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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Mariners move within a half-game of second AL wild-card spot; here are three reasons why the club is surging

1. Clutch hitting
The Mariners enter Wednesday last in the American League in hits and batting average. They are 13th (of 15 teams) in on-base percentage, 14th in slugging, 14th in OPS and 11th in runs.

What they have done, somehow, is raise their game hitting when it matters more. They are generally terrible at getting on base, but when they do, they start to hit. Check out this progression:


Bases empty: .211/.286/.361
Runners on: .249/.327/.423
Runners in scoring position: .260/.339/.453

Or how about this:

Low leverage: .205/.287/.337
Medium leverage: .228/.299/.397
High leverage: .274/.348/.485

Yep, the Mariners collectively have the clutch gene.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 29, 2021 at 10:28 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: September 29, 2021 at 10:57 PM (#6042485)
AL 2021

Empty: 238/306/407
Runners On: 255/329/424
RISP: 254/333/421

So the Ms are terrible relative to league with bases empty, average with runners on, better with RISP (mainly ISO ... and ISO may be a bit less valuable with RISP)

The leverage results are more dramatic as the Ms are substantially below average in lo/med but crushing it in hi (AL 254/329/414).

As we might expect for a team 14 wins ahead of their pythag, they are 33-18 in 1-run games. A lot of that damage has been done in the division -- 14-4 vs Oak on a +15 differential; 10-6 vs LAA on -9; 13-6 vs Tex on +10. That adds up to 37-16 on +16.
   2. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: September 30, 2021 at 12:34 AM (#6042496)
The part about the bullpen doesn't do justice to Casey Sadler, but then, neither does Scott Servais. He just set a franchise record with his 26th straight scoreless appearance, with an overall WHIP of 0.770 and an ERA of 0.72. YEt Servais uses him in the 5th or 6th, and not at all tonight.

Just now, Castillo came in for the 7th and gave up the game-tying HR.
   3. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: September 30, 2021 at 01:34 AM (#6042501)
I don't know if it's the Mariners are better than their raw stats say they are, or the A's just simply collapse when they see a nautically-themed "M" on an opposing jersey.
   4. JJ1986 Posted: September 30, 2021 at 07:07 AM (#6042503)
I can't find it, but I posted here years ago that Paul Sewald was going to be good. It just took a long time.
   5. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 30, 2021 at 08:11 AM (#6042509)
If the Red Sox end up getting the second wild card, the most important series of the year will have ended up being the September trip to Seattle:

- They won two out of three. It was the first time Boston had won a series in Seattle since 2013.
- How weird was it that Boston won this series? The Red Sox have been pretty mediocre for the entire second half of the season, and are coasting on fumes at this point based off of a dynamic first 85 games of the season. Since winning three out of four at home against the Yankees July 22-25, the Red Sox have played nine series against teams with winning records: They have lost seven of them, split two of them, and won a grand total of one series against a winning team - out of ten such series - since July 25th: When they won two out of three against Seattle on the road.

I had marked that series down in my head as "let's at least win one of those three" - then, they split the first two games, and explode in the 10th inning of the final game of that series, and it turns out that might be the most important game of the year for both Seattle and Boston!
   6. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: September 30, 2021 at 12:09 PM (#6042550)
I don't really like the Mariners, but they're the only one of the Angels' AL West rivals that I can tolerate currently, so I'm pulling for them to get in the Wild Card ahead of the Yankees and Red Sox. Nothing would make me happier than the Mariners and Blue Jays making the WC over the Yankees and Red Sox. It would be so wonderful.

The Mariners definitely have a chance - they have three left against the Angels, who not only aren't trying, but are bad even when they do try. Ohtani isn't pitching this weekend and I'm not sure they even have any other major league caliber starters.

The Blue Jays need to take care of business tonight against the Yankees and then they've got three at home against the Orioles. Although the Blue Jays needing to sweep the last series of the season against a bad Orioles team to make the playoffs has gone poorly in the past.

The Yankees are playing the Rays, who don't really have anything to play for, but I'd like to think they'll be motivated to play spoilers. Plus it's not like the Rays are going to do anything differently - they'll still only keep their starter in the game for four innings.

