Mariners Can’t Catch Fish, Lose Six Straight

Week 3 Recap

Date Away Team Score Home Team Score Result
4/14 Mariners 7 Rangers 1 W
4/15 Mariners 0 Rangers 5 L
4/16 Mariners 2 Rangers 3 L
4/17 Mariners 6 Rangers 8 L
4/18 Mariners 4 Marlins 8 L
4/19 Mariners 0 Marlins 7 L
4/20 Mariners 2 Marlins 3 L

All puns aside, the Mariners had a terrible week. Being swept by the Marlins is never a good sign but throw in a few bullpen meltdowns and it felt down right hopeless. Tony Blengino wrote an excellent piece on FanGraphs about the Mariners and game strategy during this series.

It’s way too early to overreact to a six-game losing streak. With all of the boom or bust players on this roster, we knew this team would be up and down. Let’s just hope they’re up sooner rather than later.

Player Performances One of the features I’m including is a look at the recent player performances from the past two weeks. That small of a sample size will give us some pretty extreme data points. If you want to see the methodology behind these statistics, check out this page. The two tables below are the batting and pitching data from the last two weeks (4/7-20).

Batters

Name G AB 1B 2B 3B HR SB BB AVG OBP SLG BB% K% BABIP WAR
Corey Hart 9 34 5 3 0 3 0 4 0.324 0.410 0.676 10.3% 15.4% 0.320 0.6
Mike Zunino 9 32 6 2 0 2 0 1 0.313 0.333 0.563 3.0% 18.2% 0.333 0.4
Abraham Almonte 12 52 7 2 1 0 1 1 0.192 0.208 0.269 1.9% 37.7% 0.313 0.1
James Jones 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 0.0% 0.0% 1.000 0.1
John Buck 3 9 2 0 0 0 0 2 0.222 0.364 0.222 18.2% 18.2% 0.286 0.0
Michael Saunders 9 20 3 0 1 0 1 2 0.200 0.273 0.300 9.1% 27.3% 0.286 0.0
Nick Franklin 5 12 0 0 1 0 0 2 0.083 0.214 0.250 14.3% 35.7% 0.143 0.0
Willie Bloomquist 4 12 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.167 0.167 0.167 0.0% 16.7% 0.200 0.0
Brad Miller 12 44 5 1 0 1 0 2 0.159 0.229 0.250 4.2% 27.1% 0.200 -0.1
Dustin Ackley 11 37 7 3 0 0 0 1 0.270 0.282 0.351 2.6% 15.4% 0.313 -0.1
Kyle Seager 12 39 5 2 0 0 0 5 0.179 0.289 0.231 11.1% 17.8% 0.226 -0.1
Logan Morrison 4 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.143 0.143 0.143 0.0% 0.0% 0.143 -0.1
Justin Smoak 12 38 6 2 0 0 0 3 0.211 0.262 0.263 7.1% 23.8% 0.276 -0.2
Stefen Romero 7 12 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.083 0.154 0.083 0.0% 38.5% 0.143 -0.2
Robinson Cano 12 48 8 1 0 1 0 1 0.208 0.220 0.292 2.0% 10.0% 0.209 -0.3
  • Well, that was quick. Seattle recalled Nick Franklin from Triple-A Tacoma just three weeks into the season after he hit .395/.469/.744 in 11 games. He’s already seen time at second, shortstop, designated hitter, and even an inning at third base. I’d expect to see him in the lineup fairly regularly as Lloyd McClendon tries to squeeze every ounce of offense out of his roster.
  • Perhaps the Mariners were so quick to recall Franklin because Brad Miller has started this season in a serious funk. He has just two walks on the year and is striking out at a much higher rate than ever before. If we take a look at his plate discipline stats we can see where most of the problem lies:
Year O-Swing% Z-Swing% O-Contact% Z-Contact%
2013 31% 67% 65% 91%
2014 38% 63% 55% 86%
    Miller is swinging at more pitches outside the zone (O-Swing%) and isn’t making contact with them (O-Contact%). He’s swinging at everything he sees and isn’t making contact like he used to. In the zone, he’s swinging less and making contact less too. All of this leads to a huge spike in strikeout rate and a huge drop in walk rate. Miller has shown excellent plate discipline and pitch recognition in the past, I’m not sure why his approach has fallen apart so suddenly. During the first week of play, two of my friends asked me about Brad Miller. I told them he was going to be a superstar. Now, I’m not so sure.

