Mariners Winning!? Yes They Are!

Week 10 Recap

Date Away Team Score Home Team Score Result
6/2 Mariners 10 Yankees 2 W
6/3 Mariners 7 Braves 5 W
6/4 Mariners 2 Braves 0 W
6/5
6/6 Mariners 0 Rays 4 L
6/7 Mariners 7 Rays 4 W
6/8 Mariners 5 Rays 0 W

If the season ended today, the Seattle Mariners would be participating in a one game Wild Card playoff against the California Anaheim Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Los Angeles. We’re into mid-June and the Mariners are playing playoff caliber baseball. The last time we we’re this many games over .500 at this point in the season was 2007. That team featured Jose Vidro, Jose Guillen, Yunieski Betancourt, Miguel Batista, and Jeff Weaver. It was also a year before Bill Bavasi was fired and the “success” of the team in 2007 led to a number of failed decisions in 2008 (one name, Bedard). Who knows if 2014 will be Jack Zdurencik’s version of 2007. Maybe this will be the start of a long and healthy run of success for the Mariners. Maybe it’s all a mirage and we’re going to come crashing down in July and August. All I know is that the Mariners are winning and its been really fun to watch.

  • According to FanGraphs, the Mariners playoff odds sit just over 33%. 1 in 3? Sounds good to me!
  • The only two current Mariners who were on that 2007 team: Felix Hernandez and Willie Bloomquist. We’ve come so far.
  • The Mariners rode a 5 game winning streak until losing on Friday. Those five wins were against the Tigers, Yankees, and Braves, all competitive teams with playoff aspirations. After the single loss on Friday, we beat the Rays twice in a row over the weekend.

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 (5/26-6/8).

Batters

Name G AB 1B 2B 3B HR SB BB AVG OBP SLG BB% K% BABIP WAR
Michael Saunders 9 29 5 2 1 2 0 3 0.345 0.394 0.690 9.1% 27.3% 0.421 0.6
Cole Gillespie 8 18 7 1 0 1 1 1 0.500 0.526 0.722 5.3% 26.3% 0.667 0.5
Brad Miller 10 30 6 0 1 1 1 5 0.267 0.371 0.433 13.9% 30.6% 0.389 0.4
Kyle Seager 13 53 6 3 2 3 0 3 0.264 0.304 0.566 5.4% 17.9% 0.275 0.4
Robinson Cano 9 38 13 1 0 0 2 3 0.368 0.429 0.395 7.1% 9.5% 0.412 0.3
Willie Bloomquist 6 19 6 2 0 0 0 2 0.421 0.476 0.526 9.5% 19.0% 0.533 0.3
John Buck 4 13 3 0 0 1 0 1 0.308 0.357 0.538 7.1% 21.4% 0.333 0.2
Stefen Romero 7 21 4 0 1 1 0 0 0.286 0.318 0.524 0.0% 31.8% 0.385 0.1
Endy Chavez 8 30 5 3 0 0 0 0 0.267 0.258 0.367 0.0% 3.0% 0.267 0.0
Mike Zunino 11 39 4 1 0 1 0 2 0.154 0.250 0.256 4.5% 29.5% 0.200 0.0
James Jones 13 47 10 1 1 0 3 0 0.255 0.255 0.319 0.0% 25.0% 0.343 -0.1
Dustin Ackley 11 39 5 2 0 0 2 2 0.179 0.220 0.231 4.9% 19.5% 0.226 -0.2
Nick Franklin 6 21 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.095 0.095 0.095 0.0% 47.6% 0.182 -0.2
Justin Smoak 13 37 3 0 0 1 0 6 0.108 0.233 0.189 14.0% 34.9% 0.143 -0.3
  • I feel like I’ve written about the same few players over and over again in these recaps, Brad Miller, Mike Zunino, Robinson Cano, etc. These are players who’s success is directly related to the success of the entire team. They also happen to be some of my favorite players. So today, instead of talking about one of these three, I’m going to check in on someone I haven’t talked about since last year, Justin Smoak. He’s just as important to the success of this team as those three I listed above but his performance this season has gone rather unnoticed behind the failings (flailings) of Miller and Franklin. Smoak has not had a good season. He may have started out strong in April but he fell back to his norms in May. This month, the wheels have fallen off. He has just one hit in June and has been recently dealing with a hamstring injury that has forced him to miss the last few games. Overall, this season’s batting line would be a new low for him, .208/.282/.361. I know he’s probably slipped your mind but Jesus Montero is currently hitting .271/.339/.457 in Triple-A Tacoma. Jus’ sayin’.
  • Robinson Cano still only has two home runs. He’s in the top 5 in the league in batting average. I don’t know what to feel regarding these two facts.

