ADDITIONAL NOTE 4:38 p.m.: I’m told Adam Moore is still supposed to catch Michael Pineda in Class AAA tonight. But Moore will be called up tomorrow by the Mariners and Rob Johnson will be optioned to Tacoma. Makes sense, since Moore will likely be catching Pineda in Seattle come September.
Here’s a statistical look at your 2010 Seattle Mariners.
First half: .398
2nd half: .222
Road trip: .000
Park adjusted OPS (OPS+)
First half: 78
2nd half: 57
Road trip: 54
Average runs per game scored
First half: 3.4
2nd half: 2.6
Road trip: 2.0
Average runs per game allowed
First half: 4.3
2nd half: 4.9
Road trip: 6.4
W-L day Griffey walked out: 21-31 (.404)
W-L since Griffey walked out: 18-36 (.333)
Runs per game before Griffey walked out: 3.7
Runs per game since Griffey walked out: 2.8
Runs per game allowed before Griffey walked out: 4.1
Runs per game allowed since Griffey walked out: 4.7
Worst loss totals franchise history
1978 Mariners — 104
1980 Mariners — 103
1983 Mariners — 102
2010 Mariners — 102 (season pace); 108 (pace since Griffey walked out); 111 (pace since July 1)
2008 Mariners — 101
OPS+ by worst Mariners teams
2010 Mariners — 76
1983 Mariners — 79
1980 Mariners — 81
1978 Mariners — 89
2008 Mariners — 89
OPS+ by 1899 Cleveland Spiders — 74
I threw that last one in there for fun. The Cleveland Spiders finished 20-134, which is about as bad as any professional baseball franchise could ever hope to be over a schedule that long.
Clearly, some of the science in this post is lacking.
But I’d venture a guess, based on my supreme analytical skills, that the 2010 Mariners are a historically bad team and are getting progressively worse.
Could the fact they are playing a bunch of really good teams have something to do with it? Of course. But the Mariners weren’t all that great in April either, pulling off a bunch of late comebacks in Kansas City and Texas to make their final 11-13 record a lot closer to .500 than it probably should have been.
The M’s spent most of that month playing 10 games against Oakland and Detroit, teams that are now exactly at .500. They played six games against the largely sub-.500 Royals and Orioles. They played a good White Sox team that was playing really bad baseball in April and only four games against a Texas team that was a legit winning squad back then and still is now.
So, it’s not like the quality of opposition was all that great back then. And the Mariners were losing more than they won.
So, are they getting wiped out now because they’re playing good teams? Who knows? Kevin Slowey and Scott Baker aren’t exactly Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez, yet the Mariners made them look that way for all but one inning on the scoreboard.
Yeah, some of it is the loss of Cliff Lee. That’s one less streak buster on the mound.
Then again, I’ve included some pre and post Ken Griffey Jr. numbers as well. Griffey was one of the three worst OPS regulars in baseball when he was the DH. So, you’d expect that replacing him at DH with anyone with a pulse should have led to better offense for the Mariners. Especially if you tend to dismiss the whole chemistry element. But it didn’t make the M’s better. They’ve gotten worse. So, not sure whether you can only factor numbers into the equation, but we’re leaving chemistry out of it for today.
So, we can play the addition/subtraction game with big-name players and try to come up with an explanation. Not sure whether you can make too big a case in any direction.
All I know is, when I see the Mariners take the field, I don’t realistically expect them to win.
Yes, they got swept by a first-place White Sox team on the road. But they also got swept at home by a pretty lousy Royals team before the break.
And truth be told, there aren’t all that many sub-.500 teams in the AL. Actually, there are only three others the Mariners can play — Cleveland, KC and Baltimore.
The bad teams are so bad this year that most teams in the AL are at .500 or better. So, to dismiss the freefall the M’s have been on by attributing it to the caliber of opponents is a difficult thing to do.
Fact is, the M’s have been and will be playing .500 or better teams for most of the remaining schedule.
On pre-and-post Griffey departure stats, I’ll say this. Whether or not you believe the clubhouse chemistry was unduly fractured by Griffey leaving, I like the date reference of it because he left exactly two months ago. The M’s have now played more games since Griffey left than when he was still there.
Makes for a nice reference point.
Yeah, you can peg their record to before and after their first month of the season, or before and after Sleep Gate, or before and after that fan scooped up an extra-base hit and cost the team a game. Or any of a dozen or more “events” before or since.
But the bottom line is the same. The team is getting progressively worse. And it is on pace to become historically awful.
And it’s not just Francisco Liriano. It’s every pitcher these guys have faced for weeks on end. Nothing appears to be turning this ship around.
So, where to go from here?
I don’t know. But I do know that if nobody finds a way to turn this around — if they rely on “luck” to swing Seattle’s way — the Mariners will lose 110 games. And maybe more. And you may never see that again in your lifetime here in Seattle. That’s how bad this has become. That’s how the “performance” of this team is going.
And now, it’s up to the folks running this team to find a way to turn that performance around. Not just Don Wakamatsu. Jack Zduriencik, Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln as well.
Let’s see what they decide to do.