M's 6-5? How to watch an M's game, after 7-21
Sports Is Life, Dept.


By watching players instead of the team.

After a ballclub has cashed in its season, which Dipoto did in February, all you can do is watch them as if they were the Rainiers.  And I enjoy Rainiers games, if they have legit prospects who could be playing WELL in the majors shortly.  Well, which is better, to watch J.P. Crawford in Tacoma hitting .350, or watching Domingo Santana going against Gerrit Cole and leading the AL in RBI?

That said, for ME there are another few weeks left of watching to see if the M's pull out of their tailspin.  No way in the world is this team so devoid of talent that it should be playing .250 baseball.  Ask Matt what the current level of "replacement player" is supposed to be, but ... I believe the theory is that if you went and got 25 waiver players they would win about 45-50 games in the major leagues.

Do the M's have 25 waiver players?  Their entire LINEUP has a 115 OPS+ ... they are #4 in the entire league in runs per game, and #3 in the league in OPS+.  That's not only way above replacement level, it is championship level.  Just to crush an ant with a sledgehammer here.



Several of Dr. D's friends:  "What do you get out of watching grown men chase a little ball around the field?"  How many times have you been asked this, with the same exact phrasing?

Dr. D's reply:  "What's your hobby."

Friend:  "I appreciate the orchestra."  Snootily said, naturally.

Dr. D:  "What do you get out of watching grown men pull catgut across strings?"


You have to find meaning in your hobby.

And why should you have to find meaning in the Mariners?  It's their fault they're lousy.

Because!  It's your hobby.  You don't do it for them, you do it for YOU.  Why should you be deprived of a summer of baseball?  If the pennant race is over, it's your pleasurable job to find good reasons to watch.  It's fun to watch baseball, and if you have to dig a bit, great.

It applies to your job, your childraising, everything, doesn't it?


So why 7-21?  Same reason as why 13-2, in reverse.  They'll get things turned around.  To what degree?, you tell me.  But with a 115 offense and 87 pitching staff, the problem is that they've had 3 starting pitchers getting absolutely baked.  Felix and Swanson have ERA's way over 6, and Leake is 2-4 with a 5'ish ERA also.

Team records in appearances:

6-4  Marc-O

6-4  Kikuchi   (This is another problem:  one night we get hitting, the next night we get pitching.  Our 1-2 starters have been cheated)

3-5  Leake

3-5  Felix      (See comment above.  Felix' run support has been enough to keep his games afloat)

2-4  Swanson

2-1  LeBlanc


22-23     (Somewhere I got an extra win out of the game logs.  Ah well)



I thought he'd have an advantage early, from novelty.  Turns out he had a disadvantage early, from a gap in the knowledge bridge.  He didn't realize that the slider would work better as a chase pitch, didn't realize he can throw his curve with impunity David Wells-, Barry Zito- style.

He's rounding into form beautifully, with the K's and ERA and everything else to go with it.  Since his "Opener" game on April 26th, here are his game logs:


@Cle 7.0 3 1 1 1 10
@NYY 7.2 3 1 1 1 3
Oak 6.0 5 3 3 2 5
Total 20.2 11 5 5 4 18


I find his 95-85-75 repertoire to be marvelously aesthetic.



J.P. Crawford is playing shortstop.  I hadn't heard what this means for Tim Beckham.  Maybe he's going to get some play at 3B, but then whence Healy?, who admittedly is the most likely candidate to be pole-axed out of a starting job.  Anybody help me out here?

.... slap me silly does Crawford have a gorgeous baseball swing.  I'd forgotten that we paid a king's ransom (Jean Segura PLUS) to get him, and that he'd spent 17 years as the #2 prospect in baseball before the Phillies decided that 70 at-bats was quite enough of a chance, think yew.

Mallex Smith is imminent.  But then will they have the guts to bite into Jay Bruce's playing time?

Felix is on the DL with a sore ERA.  LeBlanc is supposed to be close I guess.  But in the meantime?


Thanks in advance,

Dr D



So far it has shifted Beckham to RH backup infielder, he's played 1 game at 3b, 1 game at 2b, and sat out one.  He starts at Second again tonight, so they're in no rush to put Beckham back at SS anytime soon.  I would guess he gets the start there vs. LHP but we'll see.

As regards Bruce, there's got to be a trade soon I would think.  Glad to have you back again Doc, I hope we keep you off the IL while longer this time.


But the problem is actually in the worst defense of the century.  They have given up 1.02 Errors/Game.  A .977 team fielding % has been put up by several teams since the 2002 Mets and 2001 Padres had .976, the worst of the 19 previous seasons starting with a 2.  The last team to put up .972 (Mariners current) or lower was a long time ago.  I couldn't find individual team totals before 2000 without checking each individually.

2005 Yankees were horrible by newer metrics that can't actually be applied to the last defense with a full season clearly worse than the Ms now.  Still the M's -43.6 UZR so far is well on it's way to the -130 of the '05 Bombers.  The M's are actually on pace for -160.5 which would obliterate the current record.  Worst defense since gloves started being made in factories?  Those Yankees are considered by some to be the worst defense ever.   In comparison to their league it's possibly true until now.



I DO appreciate the orchestra...and baseball too. I've gotta admit I enjoy Beethoven's Ninth Symphony a whole lot more than I do a double-digit Mariners' loss, though.

The thrill in baseball is in overcoming adversity. The Mariners, as usual, have taken the adversity part to a limitless extreme, but...wait 'til next year...or the one after that...or.

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