Mariners Musings

Musings about, um... well, the Seattle Mariners as well as a love affair with this game baseball. By Peter J. White

Saturday, June 14, 2003


Bret Boone was going for a laugh as he trotted out for batting practice yesterday afternoon, hollering, "World Series, Game 7!" (P-I)

"I can't think of when I made a bigger play than that," Cirillo added. "Sellout crowd against the Braves. It was cool to make a play like that. I have never been in the playoffs, but I imagine that's what it's like." (MLB.com)

So I'm watching the freebie plays of the game on MLB this morning, and suddenly it comes to me: "That's not Dave and Ron. That's the Braves broadcast crew. The game was on TBS! I missed it!" Argh.

Wow... 2 days, just 3 runs and 2 wins.

Here's a list of Freddy's opponents thus far and where they currently rank in their league in runs scored, and their team OPS...

Oakland (4/1 & 4/16) - 10th in AL - .732
Texas (4/6 & 4/11) - 6th in AL - .806
Cleveland (4/22 & 5/14) - 12th in AL - .694
Detroit (4/27) - 14th in AL - .608
Chicago Sox (5/3) - 13th in AL - .720
NY Yankees (5/8) - 3rd in AL - .812
Kansas City (5/21 & 5/27) - 9th in AL - .758
Minnesota (6/1) - 8th in AL - .772
NY Mets (6/8) - 13th in NL - .718
Atlanta (6/13) - 1st in NL - .846

Before last night, the Yankees and Rangers were the only teams Freddy has faced that rank among the top half of their respective leagues in runs scored. Among the top 5 offenses in the AL, Freddy (and the Mariners, for that matter) has yet to see the ruthless Blue Jays, merciless Red Sox and surprise Orioles. Luckily, he does not have to see his own Mariners. So facing a team like nothing he has seen yet this year, Freddy had me a bit apprehensive.

His line for the game? 108 pitches in 7.1 innings, 62% for strikes, 9 baserunners on 7 hits and 2 walks that scored just 1 run and 5 K's. So is Freddy back? Eh, I'm hesitant to jump that far. This is certainly a big step, and definitely his most impressive start of the year given the opposition. For maybe the first time this year, Freddy stepped up to the challenge of the #1 Starter label.

Of course, he was helped mightily by a pair of Braves' mental blunders. In the first, with 2 outs and Mac at 2nd, Edgar grounded deep in the hole at short. First basemen Robert Fick conceded it a hit and trotted out to receive the cutoff from left field. Much to his surprise, Rafael Furcal and his go-go-gadget glove smothered it and he fired to first--the problem, of course, being that at this time Edgar was the only one standing on first. Mac scores and Edgar goes to second. So instead of 2 outs, runners at 1st and 3rd for Olerud, Russ Ortiz is now down 1-0, Edgar at 2nd. Olerud then cashed in his hit and RBI and that was the last run the M's would see. If Fick stops that throw, it would have been a very different ballgame.

In the very next inning, Andruw Jones singled to lead off. Fick, images of redemption perhaps flashing in his brain, then drives the ball into the gap in right center, and Jones puts on his running shoes and jets to 3rd. Meanwhile, Ichiro dons his Superman cape, flies through the air and pulls Fick's ball from the air. Jones scampers back to first, lucky that Olerud fumbles the relay. However, he did miss the important detail of touching 2nd base on his way back (I know, aren't those umps picky?) as Jeff Cirillo and his sharp-as-hawk vision pointed out. So thanks to Ichiro's flying routine (oh the glories of carrying 3 centerfielders in the outfield) and Jones' mistake, there are 2 outs rather than runner on 2nd, 2-1, no outs. Beautiful.

David Pinto notes the records of these two teams against lefties and in the daylight. The M's have yet to lose a day game, and they won't start today with Jamie looking for win #11.

