Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Brilliant Analysis

Off Mariner topic, Scott Kazmir took an ugly loss today - a combination of bad location, several infield singles and bloopers, and a few well hit balls. Not his best day, but not a total disaster if you're Scott Kazmir. Anyway... reading some analysis over at CBS, one of their truly intuitive interns gave us this tidbit about Kaz:

"If he can ever become as dominant a lefty as Johan Santana, the sky is the limit."

Really? I mean, really? So if Jason Kubel can ever hit like Albert Pujols, the sky is the limit. If Carlos Silva can ever be as dominant as Roy Halladay, the sky is the limit. If I can ever solve the Riemann hypothesis, the sky is the limit.

Peas and rice - people pay for this advice! It just never ceases to amaze me when you read something so totally asinine that it makes you scream out loud like you just slammed your thumb in the car door of your SUV.

M's Avoid Swine Flu

The only thing that can possibly add up to a 2-1 loss facing Bartolo Colon is that they thought he was the grand master of all bacon, the King Pig himself, and they ran from his pitches like it was literally the plague in fear of swine flu. It would also explain why the hardest hit ball was by Rob Johnson, who - let's face it - is never going to be a charter member of Mensa.

But credit where credit is due - Jackabauskus pitched fantastic. Either that, or the White Sox really made his mediocre stuff look fantastic. Dude has a wicked curveball though - and he can pepper in a well located low-90's fastball. If I'm Rowland-Smith, I'm looking around for a pipe to Kerrigan that kid's ass.

Oh, and Felix is just ridiculously good. That game was over by the end of the second inning.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thoughts on the Offense.

So the M's are hitting .241 as a team. They're 25th out of 30 teams. Their team OBP is .293. That's DFL, folks. Worst in the league. With an OPS of .645, their team line is starting to resemble an entire lineup of Jose Vidro's.

The offense has been horrible, not even living up to the very lowest of expectations.

Here's a reason to be pessimistic: The pitching is going to regress.

The bullpen has held opposing batters to a .218 AVG, good for 5th in the league and not sustainable at all. They've stranded 76% of base runners, which isn't ridiculous, but probably not sustainable. The fact remains that we have Felix and Bedard as co-#1 starters, and then we have a #5 in Washburn, and nothing else. We simply can't rely on our two-headed monster to go out there and throw gem after gem. They're going to lose some games. And no, we can't expect that Washburn will be good. He's not.

But here's a reason to be optimistic: We're 10-6. Dumb luck? Perhaps. Amazing individual pitching contributions? Yes. Fantastic defense? Assuredly.

But the horrible offense is really why we can get excited.

Do you really believe, in your heart of hearts, that Ken Griffey is going to hit .171 all year? That Beltre will hit .164? That Lopez will hit .196? Gutierrez .191? Save for the hot start by Endy Chavez, the best, it would seem, is yet to come from this offense.

Projections put Griffey in the .245 BA range with a wOBA around .338-.340.
Projections put Beltre in the .265-.275 range with a wOBA around .340
Projections have Lopez in the .280-.285 range with wOBA around .320
Projections have Gutierrez at .265-ish with wOBA around .320

Point is - the hits are coming. These four will regress to their collective means - by and large the heart of the lineup has yet to realize the season has begun. All the while, the pitching has picked up the slack and stuck them smack dab in first place.

So yeah, the pitching has performed above their abilities. The offense has performed below. When the two start to regress, that's when the proverbial rubber will meet the road and we'll see just what kind of team we've got.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I'm not a first baseman.

What the hell?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Note to GMZ

Trade Jarrod Washburn now.


His numbers look ridiculous. 1.71 ERA, 14 hits over 21 IP. 4 walks and 17K's. He struck out 9 tonight. He's the second coming of a 1997 Randy Johnson. His numbers will NEVER LOOK BETTER THAN THEY DO TODAY FOR THE REMAINDER OF HUMAN EXISTENCE.

You know how many times he's struck out more than 9 in the last 7 years? Once. You know how good Washburn really is? Not very. Now go out and fool someone, Z.

You know who looks pretty pitching starved right now is the Yankees... maybe we can right a wrong from about a year ago and get rid of this brutal contract while the gettin is good.

Friday, April 17, 2009

God Given

Talent, that is.