The Red Sox are unfortunately playing a Nationals team that has long since given up the ghost, and doesn't have any reason to stick it to the Red Sox, outside the natural inclination of all right-thinking Americans.
   7. BDC Posted: September 30, 2021 at 12:47 PM (#6042553)
Mariners are, naturally, in sixth place overall in the AL this morning.
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 30, 2021 at 01:05 PM (#6042554)
The Red Sox are unfortunately playing a Nationals team that has long since given up the ghost, and doesn't have any reason to stick it to the Red Sox, outside the natural inclination of all right-thinking Americans.
In Friday’s game, the Nationals are starting Josh Rogers, a 27-year old who kicked around a bit before pitching surprisingly well (2.73 ERA) for Washington in 5 starts. Could be a small sample size fluke, but he has a chance of throwing a good game, or more accurately a promising 5 innings. Juan Soto is still going for the Batting Title & MVP, and the team hasn’t so much given up as just not having the players, particularly the pitching. Could be dangerous.
   9. bookbook Posted: September 30, 2021 at 02:07 PM (#6042568)
Teams that outperform their Pythagorean projections have good bullpens. They also are probably stronger pitching than hitting teams. (Even great pitching staffs get blown out occasionaloy. Weak offenses can’t blow anyone away.)

The clutch thing is either (a) just weird, or (b) an artifact of overplaying older dudes. Seager can’t wake up for every at bat, but late and clutch? He still brings his game.
   10. villageidiom Posted: September 30, 2021 at 03:10 PM (#6042580)
Mariners are, naturally, in sixth place overall in the AL this morning.
I love callbacks that are over a decade old. Never forget.
   11. weiss-man Posted: September 30, 2021 at 03:19 PM (#6042583)
Also Red Sox will have to do without the DH this weekend.
   12. Rally Posted: September 30, 2021 at 03:28 PM (#6042585)
Juan Soto is still going for the Batting Title & MVP


If the games at all competitive, I’d guess the Red Sox will just help him pad his MLB leading walk total. He’s got 140, which is impressive enough, but in the second half has 82 in 69 games. Funny how that works when they trade away every other decent player on the team.
   13. JustDan Posted: September 30, 2021 at 03:42 PM (#6042590)
But, oddly enough, the Nationals are hitting better since the trade deadline. They are scoring more runs (from 4.4 to 4.7), and the slash lines are higher (258/330/419 to 260/349/416). The pitching has been a disaster though.
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 30, 2021 at 03:52 PM (#6042592)
Juan Soto is still going for the Batting Title & MVP
If the games at all competitive, I’d guess the Red Sox will just help him pad his MLB leading walk total. He’s got 140, which is impressive enough, but in the second half has 82 in 69 games. Funny how that works when they trade away every other decent player on the team.
In all of MLB this season, Juan Soto is the only player qualified for the batting title who has more BB than strikeouts. That must mean it is incredibly hard, which makes Soto’s margin of 140 BB to 87 K’s extremely impressive,
   15. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 30, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#6042600)
Soto came into Coors Field on Monday virtually tied with Trea Turner for the batting title, and you would think he'd have a chance to make some hay, but the Rox held him down pretty well: 14 plate appearances, two singles, two walks, two strikeouts, two GIDPs.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: September 30, 2021 at 04:45 PM (#6042611)
Teams that outperform their Pythagorean projections have good bullpens.

Well, they frequently have bullpens that performed well. There is little reason to think the Ms pen is actually good.
   17. Rally Posted: October 01, 2021 at 07:45 AM (#6042751)
Mariners didn’t even play last night and they still moved into a tie for the WC2 spot.
   18. Rally Posted: October 01, 2021 at 07:50 AM (#6042753)
Soto first player since Votto 2015 to top 140 walks. Since 1969, only 4 others have done it. McGwire, Bagwell, and Sheffield once each, Bonds 6 times.

I have a feeling Soto will do this more than once.
   19. Rally Posted: October 01, 2021 at 07:52 AM (#6042755)
31 seasons of 140+ walks alltime. 17 by just 3 players: Babe, Ted, and Barry.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 01, 2021 at 10:15 AM (#6042769)
#10 deserves some dap. Well played

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