Enemy Pitchers Not Giving M's Anything


Toss out your morning New York Times crossword puzzle, or Sudoku, or Skip-O-Vision translation ring game, and tackle something much more challenging this morning.  Which of the following numbers does not belong?

SEA rank among 30 teams O-Swing Z-Swing Contact% Zone% SwStr% F-Strike% HR ISO
  26 23 16 1 14 16 13 18

The Mariners see more strikes than any other team - a lot more strikes.  Over 49% of pitches delivered to the M's are thrown inside the strike zone, compared to 45% for the league.  Only three other teams are even over 47.0%.

This contributes to a BB rate that is much lower than it should be; the M's are #26 in BB percentage.  As you might have noticed, it's tough grinding out a rally when you never seem to have a walk or two mixed in there.  

I don't have the data, but would be willing to bet that most "crooked number" rallies -- the number on the board is not straight, a "1" -- are "given to" the offense by a pitcher who walked a man or two aboard.  A lot of sports lies in the "unforced error" aspect of the battle, much more than fans like to admit.


Q.  Are the pitchers refusing to walk the Mariners because they're not dangerous enough to command respect?

A.  Check the HR and ISO column.  Why wouldn't the 17 teams below them in the HR column be getting no walks?


Q.  Are Eric Wedge's aggressiveness sermons causing the low walks?

A.  Check the O-Swing column.  The M's have the 5th-best rate in the majors at this.  They have been absolutely superb, for such a young team, in refusing sucker pitches.  It's remarkable that a 23-year-old team* should be in the top 5 of 30 teams in refusing pitches outside the strike zone.

Whatever you think about Wedge's aggressiveness philosophy, the Mariners are not swinging at called balls.  Then how much can we really complain?  That's what you want to do:  lay off balls, and attack good pitches.  Even if you're Eric Wedge's worst critic, you should give it up for him on the O-Swing percentage.  C'mon, be fair.


Q.  Why would the First Strike % be normal, but the overall strike % be sky-high?

A.  Necessarily because --- > enemy pitchers throw the Seattle Mariners a weirdly high number of strikes when down 1-0, 2-0, and 2-1.  Enemy pitching has been totally fearless when behind in the count.  Here it is, hit it.


Q.  Do the M's see a lot of breaking pitches in these counts?

A.  There's nothing unusual in the pitch mix the M's see.  And the Mariners are not good or bad at hitting any type of pitch - fastball, cutter, change, whatever.

It's no more and no less than pitchers going "here it is, hit it" when behind in the count.


Q.  Wouldn't this apply to other teams, too?  Oakland doesn't hit well.  Pittsburgh doesn't.  They don't face this syndrome.

A.  I would say it's due to one of two things:

1) The reputation of the 513-run seasons in 2010 and 2011* lingers, or

2) The Mariners have seen disproportionately tough pitching for 37 games.


Q.  Supposing that it was 1), what would be the fix?

A.  To load up and punish 2-0 pitches for home runs, rather than for singles.  Have 'em open up those swings in hitters' counts.

Of course, that may be what they're doing; perhaps the Mariners are really the majors' #20 best homer team, and are #13 because of the over-challenging.


Q.  Supposing that it was 2), what would be the fix?

A.  To wait for easier pitching.

I'd like to see somebody go through and count up the 2011 xFIP numbers for the 37 starters the M's have faced, and compare it to the league average... I'll bet you dollars to Ackley bobbleheads that the 37 starters have been really good.


Q.  Leaving us where?

A.  In any case, an M's fan can tune into the Grand Theme over-arc'ing here.  The M's have got to punish enemy pitching for taking so much of the plate.

Those pesky rodent opposition starters are getting a whoooolllle lotta the plate on 2-0 and 2-1.  It's up to the M's to blast this overconfident approach or to do without walks.



Dr D

Klat Categories: 

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <ul> <ol> <li> <i> <b> <img> <table> <tr> <td> <th> <div> <strong> <p> <br> <u>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.


