Gettin' loose, in early March, that's one thing. Spring Training stats are a meld of 70% useless games, and 30% useful games, and usually do more harm than good. (But, cough corey hart cough. harumph brad miller harumph.)
Fortunately for us, in later March --- > certain games do contain --- > certain innings that --- > are of MLB(TM) quality. You don't get a 50-AB statistical "sample" (grooaaaan) but you do get what the scouts get: a chance to see whether Abraham Almonte can deal with vicious pitches.
On March 21st, Jeff Samardzija bit the M's surfboard in half, jumped on top of what was left, rocked the Casbah wave into the beach and gave us a chance to evaluate the M's lineup.
Similarly, the Mariners have had a chance this week to take on two legit Left Hand Starters. These guys were throwing, pretty much, the way they would in April or May.
Brett Anderson is a load, was throwing like it in the Seattle-Colorado game, and after that game (March 22) he was in the dugout with headset on going "Well, I gave up 12 hits, but I was throwing good and I controlled the damage."
Um, hold it. Full stop. Is anything wrong with this picture? Were we talking about an All-Star LHP vs the Seattle Mariner lineup? The guy was satisfied to get the carnage triaged?!
Bruce Chen is a late-30's innings eater, but he did have a 3.27 ERA last year in the American League; he's not exactly Anthony Vasquez. Chen was executing his usual game, to Dr. D's eye. It's just that in this game, March 22, his usual game cost him 9 runs inside-a four innings.
Like youse guys, I figured the M's were in a world a' hurt vs lefties. Sure, they got Cano, and they got Seager. But against LHP's those are decent hitters. Two decent hitters, and 7 meatballs, that's a recipe for 91 losses and a Felix Hernandez record of about 13-12, 2.08.
That was Dr. D's expectation. But like John Madden sez, worst thing you can do is write a pre-game script and then call the game to fit the script. Gotta observe the script during action.
Dr. D's scouting notebook, vs. Andersen and Chen, read thusly...