Pitchers

Name IP G TBF SO K/9 BB BB/9 HR HR/9 BABIP ERA FIP pLI WAR
Felix Hernandez 14 2 53 20 12.86 1 0.64 0 0.00 0.258 1.93 0.65 0.8
Brandon Maurer 4 1 16 4 8.31 2 4.15 0 0.00 0.200 2.08 2.62 0.1
Roenis Elias 17 1/3 3 74 12 6.23 8 4.15 2 1.04 0.294 3.63 4.75 0.0
Chris Young 9 2 42 2 2.00 6 6.00 1 1.00 0.303 4.00 6.08 -0.1
James Paxton 5 1 19 4 7.20 0 0.00 2 3.60 0.154 5.40 6.68 -0.1
Blake Beavan 4 1 16 1 2.25 0 0.00 2 4.50 0.308 4.50 9.08 -0.2
Erasmo Ramirez 7 2 36 5 6.43 5 6.43 2 2.57 0.375 10.29 7.51 -0.2
Dominic Leone 8 2/3 5 33 8 8.31 3 3.12 0 0.00 0.227 1.04 2.27 1.1 0.2
Danny Farquhar 7 6 29 5 6.43 4 5.14 0 0.00 0.200 1.29 3.36 0.7 0.1
Fernando Rodney 3 2/3 4 20 6 14.73 3 7.36 0 0.00 0.455 2.45 2.26 2.5 0.1
Joe Beimel 6 2/3 6 30 6 8.10 4 5.40 0 0.00 0.316 2.70 3.53 0.8 0.0
Tom Wilhelmsen 4 5 22 3 6.23 4 8.31 0 0.00 0.267 8.31 4.46 1.4 0.0
Charlie Furbush 5 6 21 3 5.40 1 1.80 1 1.80 0.313 5.40 5.08 1.4 -0.1
Lucas Luetge 1 2 5 1 9.00 1 9.00 1 9.00 0.000 18.00 17.08 0.3 -0.1
Yoervis Medina 5 2/3 6 24 5 7.94 4 6.35 1 1.59 0.214 4.76 5.73 1.6 -0.1
  • With the injury to James Paxton, the Mariners need a fifth starter and called up Blake Beavan on Tuesday. He lasted just four innings and left with a shoulder issue. He was placed on the disabled list and the Mariners called up Brandon Maurer to start on Sunday. He actually looked decent in his four plus innings, striking out four while walking two. The Mariners are going to need him to carry his weight as Paxton will be sidelined for another month and who knows when Taijuan Walker will resume throwing. Hisashi Iwakuma is close to getting back but he hasn’t even started a rehab assignment yet. The Mariners aren’t out of the woods yet.
  • Three of the six loses last week were a direct result of bullpen meltdowns. Fernando Rodney (with an assist from Brad Miller), Tom Wilhelmsen, and Yoervis Medina were the culprits. I find it baffling that Danny Farquhar isn’t being called on in high leverage situations. He’s clearly got some of the best stuff in the pen but Lloyd McClendon has been hesitant to put him in, favoring Wilhelmsen and Medina instead. We’ll see what comes of it if Wilhelmsen and Medina keep blowing up.

AL West Standings

Team Win-Loss Win% Games Behind
Athletics 13-5 0.722
Rangers 11-8 0.579 2.5
Angels 8-10 0.444 5
Mariners 7-11 0.389 6
Astros 5-14 0.263 8.5

The Week Ahead

Date Away Team Probable Pitcher Home Team Probable Pitcher
4/21 Astros L Dallas Keuchel Mariners R Felix Hernandez
4/22 Astros R Collin McHugh Mariners R Erasmo Ramirez
4/23 Astros R Jarred Cosart Mariners R Chris Young
4/24
4/25 Rangers R Colby Lewis Mariners L Roenis Elias
4/26 Rangers L Robert Ross Mariners R Felix Hernandez
4/27 Rangers TBD Mariners R Brandon Maurer

Six games at home this week and two Felix Days. Let’s right this ship before it capsizes. I love puns.

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