Another fortnight, another BP Triple Play take on the Mariners. First they tackle the mysterious acquisition of Matt White and even more mysterious decision to send down Mateo rather than cut Carrara. I really think all the hubaloo is much ado about nothing. Maybe slightly more than nothing. When it's all said and done at the end of the season, really, how many games are decided by the #5 and #6 guys in the bullpen? Close to nil I'm willing to wager. You can argue, and I'd join in, that Carrara cost the M's the Expos opener. Every team has its black sheep, those one or two guys that as you peruse the roster you wonder, "What the heck is he doing on this team?" Carrara's that guy to this team. Now if Sasaki can just put the pieces of his body back together and pitch like he has the last few years, then the first 4 arms out the bullpen compete with Anaheim and Houston as the best in baseball, and we don't have to see Cararra and White but for maybe an inning or two a week. That's of course given that Bob gives the pressure situations to the best arms, which he hasn't, as evidenced in this homestand.

Then there's Cirillo, and I commented on Cirillo last week. In the first 2 weeks of June Jeff is hitting .318/.385/.455, which is even better than his superb May. He already has as many extra base hits as he did all of April and just one short of his May total. Just remember, he's played only 3 games this month in his archnemesis Safeco Field this month. But we can at least revel in it for now and hope he keeps this up.

Well, I finally wrapped up Michael Chabon's Summerland last night. I don't read much current fiction anymore, but when I saw the quote that tops The Cub Reporter's page and read the blurb, I couldn't resist. As a kid my favorite books were A Wrinkle in Time and the Chronicles of Narnia. Summerland definitely conjures up images of both of those, to me anyway, but I don't know if I could put it on the same pedestal, though that could be the childhood nostaglia talking. Mix a little bit of Lewis' Narnia, L'Engle's world jumping, all the Joseph Campbell I studied in college, American mythology and the baseball history and lore I'm immersed in now, and that's about what Summerland is. If baseball is a religion, then this could be a piece of theological apologetics, and Chabon can stand alongside Ken Burns and Edward Cossette as its evangelists.
|| Peter @ 6/14/2003

Friday, June 13, 2003


There was a first last night, and thankfully, it wasn't the M's falling victim to their first sweep. No, the M's won the game and their only run was a solo Boone shot. 1-0. Pitching duels are the greatest sports entertainment, for my money. Over 14 combined innings, Franklin and Vargas combined to give up just 8 hits, 4 walks and 1 run.

Franklin himself pitched 8 shutout innings with 102 pitches, 67% for strikes, 4 hits, 2 walks and 5 K's. You have to go back to April 26 to find the last time Frankie gave up more than 3 runs in a start. He's had 2 losses since then, and in those games, the M's combined for 3 runs. In his last 4 starts, the offense has scored just 9 runs for him.

The hitting has picked up most of the press for the M's most recent success. But the pitching staff sports a lean 3.59 ERA, 2nd only to the Dodgers and their obscene 2.94 in all of the major leagues. They lead the majors in shutouts with now 8. They're 5th in hits allowed, 5th in walks allowed, and 5th in batting average against. Those are pretty, sparkling numbers.

For the next three days, the baseball nation's eye will be parked right on Safeco Field as the M's host the Braves, in what could very well be dubbed the World Series of the first half. The teams boast the best records of their respective leagues. Tonight pits Freddy "Let's Score 10 in the First" Garcia (5.00 ERA, .737 OPS against) against Russ Ortiz (4.02, .649). Just when we thought all hope was lost, Freddy is 3-0 with a 2.94 ERA in his last 3 starts against the Mets, Twins and Royals. The M's have outscored their opponents 37-13 in those games. Saturday afternoon we'll see Jamie Moyer (2.93, .648) against Mike Hampton (4.05, .706). Hampton missed his last start because of a groin issue, so there's a possibility he could be dropped and we see a Mystery Starter. Sunday evening, live on ESPN (woohoo!), it'll be Gil Meche (3.32, .697) and the pitching artist formerly known as Greg Maddux (4.58, .789). Worthy matches all. Though Moyer/Maddux would have been a sweet ticket, to see (stealing from Stats' scouting report on Maddux) two "cerebral assasins" take the mound.

