It’s starting to seem predetermined that whenever it is time for Chris Flexen to take the mound and make a start, the Mariners aren’t going to score runs for him.
Sure, you can make the excuse that in his most recent start against the Astros that they were facing an angry Justin Verlander, someone that they lit up in their last start against the future HOFer. That would make a bit of sense. Unfortunately, that’s only one start out of the 11 that he has made.
The Mariners haven’t been scoring runs for Chris Flexen, and it’s an embarrassingly low number.
Just how bad has it been? Well, in four of his first six starts on the season, the Mariners were shut out. Getting shutout just doesn’t happen that often in today’s game, as teams usually manage to fall into a run at some point, especially with the explosion of true outcomes. Check out how many runs the Mariners have scored in each Flexen start this year.
- 0, 0, 4, 1, 0, 0, 2, 5, 6, 7, 1
Do a bit of quick math, and you can see that the Mariners have scored only 26 runs in Flexen’s 11 starts. You could make an argument, again, that although 2.36 per game is bad, a strong stretch of good games would bring that closer to the league average.
UNTIL YOU REALIZE THAT ALREADY HAPPENED!
5,6,7. 18 of the 26 runs came in a three-game stretch, including the game where the Mariners lit up Verlander. That means that in his other eight starts that they have scored just eight runs. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out the average run support.
ONE RUN A GAME ISN’T ENOUGH, NOT EVEN FOR PRIME BIG UNIT, PEDRO, or DEGROM!
It’s not like Flexen has been doing bad either. He’s got a 4.35 ERA on the season, but he is actually having a much better year than that. Take out his two worst starts, and you get down to a 3.23 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. If you’re telling me you can get those numbers from a starter in 80-85% of his starts, then I will take that all the time from someone who is supposed to be your #5 pitcher.
Flexen will get the Twins, Angels, Athletics, and Orioles in his next four starts. The team should be able to score more than 2.36 per game for him in those games, and I feel pretty comfortable that it would be closer in line with the 5,6,7 stretch from the end of May.
This is why I do think there is a glimmer of hope. Remember, those runs that they have been scoring for Flexen have come recently, and the only reason it didn’t continue was the buzzsaw that was an angry Verlander. The Mariners need to score more runs for Chris Flexen… but it seems like they might be on the right path.