak, and Miguel Olivo‘s bats are still missing in action.
That gets people excited (seeing the secondary hitters producing) because when Justin Smoak‘s bat eventually does come around, imagine what that production will look like?
It simply boggles the mind to see this team at 10-10. (11-10 after last night)
They should’ve swept Cleveland and their record should say 12-8, 3 games out of first place. Unfortunately, the Mariners haven’t pitched well enough to get that record.
The one strength everyone perceives we have has actually performed poorly. Even in the Detroit series the rotation gave up 9 earned runs and an ERA of 4.50, and if it wasn’t for a lights out performance by the bullpen, we probably would’ve lost 2 of 3.
Here is the one thing we need to realize about this team
We are hitting well enough to win games. That shouldn’t be a concern because as soon as the season really gets into the bulk of the schedule, the lineup should be getting one full run more then the 4.05 runs per game they are currently getting.
What should be concerning you is the pitching staff because they haven’t been productive.
Hector Noesi and Kevin Millwood have been huge black eyes to the rotation thus far, and the bullpen has been shaky at best.
If this team has any desire for .500 dreams, EricD Wedge and Carl Willis better figure out a good contingency plan for Kevin Millwood. You can have one pitcher in your rotation trying to figure things out performing with a high ERA, but you cannot have two.
We are getting very close to May and that means the “it’s still early” excuse is coming to an end. It’s one thing to single out Miguel Olivo for his lack of production, which is fair, but it’s another thing not to throw Kevin Millwood’s name into the same hat.
To each is own, but if you’re paying attention to this team, the offense is not the problem most people assume it is.