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.

.

BABVA,

Dr D

Klat Categories: 
Tags: 

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.

Shoutbox

Please log in or create an account to post shouts.
bsr@StoneLarry: Remember yesterday when #Mariners were on pace to score 5 more runs than last year? Now they're on identical 624-run pace.39 min 33 sec ago
MtGrizzly@RyanDivish: The #Mariners have scored just three runs in their last 37 innings of baseball.47 min 32 sec ago
bsrFor example in today's game, I would absolutely take 2010 Figgy over Endy, PH Hart, JJ, P"H" Romero, Lomo, or Miller. Ackley is hard to decide, but his season line is certainly a lot worse than 2010 Figgy. This is kind of blowing my mind...55 min 23 sec ago
bsrYou know, 2010 Chone Figgins would be a substantial upgrade to this team. A utility guy hitting 260-340-305 with 40+ steals? That is better than most of our daily lineup!59 min 33 sec ago
bsrM's are back to their familiar comfort zone: distant last place in AL team OPS. Last in average, last in OBP - the only team with an OBP <300 - and last in slugging for good measure. 244-298-371. Can't blame it on the park anymore - take out Safeco games and our road OPS would still be 2nd to last in the AL (maybe last after tonight). Year after year after year after year of this...when is it going to improve? So incredibly frustrating.1 hour 5 min ago
bsrAs an addendum / positive note, I was extremely impressed with Seager. He is starting to carry himself like a star and a leader, and playing like one at the plate and in the field. Someday there will be someone else to get on base for those ripped doubles he smacks in brass knuckle pennant fights like we're in. Someday.1 hour 23 min ago
bsrM's fans needed to throw those Oriole home run balls back on the field. Bush league and bad baseball karma, not knowing to do that. Five Seattle people in that stadium came to play pennant race baseball - Seager, Cano, Fat Ichiro, the Arrow, and of course Felix. Everyone else basically came out for a nice night at the ballpark. This is the same Mariners as every year under Jack Z, with one extra star player who never has anyone to drive in, so his batting title performance is wasted. Count me out of watching any more of this torture until we have a real MLB lineup out there.1 hour 28 min ago
bsrA pinch swinger coming in for another pinch swinger! Amazing. Only in Seattle.1 hour 44 min ago
SABR Mattcall me when the Mariners do something relevant...I'm just done with it.1 hour 48 min ago
mojicianAw Crud.1 hour 54 min ago
mojicianSlices are some of my favorite hits. I prefer just fair on the left field line.1 hour 57 min ago
mojicianEngineering. I can see that. Useful science. Like RBIs.1 hour 59 min ago
bsrMorrison's swing seems engineered for hitting popups to third base. He looks like a golfer hitting slices.2 hours 5 min ago
bsrEven the M's ballgirls are bad. LOL.2 hours 9 min ago
Bat571C'mon JAckZ - engineer us a winner!2 hours 12 min ago
Bat571theory meeting practice is engineering.2 hours 15 min ago
bsrAckley!!! Strikes out in the clutch. Who would have thought.2 hours 17 min ago
Bat571Condor is reportedly throwing balls into a net, so he's a ways away - I doubt we see him before September.2 hours 23 min ago
Bat571If we brought in Castillo, I'd move JJ to 1B (which he played in college and some in the minors) if he gets his OPS ahead of LoMo's or Ackley's. Play the best hand you can!2 hours 27 min ago
mojicianDarn right. What do you call it when theory meets practice? More importantly, when does Condor get back?2 hours 28 min ago