Pitchers

Name IP G TBF SO K/9 BB BB/9 HR HR/9 BABIP ERA FIP gmLI WAR
Felix Hernandez 22 2/3 3 83 32 12.71 3 1.19 0 0.00 0.333 1.19 0.65 1.4
Roenis Elias 23 3 89 18 7.04 4 1.57 2 0.78 0.222 3.52 3.43 0.5
Chris Young 17 1/3 3 73 14 7.27 10 5.19 2 1.04 0.213 3.12 4.69 0.2
Hisashi Iwakuma 13 2 52 12 8.31 2 1.38 2 1.38 0.333 3.46 3.69 0.2
Brandon Maurer 4 1 22 2 4.50 4 9.00 1 2.25 0.333 11.25 8.33 -0.1
Erasmo Ramirez 3 1 18 4 12.00 1 3.00 2 6.00 0.545 15.00 10.08 -0.2
Dominic Leone 5 2/3 5 24 7 11.12 2 3.18 0 0.00 0.333 1.59 1.67 1.1 0.2
Fernando Rodney 5 6 18 6 10.13 1 1.69 0 0.00 0.182 0.00 1.39 1.4 0.2
Danny Farquhar 3 2/3 4 16 2 4.91 0 0.00 0 0.00 0.357 2.45 1.99 0.6 0.1
Yoervis Medina 4 4 13 4 9.00 1 2.25 0 0.00 0.125 0.00 1.83 1.4 0.1
Charlie Furbush 3 2/3 5 13 4 9.82 0 0.00 1 2.45 0.125 2.45 4.44 0.8 0.0
Joe Beimel 3 2/3 3 15 1 2.45 3 7.36 0 0.00 0.182 0.00 4.99 0.2 0.0
Tom Wilhelmsen 7 4 30 8 10.29 3 3.86 1 1.29 0.294 2.57 4.36 0.5 0.0
  • King Felix is pitching at an entirely new level right now. Observe:
    • Over the last 30 days, Felix has amassed 2.4 WAR, 1 full WAR more than the next highest pitcher.
    • That stat remains the same over the entire season, 1 full WAR more than the next highest pitcher.
    • 9.73 K/9, 1.56 BB/9, 1.93 FIP — all career best marks.
    • FanGraphs uses a stat called FIP- that scales a pitcher’s FIP in relation to league average and then adjusts for park and league effects. It’s a statistic that can be used to compare pitching seasons years apart. Felix’s FIP- mark of 51 this year is the best mark since 2004 and in the top-15 of all time (going back to 1871, the beginning of FanGraph’s database).

Right now, Felix is the front-runner for the Cy Young award and it’s not even close.

AL West Standings

Team Win-Loss Win% Games Behind
Athletics 39-24 0.619
Angels 34-28 0.548 4.5
Mariners 33-29 0.532 5.5
Rangers 31-32 0.492 8
Astros 28-36 0.438 11.5

AL Wild Card Standings

Team Win-Loss Win% Games Behind
Angels 34-28 0.548 +1
Mariners 33-29 0.532
Orioles 31-30 0.508 1.5
Indians 32-31 0.508 1.5
Yankees 31-31 0.5 2

The Week Ahead

Date Away Team Probable Pitcher Home Team Probable Pitcher
6/9 Mariners R Erasmo Ramirez Rays L David Price
6/10 Yankees R Masahiro Tanaka Mariners R Hisashi Iwakuma
6/11 Yankees R Chase Whitley Mariners R Chris Young
6/12 Yankees R David Phelps Mariners L Roenis Elias
6/13 Rangers TBD Mariners R Felix Hernandez
6/14 Rangers TBD Mariners R Erasmo Ramirez
6/15 Rangers TBD Mariners R Hisashi Iwakuma

The Mariners finish their four game series against the Rays on Monday and fly home to start an eight game homestand against the Yankees, the Rangers, and the Padres. The game on Tuesday against the Yankees is being billed as Derek Jeter’s final visit to Seattle. The more intriguing storyline is the pitching matchup between Masahiro Tanaka and his former mentor, Hisashi Iwakuma. That’s going to be a fun game to watch.

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