The Braves rank 3rd in the majors in runs scored; the Mariners are 7th. The Braves' staff is 13th in run prevention; as mentioned earlier, the M's are 2nd. One subplot to watch this weekend is what happens to the homer happer (1st in the majors in HR, 1st in SLG) Braves meet the defense of the M's in pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.

Another item to watch is the Braves' staff ranks 27th in walks allowed, while the M's offense is 5th in accepting those base-on-balls. I see the Braves throwing a lot of pitches between their wildness and the M's patience and lots of innings from the middle relievers. Just please, let's not see John Smoltz with his ridiculous numbers: 0.76 ERA, 0.87 baserunners/9, 5:44 BB:K.

Lastly, the Mariners are 18-13 at Safeco this year, and the Braves are 20-11 on the road. These are about as evenly matched good teams as there are in baseball at the moment, and it won't be until Sunday evening that we find out who prevails.
|| Peter @ 6/13/2003

Thursday, June 12, 2003


Ladies and gentlemen, for all of you who, like myself, will never forgive Alfonso Soriano for his 9th inning, 2-run home run of Arthur Rhodes on October 21, 2001, and for all those to whom the very sound of "Yankees" makes you snarl, I humbly present Jim Caple.
|| Peter @ 6/12/2003
(short form; thru games of 6/11; 42 wins=126 win shares)
Offense - 81.78; Defense - 44.22

Bret Boone 15.9
Ichiro 12.7
Edgar Martinez 11.5
Mike Cameron 10.8
Randy Winn 9.3
John Olerud 8.4
Carlos Guillen 8.3
Jamie Moyer 5.6
Shiggy Hasegawa 4.7
Gil Meche 4.5
Ben Davis 4.5
Jeff Cirillo 4.2
Kaz Sasaki 4.0
Ryan Franklin 3.5
Mark McLemore 3.4
Jeff Nelson 3.0
Dan Wilson 2.9
Arthur Rhodes 2.4
Joel Pineiro 2.4
Willie Bloomquist 1.1
Greg Colbrunn 1.0
John Mabry 0.8
Julio Mateo 0.5
Rafael Soriano 0.4
Pat Borders 0.2
Giovanni Carrara 0
Freddy Garcia 0
|| Peter @ 6/12/2003

What's the deal, did the bats get left on the plane from NY? The M's proved yet again they can't win game they don't score 4 runs in. And once again, the M's managed baserunners but no runs on the board to show for it. In Livan's 7 innings, the M's reached base 9 times but only Mike Cameron scored. Ironic that the M's could score 20 against with Mets without a homer and all they can get against the Expos is a solo shot. Where'd the singles go?

Jo-El threw 111 pitches in his 7.1 innings, 69% for strikes. He allowed just 2 runs on 8 baserunners (6 hits, 2 walks) and just 3 K's. You really can't ask for more than that. Tough loss for Jo-El.

It was a night of missed opportunity: The Mariners picked up 2 walks and a single in the 2nd inning, but couldn't score. In the 3rd with one out, Ichiro doubled and Carlos was safe on an error, but no runs. Again in the 5th with one out, Ichiro and Carlos were on base, but Guillen was thrown out on a double steal and Boonie struck out to end the inning. Cammie and Winn both singled in the 6th with 2 outs, but Cirillo grounded out. That's four innings that the M's managed at least 2 baserunners (3 times with just one out) and they ended the inning with a runner in scoring position.

Concerning Mac pinch hitting for Cirillo in the 9th, the sooner Bob realizes there's more to right/left platoons than handedness, the better. What better chance to give Colbrunn an AB.

