Sunday, May 15, 2005


Today's game takes us through six weeks of play, which is just shy of one quarter of the season. To be sure, there is still plenty of time left in the season, but it might be worthwhile to take stock of where our 2005 Mariners are at.

From the plate, the Mariners are second in the AL West in runs scored/game, trailing Texas by nearly a run per game, but leading Oakland by the same margin, and leading LAAAAAA by about 1/3 run per game. With the exception of Texas, though, the entire division is below the AL average.

We are also second in the West in preventing runs, behind only Orange County in runs allowed per game. Lest that seem too positive, the Ms, Rangers, and As are all hovering around 5 runs allowed per game, while the Angels are nearer to 4 than 5. So far this season, AL teams have allowed 4.76 runs/game.

These stats underscore that the entire division has performed extraordinarily poorly through nearly six weeks of play, which might give us some delusions that with proper planning, hard work, and some luck, our beloved Mariners are still in this race. I must admit that, between enduring "insights" offered by Hendu during last night's game (especially his illogical assertion that you cannot beat the Red Sox by putting up 8-run innings), I was impressed with Franklin's work. I'm sticking to the guarded optimism of this week's posts.

The starting rotation is currently a mess, with Aaron Sele demonstrating the folly of relying on replacement-level talent in the rotation, Pineiro mysteriously looking for his lost velocity and talent in Tacoma (it's not there, Joel), and Jamie Moyer enduring a miserable stretch that once again has us questioning whether he's aged beyond his expiration date. Meanwhile, all we need say about the state of the offense is that we're lamenting the injury to Wiki Gonzalez.

Given the state of the roster, I'm not particularly confident that any Mariners are currently underperforming in massive fashion. I suppose we have to figure that Olivo can't keep hitting as badly as he has, while Jose Lopez is back on the field in Tacoma, so perhaps there is some chance of bringing him up at some point. Beltre will likely put up more impressive numbers eventually, given how he's stinging the ball without the best of results. Still, none of the likely improvements are that substantial. Meanwhile, Big Sexy's continued health and power is wonderful, but with the potential to decline.

All told, 2005 is not up to the same level of despair as was 2004, but it is certainly challenging to remain optimistic about this club. Fear not, Mariners. We'll continue to love you even if you play like the Devil Rays. But would it kill you to play like a major league team?? Would it???


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