Wednesday, July 18, 2007

4-3 Homestand better than it sounds

Definite playoff atmosphere in tonight's 6-5 victory over Baltimore. McLaren was a little slow to go the bullpen in the 7th and Ben Broussard proved again that he really isn't an outfielder to make this game a nailbiter, but any excuse to watch JJ close out a one run game is okay by me.

4-3 seems like only a moderately successful homestand, but if the M's can play .500 against the good teams like the Tigers and take of 2 of 3 from the lesser teams, they should be fine.

We were outscored on the homestand 39 to 32 so 4 wins is a pretty good outcome. Overall the M's have only outscored opponents by 10 runs, 455-445. By those numbers they should be 46-45 right now, instead of 52-39.

But the Mariners have a couple of things going for them that may allow them to continue to outproduce their Pythagorean projection. First, of course is the shutdown bullpen. Three aces in Putz, Sherrill and Green, and the back end is pretty decent too. Also, I think the nature of the M's starters, a bunch of guys, outside of Felix, who rely on the other team to put the ball in play, and good defense to get outs, means that you are going to have your share of disaster starts, where we are out of it early. But if you get a halfway decent start the offense is good enough to win a lot of games. Maybe someday I'll go back and look at teams that beat their Pythags over a season and see what their starting staffs looked like...probably not though.

What's next? A road trip to Toronto and Texas and then home against Oakland and the Angels. Man, that homestand could be sweet. If you are within two or three of Los Angeles...I'm giddy in anticipation.


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