You can't win them all, but they better win tonight to avoid their first sweep of the season, and first 3-game losing streak since the 2nd week of the season.
|| Peter @ 6/12/2003

Wednesday, June 11, 2003


Anybody want to tell me what Giovanni "4-Base" Carrara was doing on the mound in the 9th inning of a one-run game? Can anyone enlighten me as to why exactly he's still on the roster? Part of me would like to think Bob was just spiting Gillick leaving him Giovanni and sending down Julio Mateo. But that just doesn't seem right. And by the way, all of my darkest fears were abated when I read Gammons, "[Matt] White has no left-on-left out pitch." That's wonderful news. Every team should be so lucky has to afford the luxury of carrying a left-handed reliever for no other reason than the fact that he can actually throw a baseball with his left hand. But I digress. Back to the game.

So Gio enters the game in the top of the 9th to dispatch the bottom of the order: Tatis (.566 OPS), Schneider (.864 in 105 AB) and Barrett (.494). Really, that's not too much to ask. The odds don't get much better in your favor as Tatis and Barrett are two of the absolute worst hitters in the National League right now. But what does our hero do? Tatis singles. Schneider strikes out swinging. Barret flies out. So here comes the 9th man, Guzman, who was just called up on Saturday. He singles. And this brings up the top of the order and Endy Chavez, who, he of the .330 slugging percentage, proceeds to provide a souvenir to some lucky fan in right field. What was a 1-game is now a 4-run game. But Meche gets pegged with the loss.

Gil pitched decently enough, 102 pitches in 6.1 innings, 67% for strikes, which is probably good for a win provided you're playing the AL Central. He gave up 4 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks and just 3 K's. Meche started the 7th with a 3-2 lead facing the same threesome that Carrara would see in the 9th. Tatis grounded out to lead off, but Schneider singled and then Barrett doulbed(!) him home to tie it. Shiggy then came in and promptly sent Guzman back to the bench for 2 outs, but game hero Chavez singled to put the 'Spos on top for good. The Expos have some bad hitters and some very bad hitters, and there is no excuse for giving those guys bases, especially extra bases.

Vazquez kept the M's quiet at the plate. Quieter than usual, anyway. They managed 10 baserunners in 6 innings off of him but just 3 runs. Cirillo had 3 hits with a double to raise his OPS to a season high .670. He's now 6 for 14 with 3 doubles in the past week.

Interestingly, both Rob Neyer and Derek Zumsteg have posted arguments for and against Edgar in the Hall of Fame. (Rob also takes a couple of more shots in his column yesterday). I don't believe in arguing Hall of Fame credentials until all is said and done and a couple of years have passed to offer some perspective. It's a bit like judging a movie before it's over. It can be done and you probably won't change your mind, but it's not over and you haven't had time to process it yet. But my objectivity is a bit shaky with Edgar. I don't buy Rob's MVP argument. I do, however, think that the inflated offense numbers of the '90s is a valid consideration worth looking into when we start talking about the worthiness of guys like Edgar, Palmeiro, McGriff, Mo Vaughn, Albert Belle, Jeff Bagwell, Frank Thomas, etc. And while Edgar has always played second fiddle to the M's superstars of Griffey and A-Rod, when Edgar retires, he will hold the M's records in nearly every offensive category, as Derek writes. Alvin Davis is Mr. Mariner. But Edgar is the heart and soul of baseball in the Pacific Northwest without contest. The identity of Seattle Mariners baseball is so ingrained with Edgar that when he goes, the void left will be like that of when Kirby Puckett left the Twins, Cal Ripken left the Orioles, or Tony Gwynn and the Padres.
|| Peter @ 6/11/2003

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

NL EAST: THE HOME VERSION (or why can't we play in San Juan?)

