There’s a couple different things I enjoy doing to keep myself entertained. One of those things is music. I’ve been a musician as long as I can remember, and it also flows through my blood, so I guess I was kind of born into it. As creativity flows, the dynamic process of writing music is more than satisfactory to my short attention span. Another one of those things is writing. As I’ve discovered my passion for writing articles, I’ve found that it is quite the outlet for creativity. The structure and vernacular of writing is intriguing to me -much like writing music – writing stories or articles takes creativity to keep from being stale.
One thing that is getting harder to do to keep myself entertained is watching the Seattle Mariners. This season has been a tale of two seasons: before the trade-deadline Mariners, and after the trade-deadline Mariners. At least it feels that way. During the post-game show, Brad Adam said that while the Mariners scored five runs, that would usually be enough but the pitching couldn’t hold it together. I decided to hop on over to baseball-reference to see if there were facts to back that statement up.
Although the records are skewed because the halves of the seasons are uneven, we can still look at the win percentages and team ERA to see if we can find a correlation to that statement. Before July 31st, the Mariners went 45-61, a .424 winning percentage, a they posted a team ERA of 3.57. July 31st and afterwards, the Mariners have gone 13-20, a .393 winning percentage, a they posted a team ERA of 4.94.
One of the most impressive things about the Mariners first half was their pitching rotation. Not only were they reliable, they were durable. The Mariners used the same five pitchers in the rotation for one of the longest amounts of time in the majors. We were pretty lucky to be able to witness a feat like that. No injuries, no pitcher was so bad they had to be shipped off to sent down – the rotation was stable.
Fast forward to today: and then there were three. Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda and Jason Vargas. Although currently, his FIP is an unremarkable 4.34, Vargas is a shell of his former self. Using those same time-frame references as before, he posted a 4.09 ERA and then a 6.30 ERA.
Either way, pitching was the problem today. The arms couldn’t get ahead of batters, and while they fooled some batters, they couldn’t fool them all, and the Mariners lost to the Athletics 5-8. I still watched, however. I guess they fooled me.
Ichiro is on my mind. I don’t know if you all have noticed, but he is. Ichiro Suzuki is looking like the Ichiro we knew, it’s just poor timing. He went 2-for-5 with two singles and a stolen base. He stung a ball into right field that scored Trayvon Robinson from second base. I’m impressed with the scouting and prep that went into his stolen base. It was on a 2-0 changeup to Franklin Gutierrez, and Ichiro made it in without a problem. He’s looking good, and I’m now starting to get on the 200-hit bandwagon. Hmph, bandwagon fans.
The next thing that was impressive was Robinson’s speed. He got aboard in the fifth inning on a four-pitch walk, so, patience – that’s a good thing. Next, it might’ve been a hit-and-run, it might not have been, but if Luis Rodriguez hadn’t swung and grounded out, Robinson would’ve been safe as much as Ichiro was. And this was after two pickoff attempts. Robinson’s biggest asset may be his speed.
Two injuries happened today that worry me, one more than the other. Casper Wells was drilled in the elbow, and he is day-to-day. Franklin Gutierrez, however, swung at an inside slider and now is suffering from a severe oblique strain, and may be out for the season. To put it one way, this sucks. Gutierrez started to look like he was on his way back to good form. He went 2-for-5 with a double before he had to leave the at-bat. I want to see him get as much playing time as possible, so that he can attempt to get his bat back to good form. It looks like he’ll have to wait until next year.
Blake Beavan‘s line is unimpressive. He went five innings, giving up four earned runs, while walking three and striking out three. Out of the 101 pitches thrown, 60 of them went for strikes, a 59.4% strike rate. Out of the 44 hacks Oakland took against him, only four of them missed – a 9% swinging strike rate. Beavan didn’t miss many bats today, but I don’t think it was his stuff. Today, it came down to his location. Unlike the crafty lefties, he throws around 92 mph consistently, but location is still an important factor. I’ve mentioned that Oakland is not a free swinging team, so Beavan was tested today. Hopefully, along with all the rookies, they can learn from this season. They have to, or Seattle will turn into Kansas City.
- Back onto Trayvon Robinson’s speed, right before he took off for second base in the fifth, the camera panned over the area in the Coliseum where Rickey Henderson‘s name is. Juxtaposition of images is an interesting thing. News channels use it to manipulate our thought process into buying into their angles and beliefs. Apparently Root Sports uses it to foreshadow. Sidebar: Henderson was 5′ 10″ and played left field. Robinson is 5′ 10″ and plays left field.
- On an inside-out swing, Scott Sizemore singled into right field off of Brandon League after a six-pitch battle. He looked lost in the swing, and hits like that are annoying. On another League note, Gameday classifies his 96 mph fastball as a sinker, which according to it’s movement, it is. I like his fastball.
- Since Justin Smoak‘s return, he has yet to hit an extra-base hit. I’m all for him gaining confidence. He’s gone 4-for-12 this weekend, but I wonder if the lack of an extra-base hit diminishes his confidence, being that he’s supposed to be a power hitter. The inverse would not be true: if Ichiro hit eight homeruns in eight consecutive days, no one would suspect anything wrong. Now if Luis Rodriguez did that…
Anthony Vasquez gets the start tomorrow. His ERA is somewhere around 11.00. I wonder what the odds are in Vegas for his ERA reaching 21.00 by the end of tomorrow. I’d take those odds.
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