Was it just me, or did it seem like Brandon Morrow was just a little bit pissed off tonight? I'm sure the traditional media will say he was "focused" or "amped" or "pumped up". But from my seat, he looked downright pissed off. Like he'd just had it with his inconsistency. He'd had enough of worrying about his role with this team. Like he realized what gold he's got in that arm and he just blew three batters away.

They didn't have a chance.

He looked like a bona fide stopper.

Now, I realize his value is in the rotation and just about anyone can save 30 games. But regardless, it was a pretty welcome sight to see him come out of the bullpen with a sneer on his face and multiple 100 mph fastballs flying out of his hand. Check the graph, courtesy of Brooks Baseball and Pitch FX - he lived at 98+ save for one pretty wicked slider at 89. Go check out the rest of their awesome graphs to see that he peppered the strike zone with all but one pitch.

I'm no smart-guy-prognosticator, but if this is to be his role this year - then let's let it be this freaking bad ass and perhaps we can build his confidence, come up with a plan for his diabetes, and see if we can translate some of this success into the rotation in the future. But hey, I digress...

Brandon Morrow is a unique talent - and tonight, he just gave a big middle finger to the Tigers. It was an awesome sight.

8-3! Viva Mariners!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What is stranger:

The Seattle Mariners start the season 7-2.

Someone named Jakubauskas is starting today.

Someone actually won that ridiculous "7 in the 7th" contest last night.

Shawn Kelley is looking a hell of a lot like JJ Putz.

Endy Chavez and Ichiro both go yard in the same game. Their combined weight probably isn't even as much as Silva weighs after 4 days on a treadmill.

Adrian Beltre appealed his own check swing for the second night in a row.

That Manager Cecil Cooper wants to monitor the playing time of Kaz Matsui because of his stints on the DL last year due to anal fissures.

Funny thing is, it's all true. Viva Mariners.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Holy Shit

So, it seemed to me that the Mariners tried in every way to give this game away and yet, somehow the California-Anaheim-LA halo-angel-scioscia-babies seemed to just not want to win this game. It was the weird kind of crap that used to happen during the 116 win season where you just couldn't believe the M's pulled out a victory.

Beltre even appealed his own check swing again and lost.

I was watching the 10th inning at a pub, two beers in, and actually muttered to my 8-month pregnant, very uninterested and irritated wife, "what do you want to bet they lay down a bunt here and Shields launches it into right field."

She asked me, "why would he want to throw the ball to the right fielder?"

I bought 20 lottery tickets on the way home.

You know what, this team could play .500 ball for the rest of the year and they would still be in the hunt for the playoffs. Now that's something to celebrate. What a great start for a bunch of players I can't believe are in the lineup night in and night out.

Viva Mariners.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Moving On From Morrow Mess

It's too easy to fuel the fire this morning about Brandon Morrow's unfortunately choice to spend his career in the bullpen when his team desperately needs starting pitching. Calmer heads will focus on an unfortunate game that left an all-to-familiar bad taste in the mouths of Mariner fans. With 2 outs and nobody on base, and a 2 run lead, Morrow threw pitch after pitch off the plate in the same location. With no ability to make an adjustment, and no advice from his backstop or dugout that helped, 3 walks in a row and his night and the game fell apart. That is done, and we move on.

Two valuable lessons should be learned from last night:
1. When you have a young starter turned reliever who missed time due to injury and recently had command issues, you don't send him out on an island to fail. Simply put, someone should have been warming up in the bullpen. There is a show of confidence that managers have with established closers that keep them from warming someone up while they are on the hill in the 9th. Morrow has not earned this show of confidence. In addition, ALL of the Mariner arms are rested and ready to go, yet they sat in the bullpen as Morrow gave the game away. Batista didn't help the situation, but by the time Batista came in things were already out of control. Bring him in with runners on 1st and 2nd instead of the bases juiced and it probably would have been a different story.

2. Chuck Meriwether was horrible. He is to blame for the Mariner loss as much as Morrow and Batista.

From the Seattle Times: Bedard gave three runs back in the fifth — two on
Michael Cuddyer's two-out single after plate umpire Chuck Meriwether failed
to call a third strike on a 2-2 pitch down the middle.

Is anyone else tired of seeing pitches thrown belt-high or slightly above called balls? The vertical portion of the strike zone was around 12 inches tall at times last night, while balls off the plate were called strikes. Umpires like Meriwether are calling the game incorrectly. In this case it let the Twins back into the game.

(Photo: AP/Seattle Times)