After simply dominating the competition on the road this past week, the M's now host two of the best teams of the Senior Circuit at the Safe. I don't expect any blowouts this week. The matchups against the Expos look like ace and K-extraordinaire Javier Vazquez (3.51 ERA, .661 OPS against and 10.65 K/9) against Meche (3.10 and .694) tonight, then Livan Hernandez (3.68 and .747) against Jo-El (4.02 and .702) tomorrow and rookie Claudio Vargas (3.38 and .770) on Thursday.

The Expos stormed out of the gate, and looked like contenders early on, but have since lost by far their best player Vlad Guerrero to a bad back and two of there best arms in Tony Armas and Zach Day to injuries. It should still be a good series, and I particularly like tonight's matchup. I was looking forward to faceoff of the most swing-at-anything-that-spins, cannon-armed right fielders in the game, but that appears not to be. Jose Vidro is a professional hitter and Brad Wilkerson is a budding star. Other, than that, their lineup isn't too impressive. Since they don't have to see Vlad, I like the M's chances to take 2 out of 3.
|| Peter @ 6/10/2003

AL - I will start with the AL because that's quite a bit easier than the NL. Now that I think about it, one could very well pick three, maybe four, AL shortstops more deserving than any NL shortstop. But when it comes to picking just one in the AL, that's an easy task. Don't believe the hype: There is no triumvirate of shortstops in the AL, nor is there now a D'Artagnan infiltrating the Three Musketeers as the BBWAA might have us believe. I'll throw Carlos Guillen in there just for kicks, too...

Alex Rodriguez - .311/.403/.618 with 150 home runs and 203 RCAA
Nomar Garciaparra - .335/.388/.554 with 49 home runs and 99 RCAA
Derek Jeter - .315/.388/.460 with 54 home runs and 90 RCAA
Miguel Tejada - .284/.343/.488 with 95 home runs and 41 RCAA
Carlos Guillen - .259/.328/.380 with 21 home runs and -16 RCAA

Guillen's numbers are just slightly under the baseline of what one would expect from a shortstop. So, that said, the other four are outstanding for their position. But, not to detract from any of them, comparing them to each other is like comparing apples to oranges to bananas. Tejada's hit 30 homers over the past 3 seasons. He brought his batting average over .300 and his slugging over .500 for the first time last year, but he has yet to improve on that this year. Jeter's OPS has declined each year since '99, and at this point in their careers, Jeter's and Tejada's offensive values are nearly identical. There a bit yin and yang, like the two sides of the OPS coin. Tejada hits for power but doesn't draw a lot of walks. Jeter gets on-base but doesn't hit for power. I'd rate Nomar a level higher than those two: He won a batting title in 2000 hitting .372, then lost pretty much all of 2001 to injury. He's got more power than Jeter, but still won't take a walk. Then we come to A-Rod. When it's all said and done, the great debate will be A-Rod versus Honus Wagner, and really now, I don't think Jeter, Nomar and Miggie are anywhere close to that. There is but one supreme shortstop in the American League today. And I hear he's making a pretty good living out of that distinction, too.

NL - As rich as the AL is at the 6-hole, the NL is poor. There is a Hall of Famer on his last hobbling legs. Two former Rookie of the Years. Two guys named Alex Gonzalez. And a bunch of horrible hitters...

Rich Aurillia - .286/.339/.482 with 72 homers and 39 RCAA
Orlando Cabrera - .261/.311/.402 with 34 homers and -60 RCAA
Rafael Furcal - .281/.347/.382 with 16 homers and -15 RCAA
Alex Gonzalez (Marlins) - .228/.275/.348 with 18 homers and -65 RCAA
Barry Larkin - .272/.347/.413 with 20 homers and -17 RCAA
Edgar Renteria - .281/.343/.413 with 37 homers and -22 RCAA
Jimmy Rollins - .262/.316/.399 with 25 homers and -15 RCAA

Ugh-lee. Decisions, decisions. I have to go with Aurilia. Furcal may be beginning to breakout this year with his MVP-caliber numbers. By some bizarre turn of events, Alex Gonzalez, as of today, ranks 6th in the NL in OPS, but there's nothing from his past to suggest he can do that for a whole season. I think I voted for Larkin last year, but he's far past his All-Star days. Renteria is another having a breakout season in '03, but as I've said before, an All-Star start shoudn't be based on April/May.

