Well, we’re now more than a quarter of the way through the season and the Mariners sit just a game under .500. A rough week against the Rays and the Twins pushed the Mariners back in the win column but we’re still on the cusp of greatness.
After a twelve run offensive outburst on Monday, the Mariners didn’t score for 21 straight innings before scoring a single run in the fifth inning on Thursday. Woof.
Now that was a successful week. The Mariners were able to take 3 of 4 from the Athletics and split 4 games with the Royals this past week. In the second game of the doubleheader on Wednesday, we were actually playing for the division lead. There were some stinkers mixed in over the weekend–the Mariners were shut out over seven innings against former Mariner Jason Vargas on Friday and our defense committed five (!) errors in a loss on Sunday. But overall, the team played really well with excellent performances in Oakland and a 1-0 shutout on Thursday.
Well that was a fun week. The Mariners scored 31 runs in 5 games on the road but the bullpen made three of those games more exciting than they should have been. It seems like that’s becoming a regular occurrence. “Sweeping (one of the games was rained out)” the Yankees in New York was pretty great and we won the series in Houston. Now, if only we could score that many runs at home.
The Mariners enter play this week with a better record than the Red Sox, the Rays, and the Indians–all preseason contenders. We’re tied for the seventh best record in the AL–right in the middle of the pack–and are just a single game back in the wild card race. This season is far from over, but its nice to see us make some positive steps especially after that eight game losing streak.
Some of you may know that I eat lunch with a group of eight guys from work. Everyday, A pair of us will make a lunch for all of us to share and we’ll sit together sharing in fellowship. The conversations we have during our lunch hour are pretty lively as is wont to happen with that many people sharing a meal together. The topics have ranged from starting our own Olympic handball team to discussing the existential subtext of Adventure Time.
One of our favorite topics is attempting differentiate different musical genres. Since one of our group members is a huge fan of metal, we often attempt to answer the question, “What is metal?”
I present to you the findings to this question after one such discussion. You can read the entire conversation below.
The Mariners entered this week on a six game losing streak and extended it to eight before snapping it with a win on Wednesday. The wins this week were filled with drama with three late inning wins and a few bullpen meltdowns. Kyle Seager won AL Player of the Week for his heroics and he certainly deserved it. This week would have looked much different (1-5 vs 3-3) if Seager hadn’t taken it upon himself to right this sinking ship.
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.
Welcome back to another season of Seattle Mariners baseball. I’ll be covering the team week by week again and in the coming weeks you’ll be seeing some new features to this recurring series. For now, enjoy this recap of the first two weeks of play.
That series sweep against the Angels to begin the year felt really good. A number of experts picked the Angels to have resurgent year, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton couldn’t this bad the thinking went. Well a thorough dismantling by the Mariners doesn’t prove much–its only three games after all–but it sure was fun.
I’ll be glad when the Mariners are playing any of the other 27 teams in the majors. We started the year with five games against the Angels and six games against the Athletics. While we were able to build a small lead against three of the AL West teams, it’ll be nice to see another opponent.
It’s Opening Day! Spring Training always seems to drag on for a week too long. I guess the promise of real, this-time-it-counts baseball makes everything in March drag on and on. I’m wrapping up my 2014 season preview of the Mariners with a look at the Bullpen. I’ve already covered the infield, the outfield, and the starting rotation. If you haven’t read those yet, take a look to get the full picture of where the Mariners find themselves at the start of this year.
It was a rough year of transition for the bullpen last year. The incumbent closer, Tom Wilhelmsen lost his job after his walk rate spiked to 5 per nine innings and his strikeout rate dropped to just under 7 per nine innings. Overall, the group had the second highest ERA in the majors at 4.58 but their collective FIP was just 3.79. Perhaps it was the relative inexperience of the bullpen that drove their ERA so high when their peripheral stats tell us they should be right around league average. The majority of the ‘pen is returning with a few new faces. Let’s hope that one more year of development from our young pitchers will be supported by these new veterans.
The 2014 Seattle Mariners roster preview continues as we switch from position players to pitchers. I’ve previewed the infield and the outfield already, now we take a look at the starting rotation. In the past few days, the Mariners’ starting rotation has taken on a completely different look but the lingering question marks remain. Some lingering injuries have forced the Mariners to scramble to fill out the back end of their rotation. A few veterans who were looking to crack the rotation were in camp with the Mariners this spring ended up being cut. A veteran, who was in camp with another team, was brought in to join a pitcher who hasn’t pitched above Double-A for spots number 4 and 5 in the rotation. It seems eerily familiar to last year. This could be another boom or bust year for this position group–a common refrain for this team–as they surround a star with a group of unproven youngsters. Continue reading →
Last week I previewed the Mariners infield; this week I’ll tackle the outfield. Where the Mariners have been able to develop a number of strong infielders, the organization has been almost completely incapable of developing any major league talent in the outfield. They’re hoping to change that trend this year with the promotions of Abraham Almonte and potentially Stefen Romero. Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders are the returning incumbents and their inconsistent play has made them a pain to project. There is some upside here but this position group is clearly one of the team’s weaknesses.