Please log in or create an account to post shouts.
Gordon GrossTom Wilhelmsen's return the the rotation is gonna happen shortly if we can't straighten out this pitcher nonsense. And welcome back to Nick Franklin. IMO it means more starts for Saunders (they're both better as lefties) and we have Romero for righties (or Willie for either infield or outfield duty). Nick is insurance on our insurance, but I still hope he gets into games quickly. He's blazing hot right now - don't cool his heels on a bench for a week, please.1 hour 9 min ago
moethedogFrom MLB-TR: Morales Rejected $30MM Extension Last Summer Well, if so, I will begin to question his sanity or that of Boras. Wo with Franklin coming up the interesting question is where in the heck do you play him? Do you throw him into RF and let him sink or swim, basically with a couple of innings of lifetime experience? DH him and play Hart in RF? 3B until Seager finds his bat? SS? IDK, but I do know that we need a leadoff hitter to get on and some consistent rocking from DH and 1B (although both had singles last night. 2, in fact for Hart).1 hour 46 min ago
MtGrizzlyDivish: "Nick Franklin was pulled from tonight's game in Tacoma in the eighth inning. Most of you know this isn't normal. And Franklin wasn't hurt. The exit was to prevent him from being hurt before the Mariners likely add him to the 25-man roster tomorrow. Multiple sources have confirmed that Franklin is being called up. Expect Franklin to be join the team in Arlington on Wednesday. The corresponding move would assumed to be placing Logan Morrison on the 15-day disabled list. Morrison had his injured hamstring heavily bandaged today when he went out to batting practice.4 hours 13 min ago
Dag GummitJust came across BP from the beginning of the season that projects Zunino as the third-best framer in all of MLB: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=231765 hours 32 min ago
Tacoma RainSo A Fernandez or Caraway next???9 hours 25 min ago
OBFTrade back for Noesi... :)10 hours 59 min ago
MtGrizzlyWho is in line to take Beavan's turn? Ruffin?11 hours 36 min ago
OBFSomeone Quarantine Felix NOW!!!!!11 hours 41 min ago
OBFIt's and epidemic... smh :(11 hours 42 min ago
MtGrizzly@RyanDivish: Beavan said he knew his velocity was down and tried to make pitches as best he could.11 hours 45 min ago
MtGrizzly@shannondrayer: Beavan came out of game w/shoulder stiffness. Thought it would loosen up in game but didn't. Concerned w/velocity and lack of life on ball11 hours 46 min ago
OBFThis Offense is feast of famine... M's Runs this year: 10, 8, 8, 2, 3, 3, 5, 0, 6, 1, 0, 7, 0 Six games with lots of runs (5+), Five games with few runs (0-2), only 2 games with an average/medium amount of runs (3 or 4)... and interestingly it doesn't seem to actually have that much to do with starting pitcher handedness...11 hours 53 min ago
OBFOptimist Outlook: “I am sure Taijuan just slept awkwardly last night and he woke up a bit stiff, and all will be fine tomorrow” :) Pessimist Perspective: “Well Dr. Andrews… prep the table” :(11 hours 57 min ago
rick82Lol. It was certainly....disturbing, Mojician. I think Doc is trying to get some women into the site.13 hours 15 min ago
MtGrizzlyWhat a putrid offensive showing.13 hours 16 min ago
mojicianThis loss is Doc's fault. How are the Mariners expected to be tough when ChipenDale pics are being posted at SSI?13 hours 32 min ago
rick82But if we aren't going to score runs, doesn't matter who we pitch. Groan.13 hours 41 min ago
Bat571Young is going to get more innings than anyone imagined.14 hours 2 min ago
Bat571Hope they can get Maurer stretched out as depth.14 hours 3 min ago
Bat571Makes Elias all the more valuable with the ~older but less mileage arm. But then that was supposed to be Paxton's advantage, too.14 hours 5 min ago