And if you want the worst?
AL - Rey Ordonez - .243/.293/.317 with 4 homers and -68 RCAA
NL - Rey Sanchez - .279/.310/.333 with 2 homers and -82 RCAA
But if I were you, I'd write in Neifi Perez - .269/.296/.378 with 21 homers (a season and a half at Coors) and -141 RCAA (that's a park-adjusted number).

In review...
AL: C-Posada, 1B-Giambi, 2B-Boone, 3B-Glaus, SS-Rodriguez
NL: C-Piazza, 1B-Helton, 2B-Kent, 3B-Alfonzo, SS-Aurilia
|| Peter @ 6/10/2003

Monday, June 09, 2003

(Last week in parentheses)

1. Seattle (1) The Mariners are playing exactly to their projection, and if these were real standings, they're 4.5 games better than the 2nd place Yankees. Still, the M's are 6 games off of their 2001 pace through 61 games when they were 48-13.

2. NY Yankees (3) The Yankees struck out 35 times against the Cubbies' young guns. They struck out 24 times against the Reds'… whatever you want to call them. They are now 2nd only to the Jays in the AL in strikeouts. They also lead the AL in grounding into double plays.

3. St. Louis (4) Albert Pujols for MVP? .389/.448/.720, leads the NL in AVG, OPS (1.169) and SLG, 2nd in OBP, 3rd in runs scored (52), 5th in RBI (51) and 6th in homers (16).

4. Atlanta (6) Remember that puny offense from last year? That was Clark Kent. Robert Fick seemed to turn them into Superman as the Braves now lead the majors in home runs (98) and OPS (.853).

5. Philadelphia (4) While their offense continues to sputter (15th in runs scored), the Phils' pitching is 5th in the majors in ERA at 3.69.

6. Oakland (2) Answer me this: How in the name of Moneyball are the A's presently 22nd in the majors in OBP? They're tied with the Pirates and Brewers at .324!

7. Anaheim (14) Yeah, those road trips through Baltimore, Tampa Bay, San Juan and Miami must be nice. The Angels hit 15 homers and scored 33 runs in 3 games in San Juan. Garrett Anderson hit 5 in the Montreal series. Jeff DaVanon hit 6 in 3 days in Tampa and San Juan. I don't think they'd mind playing a third of their schedule in the Caribbean.

8. Houston (12) So why exactly doesn't Morgan Ensberg have a full-time gig? He's only hitting .340/.448/.670 with 10 home runs in just 103 at bats.

9. San Francisco (7) Jason Schmidt is putting together a spectacular year: 2.44 ERA, 10.16 K/9 and 0.98 WHIP.

10. Chicago Cubs (11) K is for Kubbies: 7 pitchers on their staff strikeout more than a batter an inning, 3 off them (including Kerry Wood) nearly 12. Todd Wellmeyer in his 7.2 innings thus far has K'd 13, or 15.26 over 9 frames.

11. Toronto ( 8) Vernon Wells: 2nd in the NL in RBI (59) and 1st in Outs (197). Do you think RBI are overrated?

12. Los Angeles (9) The starting lineup has 4 "hitters" with OPS below .670. Izturis, Beltra and Cora don't crack .630. Shawn Green is piddling around at .266/.326/.440 with 7 homers. Crime Dog leads the team in HR with 10 but his OBP is .319. Paul LoDuca is the leader of this motley crew at .335/.390/.474. If they could just score some runs, any runs, they could leave the NL West far in the dust.

13. Boston (16) Five of their starting 9 have OPS over .900: Mueller (.989), Ramirez (.959), Nixon (.932), Millar (.906) and No-mah (.906). If only Pedro could take the mound, they could put some space between themselves and the Yankees.

