Hello. Welcome to a new series preview here at OTM. I’m your intrepid host, by which I mean I’m writing this thing. You're reading this because it's italicized. Enjoy!
- The Mariners offense was really bad last season. This season they're testing the limits of the English language. Horrendous, abominable, foul. Putrescent. Gamey… nah. Should have just stuck with putrescent. To give you some context, the Red Sox have scored 519 runs, tops in baseball. The Mariners have scored 319, the worst in baseball. Also, the Mariners have played two more games.
- The Mariners have been outscored by every National League team. Don't forget, National League teams use only eight hitters because that's the way real baseball is played by real Americans ("The National League: Because only communists use the DH"), but in an obvious attempt to one up them all, the Mariners only use four and a half.
- Scoring runs obviously isn't the Mariners strong suit. Ah, you ask, but do they even have a strong suit? Yes! Preventing teams from scoring. The thing is, the Mariners prevent everyone from scoring. They prevent the opposition, they prevent themselves. If they see you with your girlfriend at the drive-in, they'll saunter over with a big bag of popcorn and engage in the most irritating small talk. "Hey, remember last semester? When you said that thing to Stacy? And she snarfed milk all over her dress? And that time in Mr. Jackowitz's science class? Oh. My. God. Leave me alone! I'm trying to score here, but no. They won't shut up!
- On July 5th the Mariners had won three in a row and stood at .500, 43-43. Since, they've lost twelve games in a row and fallen into last place. But on the plus side, it's not 105 and humid in Seattle.
- Everyone wondered when Ichiro Suzuki would finally fall of a cliff. Now. Now is when he fell off a cliff, so you can stop wondering. If he keeps hitting like this Ichiro will have to use two names like everyone else. His OPS is almost 200 points below his career mark (.616 to .795), his on-base percentage is barely above .300 and he has produced almost no power to speak of. On the occasions he gets on, he's still stealing bases so that's something, I guess.
- The Mariners have a DH who's slugging .322 and a third baseman with an OPS of .478. Have I mentioned they aren't good at hitting?
- Eric Bedard and David Aardsma are the only significant players on the M’s DL which, if I haven't mentioned it enough, should give you a clue as to how bad the lineup is. So, one of Aardsma and Bedard is returning from a minor injury and one is having season ending surgery. WHO YA GOT!?! Answer now: Aardsma is the one who is done for the year with Tommy John surgery while Bedard just threw a bullpen in preparation for returning to the mound. So, how much money did you just lose?
Individual game notes after the jump!
Game 1 Notes
- As Marc is fond of saying, John Lackey isn't really thaaaaaaaat bad (copyright 2011 Marc Normandin Enterprises All Rights Reserved). Lackey isn't a very good pitcher, but he's not horrible and backed by the Red Sox top-ish-of-the-league defense and fronted by the Red Sox best-in-the-league offense, he doesn't have to be anything amazing. Which is good. Because he isn't. But, against the Mariners, it's fair to expect six innings of two run ball.
- For his WHIP Felix Hernandez has an actual whip.
- This isn't a fair fight in any way. Hernandez is leaps and bounds better than Lackey, but the Red Sox offense which Hernandez will be facing is leaps and bounds better than the offense Lackey will face. The bottom three of the Red Sox order, Reddick, Saltalamacchia, and Scutaro, would be the first, second, and fourth best hitters in the Mariners lineup by OPS. Not the best measure, but I think it gets the point across.
Saturday, Jul 23, 2011, 7:10 PM EDT
Blake Beavan vs Josh Beckett
Dark and sunny. Winds blowing couches out to left field. Game time temperature below 200 and above -10. There will be some humidity but we hate to speculate. OK, a lot. A lot of humidity. Are you happy?!
Game 2 Notes
- I'm fairly certain "Blake Beavan" is the bad kid from an '80s high school movie. He starts out with the girl but eventually she realizes he's too full of himself and she really wanted to be with the artsy nerd all along anyway. Blake will be sad.
- What Josh Beckett will do to the Mariners offense I can only imagine. It will unholy, I can tell you that. I'm talking two strike strikeouts, batters hitting with black cats running in front of them, blood pouring from their batting helmets. If ever there was a time when a game looked like it could end up being a no-hitter or a perfect game, this, my friends, is that game. So the Mariners will probably win 9-1.
Game 3 Notes
- Pineda has taken the league by storm so far this year. The storm may be losing speed though, or at least effectiveness. Over his last three starts Pineda has been the love child of John Lackey and Kyle Weiland. Metaphorically speaking of course. He's accumulated a 6.75 ERA which seems to be the fault of a bout of wildness within the zone. He's walking people at about the same rate he has all year, but he's been giving up more extra base hits.
- Wakefield has not taken the league by storm. He is, in fact, the pitching equivalent of a nice spring day. Whether or not it turns out to be a good day or not, who knows. You could get evicted. Or fall down a well on the day when Lassie was getting her nails done. Wake has been marginally effective this season. He's a below average starting pitcher at this point, but if he can limit the walks he should be able to keep the team in the game.
- Partially through his residency in the AL West, Pineda hasn't faced the strongest competition this season. He's faced the Yankees once (three runs in five IP) and the Rangers twice (seven runs in thirteen IP). He's a phenom who can strike the hell out batters, but he can bet gotten to. Expect the Red Sox to score more than a few.
- Pineda has pitched 119.1 innings and has 119.1 strikeouts. Yes, 0.1 strikeouts. No, I don't understand either. No, I'm not a moron. What do you think? I just make this stuff up?