The Mariners were shut out by the visiting Chicago White Sox last night and apparently, it wasn’t a good game. I guess I am lucky to have been out and about to miss the horrendous offensive showing from the M’s.
Even with such a brutal start to the series against a really good team, we have to look at the positives too. As I said, I didn’t watch the game so my analysis is wholly based on numbers and videos, so apologies in advance if my takes are somewhat off from what you watched.
Mariners positive no. 1 – Drew Steckenrider bounced back
After hearing that Drew Steckendrider made the Mariners bullpen, I quickly read up on him, took a look at his Baseball Savant page, his past numbers, and I was already amazed. That excitement didn’t last very long because he was all out of sorts in his Mariners debut.
The 30-year-old reliever came into the seventh inning of the second game against the Giants after a solid outing from Yusei Kikuchi and Steckenrider began Mariners debut with a walk. He was able to strike out back-to-back batters after the leadoff walk, but he issued another walk, allowed a double, and a single which gave the Giants a two-run lead.
But in yesterday’s game, his box score looked much better. The former Marlin threw two innings of scoreless baseball, allowed two hits and one walk while striking out two. As I said, I can’t speak to how he looked on TV but the stat line looks promising, especially after his first outing.
According to Baseball Savant, it looks like he kept the White Sox in check as far as exit velocity. The average exit velocity off of him was 81.1 mph. It also looks like the spin rate on his curveball was significantly higher than it was in his first outing. Last night, his average curveball rpm was 2,092, while in his first outing the curveball rpm was 1,938.
Again, it’s still too early to tell how he will do this season and how much longer he will be wearing a Mariners uniform, to be honest. But, I am pretty high on the Mariners bullpen and Steckenrider could be a huge factor in whether the M’s have a Top 10 pen in the MLB or not.