Mariners 4, Oaklands 2

Q.  So the A's are pretty easy to beat, eh?  Three games, three Mariner starters cruise.

A.  Well, I wouldn't overstate the A's problems.  The A's have scored more runs than they have allowed in the 2009 season; their Pythag is 80-79.

Their offense has a 97 OPS+ on the year.   They've had a much better year at the plate than the Mariners have.


Q.  Yeah, but this month they're playing their PCL'ers, though.

A.  In September, the A's are hitting .297/.365/.455 for a 122 OPS+. 

Before they faced the M's, they scored 22 on the Angels in three games and before that, they'd scored 8+ runs in 5-of-6 ballgames.

The A's were 17-8 over their last 25 games, coming into Safeco.

So, actually, the M's wiped out one of the league's better offenses these last three days.   Felix, Morrow, and then Doogie stepping up next to those two this series.


=== Adam Moore ===

Just like Wednesday:  two strikeouts, plus a really gorgeous AB.   Raw, finding his way in the dark, and talented.

The fifth inning, Moore was quickly down in the count 1-2 to a rather Sabathia-looking Brett Anderson. 

He calmly took a 1-2 curve ball for 2-2.

He got another curve, on his hands, would have been called strike three, but he pulled the trigger at the laaaasssst second and fouled IT off...

95 mph fastball up-the-ladder, very tough strikeout pitch, fouled that off...

Pitch #7.  Anderson came back with a hook, the one that catches PCL players overeager.... Moore took it and the count was full.

Anderson on 3-2 started throwing howitzers -- 96 mph, deep in the zone, fouled off.  95 mph, deep in the zone, fouled off.

Then, 95 mph, Moore RIFLES! it up the middle for a hit.  Teddy Ballgame quickness, timing, and results.

Good on yer, kid.


=== Mike Sweeney ===

Had the huge two-out, 2-RBI base hit that, in essence, won the game.  Fittingly, it was to right-center.

This man hit .340/.400/.550 in August and September.   I don't think many of the other Mariners did so.


=== Ken Griffey Jr. ===

Junior, last night, hit a turn-back-the-clock HR -- a 90 mph fastball he loaded up on and screamed off the batter's eye in CF.  Didn't even know he was still capable.   That followed a bittersweet home run just the night before.

Jeff Sullivan goes ahead and calculates Griffey's 2009 production, based on the normalization of his groundball BABIP to his own 30-something norms.  Jeff comes up with a .342 OBP and .430 SLG.

I hadn't realized that Griffey's BABIP on fly balls was normal this year -- that it was the grounders that cost him.  Huh.   They didn't shift THAT often.  This is good news, 'cause I sort of thought warning track fly balls were part of the problemo.  They weren't.

Low GB BABIP is bad luck, not Olerud syndrome.  You predict that to go ahead and normalize next year.


I'd edit to add that Griffey lost a fair amount of productivity when his knees swelled up after trying to play too much, and that you might be able to squeeze even more production out of a Griffey who had 300 AB's rather than 450.  Griff played 5 straight games or something in NL parks and limped the rest of the season.

Griffey still has a good eye and still hits HR's.  You put his BB's and HR's out there in spots, 2-3 games a week against the right pitching, and he could be a plus hitter in 2010.


Obviously there's an imperative to spend time on the people you plan to win your next pennant with, but Sweeney and Junior were (along with the CF and RF) just about the best things going on this ballclub in the second half. 

It's a perplexing decision for Zduriencik and Wakamatsu.


Dr D


Sandy - Raleigh's picture

As I recall, you spent lots of energy, (and some really swell writing), back in March and April supporting the notion that Junior should be playing OF on a regular basis.  I take it from you comments here that you accept that at this point, Griffey is a DH who is only viable in the OF maybe once a week, (preferably before an off-day, or a lefty he's gonna sit against is starting tomorrow)?
I don't remember the exact quote, but I recall saying something along the lines that I'd rather see Griffey get 450 ABs with plenty of rest, rather than get 200 ABs healthy, 200 ABs playing hurt, and the rest of the season on the DL. 
As for 2010, for me, age is the big decider.  Sweeney, turning 36, who had a great second half, I'd want back because it is SOOOO hard to find right-handers who can survive Safeco.  I think his back finally got to 100% in the second half, and we saw the "real" Sweeney.  BUT, just like Griffey, he *CANNOT* be viewed as a full-time player option.  Too fragile.  But, as the RH side of a DH platoon, who can be a righty pinch-hitter on occasion?  That, plus his clubhouse-ness would make me vote thumbs up for his return.
As for Junior ... I REALLY like the idea of letting him finish that last game of 2009 in CF.  I just don't see the value in tempting fate, betting against his age ... and instead of allowing him to bow out with a nice, feel good 18-HR season with a decent .730s OPS ... risk the LIKELY scenario in 2010 of him getting hurt, and/or failing to break the Mendoza line or the .700 OPS mark.  Coach?  Announcer?  Ichiro's valet?  Sure, find some way to keep him around -- just don't burn a roster spot to do it.


Griffey played OF daily in the seasons leading up to this one, but evidently age 39 turned out to be the year in which his knee wouldn't take it any more.
Seeing this coming in ST was a nice call.  :daps:

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