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Series Preview - Boston Red Sox at Seattle Mariners

Hello. I'm Matt. A question: Is it possible to for baseball stats to be interesting and funny? NO! It is not! You may take solace in the fact that this sentence is written in italics. Enjoy.

Series Notes

  • Is it safe to pronounce the Seattle Mariners plan to win by sucking a failure yet?
  • The difference between the number of runs the Red Sox have scored (631) and the number of runs the Mariners have scored (386) is 64% of the Mariners total runs scored.  This math-y-ness scientifically proves my hypothesis: Mariners offense bad. 
  • You may not have noticed (I sure haven't), but right around the time the national media began to extol the virtues of Jacoby Ellsbury's MVP-hood, i.e about two weeks ago, Ellsbury decided to go all meta on their asses. By not hitting. Over the last two weeks, Ellsbury is hitting .255/.276/.400. Yet even this: dude is 9th in fWar in all of baseball and 6th among hitters. Among American League hitters, the group he'll be compared to in MVP voting, he's 4th.
  • Here are two batting lines:
    1) .314/.369/.507
    2) .257/.293/.394
    Suppose, friends, before the season began, you were given those lines. Your job was to guess which line would belong to which of the following two players: Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury. What, honestly, would you have predicted?
  • Liar!
  • Red Sox fans named most photogenic, attractive and intelligent in all of baseball by Red Sox Magazine.
  • It won't surprise you to learn that Felix Hernandez has been the most valuable Mariner this season. Fan Graphs values his contribution to the team at $16 million. The second most valuable Mariner this season has been Doug Fister ($12 million) though he's now a member of the Detroit Tigers. The most valuable hitter has been Brenden Ryan ($10.9 million). For context, the Red Sox have four hitters more valuable than Hernandez. Dustin Pedroia ($30 million) has been almost three times as valuable as Ryan.
  • M's Manager Eric Wedge in an obvious attempt to be seen as cool by the kids, grew this mustache. Unfortunately for Wedge, he soon learned a valuable lesson. Looking like a weirdo only works if your roster doesn't totally blow.

Next Game

Boston Red Sox
@ Seattle Mariners

Friday, Aug 12, 2011, 10:10 PM EDT

John Lackey vs Blake Beavan

Partly roofy. Wind direction depends on direction of giant fans. Game time temperature around 75.

Complete Coverage >

Game One Notes

- John Lackey is plugging along with his male-modeling career while moon-lighting as a Red Sox pitcher on the side. Just a friendly hint: might not want to quite the old day job, John.

- On the plus side, Lackey is tied for the league lead in two categories. K/0* and IP/9**
* Strikeouts Per Nothing. He's tied for first with every other player in baseball ever.
** Innings pitched per nine innings.

- Blake Beavan: Olde Timey High Society British-type Person or Mariners pitcher: You Be The Judge!

Next Game

Boston Red Sox
@ Seattle Mariners

Saturday, Aug 13, 2011, 10:10 PM EDT

Josh Beckett vs Felix Hernandez

Partly roofy. Winds circling from left to right field to left to right field to left to right field to left to right field to left to right field at 1-1.2 m.p.h. If the game time temperature is not 75 exactly I will quit as's official janitor/meteorologist.

Complete Coverage >

Game Two Notes

- Felix Hernandez is not first in K/9, he's not first in HR/9 or IP. He's not first in fWAR or xFIP either. But he's near the top in all those categories. Because Felix Hernandez is really really good. Bam! That's some analysis coming at ya!

- Jonathan Papelbon is fueled by haters. Literally. He eats them. One day, I predict, this will get him into trouble.

- Want some good news? You won't find it here: Josh Beckett's ERA+ (ERA above league average) is the highest in his career while his strikeout rate is the lowest of his career. Oopsy-doodle!

Next Game

Boston Red Sox
@ Seattle Mariners

Sunday, Aug 14, 2011, 4:10 PM EDT

Tim Wakefield vs Charlie Furbush

Partly roofy. Other parts not so roofy. Windy in non-roofy parts Game time temperature so perfect you'll want to move here but then you will and you'll experience the forever grey of a Seattle winter and you'll likely off yourself. So just stay put, eh?

Complete Coverage >


Game Three Notes

- Tim Wakefield still has 199 victories. You wonder if at this point he's made a conscious decision to stay with 199 because it's cooler. I mean, everyone seems to be into round numbers, but Wake? He's contrarian, man, he swims against the flow, he goes against the grain. he wears white in fall, he wears sunglasses at night so he can so he can so he caaaaaaan see.

- This season Tim Wakefield has thrown knuckleballs 91% of the time at an average speed of 65.8 mph. He throws his fastball (73 mph) 7% of the time. Let me reiterate: he throws a 73 mph fastball 7% of the time. If you batted three times against Wakefield you'd likely get at least one fastball. Since that's true, and it so so is, doesn't it make sense as a hitter to ignore the knuckleball completely and just look for a fastball every single pitch? Sure, you're going to be wrong most of the time, and that'll cost you two to three plate appearances in the game. But! When you are right you're going to hit it 550 feet.

- Charlie Furbush is as good a pitcher as his name implies.