14. Minnesota (15) Whatever happened to Torii Hunter? .257/.345/.450, though he does lead the Twins in RBI with 37.

15. Montreal (10) Losing Vlad hurts bad, but Brad Wilkerson is hitting .310/.420/.561.

16. Colorado (17) The one that Epstein let get away: In 25 innings, Javier Lopez has allowed just 2 ER with 4 BB and 20 K's for an ERA of 0.72. I bet the Sox wish they had him in their pen.

17. (tie) Arizona (18) Shea Hillenbrand .286/.333/.571 so far as a D-Back in already more than half the at bats he had with the Sox.

(tie) Baltimore (13) The Orioles are 6 games behind first place Boston. They're closer to first place now than Oakland, who is 8 games back of the M's. We've all heard of Melvin Mora by now, but have you seen Luis Matos, who in 59 ABs in the last 2 weeks is hitting .424/.452/.661?

19. Florida (19) Mike Lowell will be the prize of the trade deadline: .301/.357/.606 with 18 homers. Cubs? Dodgers? Mariners? (sigh)

20. Kansas City (20) My favorite thing about Mike Sweeney? A K:BB ratio of 41:25.

21. Chicago Sox (22) The Big Hurt is back to putting on the hurt: .288/.426/.561 with 13 homers.

22. Pittsburgh (21) Brian back to being the best Giles in the NL with a .951 OPS. (Marcus is slipping at .918)

23. Texas (23) Yeah, those road trips through Baltimore, Tampa Bay, San Juan and Atlanta must really suck. They've lost 9 straight and go home to Arlington 2-10 on that trip. For all their muscle, the Rangers mustered just 5 homers in San Juan during that Expos-sweep.

24. Milwaukee (26) The most thankless job in the world? Middle relief in Milwaukee: Leo Estrella 0.96 ERA in 18.2 innings and Matt Ford 1.40 in 19.1.

25. NY Mets (24) Jae Weong So is about the only thing the Mets have going for them, and his K/9 rate is 4.36.

26. Cincinnati (25) Can anyone tell me the last time Junior had a 1.000+ OPS at anytime of the season? He's currently 1.002.

27. Cleveland (27) Repeat after me: "Brandon Phillips has a high ceiling. Brandon Phillips has a high ceiling" - .195/.232/.308. Hmm... maybe let's try that again.

28. Tampa Bay (28) So that Damion Easley (.187/.202/.262) experiment was a great idea, huh? So Lou, there are things worse than Jeff Cirillo. [ed. note: That was a cheap shot, I admit. But I'm trying to be better. I really am.]

29. San Diego (29) Jake Peavy hasn't won a game and his ERA is up more than half a run since the end of April.

30. Detroit (30) Bizarro pitcher award goes to Nate Cornejo: 3.11 ERA with 18 BB and 13 K, or 1.62 K/9.

Frank Thomas (Chicago Sox) 25 AB, 4 R, 13 H, 4 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 4 BB, .520/.586/1.040, 1.626 OPS
Brad Wilkerson (Montreal) 24 AB, 7 R, 12 H, 4 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 4 BB, .500/.571/1.042, 1.613 OPS

Jamie Moyer (Seattle) 2-0, 14 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K, 0.00 ERA
Jason Schmidt (San Francisco) 1-1, 14 IP, 13 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 17 K, 1.93 ERA

Brandon Phillips (Cleveland) 19 AB, 1 H, 1 RBI, 1 BB, .053/.100/.053, .153 OPS
Gary Bennett (San Diego) 25 AB, 3 R, 3 H, 2 BB, .120/.185/.120, .305 OPS

Nick Bierbrodt (Tampa Bay) 0-0, 1 IP, 4 H, 7 ER, 5 BB, 63.00 ERA
Dustin Hermanson (St. Louis) 0-0, 1.2 IP, 7 H, 7ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 37.80 ERA

Your comments/opinions/discussion/humble rebuttals are always welcome.
|| Peter @ 6/09/2003

Jamie won his 10th game. He's now halfway to 20 on June 8, on pace for 27. We know he won't win 27, but might I remind you, only 4 pitchers in history have won 20 games at the age of 40.

What, you want more amazing stats about Jamie? When I last checked the AL league average ERA on Thursday, it was 4.55. Jamie is currently 2.93 or 1.62 runs better than the league. Now if you're wondering, as am I, who has the best ever ERA versus the league over the age of 40, it is Dennis Martinez of Cleveland in 1995 at the age of 40 (3.08 vs. the league of 4.72 or 1.64 better). Jamie currently ranks 2nd on the list and could very well be at the top come the end of September.

Jamie's line of the day: 86 pitches in 7 innings (hey, those Mets were swinging and wanted to go home, can you blame them?), 60% for strikes. He gave up just 2 hits and a walk with 4 K's. He saw pretty much the same lineup as Chief with Shinjo (.539) for Cedeno, Jay Bell (.634) for Alomar and Tony Clark (.706) for Wilson.

So in the course of one day, the M's outscored the Mets 20-1. They out hit them 31-9. For the entire day, the Mets managed just 11 baserunners in 2 games. Of note, out of those 31 M's hits, just 6 were for extra bases. They just singled the Mets to death. Every starter, including Jamie, got a hit.

The M's are now 7th in the majors in runs scored, 3rd in batting, 1st in on-base and 7th in slugging.
|| Peter @ 6/09/2003
MARINERS 13, METS 1 (Game 1)

My wife Corinne's response when I tell her the results of the game: "Sounds like somebody spiked Freddy's Gatorade with some winning juice." My former college roommate who bleeds Dodger blue was lusting over those run support numbers I posted the other day of the M's starting five. And if you thought that number for Freddy was outrageous, well, this game was 14-0 in the 4th inning. The M's have now scored 37 runs in Freddy's last 3 starts. So if Freddy is such the confidence-shot, head case we all think he is at this point, I like the team's approach: Throw up a 10 spot in the first 3 frames so if Freddy gives up a gopherball or two and loses it for a couple of innings, no big deal.

Freddy went the distance on this one with 118 pitches, 70% for strikes, 6 hits, a walk, 7 K's and Cliff Floyd's homer accounting for the only run of the entire day. But before we start planning The Chief is Back Parade, shall we consider the starting lineup?

Roger Cedeno .675 OPS
Ty Wigginton .777
Robbie Alomar .712
Cliff Floyd .910
Jeromy Burnitz .891
Jason Phillips .828 (and 92 major league at bats to his credit)
Vance Wilson .757
Joe McEwing .556
Al Leiter .043 (but that's not fair since Leiter never came to bat; Jeremy Griffiths came to bat twice though, and they were his first two major league at bats.)

That doesn't exactly start my knees a'knockin' with trepidation. Floyd's a hitter. Alomar has seen better days, and not aging too well. Burnitz could be NL Comeback Player of the Year at this rate. Cedeno is a joke of a leadoff hitter. As a team, The Mets rank 15th (out of 16) in NL Runs Scored, 14th in OPS and 15th in OBP. Not to disparage a complete-game, 70%-strike performance, but let's celebrate it for what it is: Baby steps. If it's the confidence that's broken with Freddy, than hopefully bludgeoning the crappy teams is good medicine.

Once again, the entire lineup contributed in this Mets-whuppin' as every Mariner (even pinch-hitter Willie B.) had a hit except John Olerud, and he scored 3 runs. Ichiro had 4 hits, McLemore had 2 with 2 walks, even Freddy got some action with an RBI single. Every starter drove in a run, save Mac, and every starter scored a run, except Cirillo and Chief.
|| Peter @ 6/09/2003