The Mariners Are or Aren’t Wasting Historic Run Prevention

Arguably the best team in baseball history wasn’t built around superstars. It was built instead around depth and consistency, and as the 2001 Mariners won 116 games during the regular season, they posted an 82 ERA- that was, therefore, 18% better than league-average. While the pitching staff wasn’t particularly noteworthy, it was healthy and solid and bolstered by an all-time-great defense, which made for an outstanding level of run prevention. The 2014 Mariners aren’t anywhere near a 116-win pace — that would be almost impossible, and in fact these Mariners have already lost eight more games than those other Mariners. But to date, these Mariners have posted an ERA- of 79.

Following the trade deadline, much of the talk concerns the rotations built in Detroit and Oakland. Both were strong before adding, respectively, David Price and Jon Lester, and those are the teams considered to have the most intimidating pitching staffs down the stretch. But it’s the Mariners who’ve had better run prevention than anybody else, by a decent margin, and two things are remarkable: it’s remarkable that that’s true, and it’s remarkable that the Mariners still aren’t presently in a playoff position.

To knock one thing out right away: it would be better to have RA-, but that’s not available on our leaderboards. And, honestly, it wouldn’t change very much; the Mariners have allowed just 28 unearned runs, fifth-fewest in baseball. So the ERA- isn’t deceptive, and while it’s somewhat insane what the Mariners have done, it’s extra insane what they’ve been doing lately. What comes next is going to feature an arbitrary endpoint, but this isn’t intended as analysis — this is just a summary of what’s certainly happened.

And what’s certainly happened is that, since the last day of May, the Mariners have played 59 games, or 36% of a full season. Over those 59 games, the Mariners as a team have allowed 159 runs, with a 2.50 ERA. Because I feel like you aren’t appreciating that, over more than a third of a full season, the Mariners as a team have posted a 2.50 ERA, that is a full run better than a 3.50 ERA, which would be a pretty good ERA. Clayton Kershaw has a career 2.52 ERA. For 59 games, basically, the Mariners have been preventing runs as if every game was nine innings of Clayton Kershaw.

Since that same date, the Mariners’ runs-allowed total is 46 runs better than the American League’s next-lowest runs-allowed total. The Mariners have allowed, over the span, fewer than half as many runs as the Rangers. And yet the Mariners’ record over the stretch is just fifth-best in the AL, behind the Orioles, A’s, Angels, and Royals. As the Mariners have had maybe the best run-prevention streak in franchise history, they’ve lost considerable ground in their own division. And this is because, since the last day of May, the Mariners are also tied for last in the AL in runs scored.

That more or less captures the essence of the team. But let’s step back now to look at the whole year, instead of just the last 2+ months. The Mariners’ team 79 ERA- is the best in baseball by five points. Since the mound was lowered before 1969, only six teams have finished with a lower ERA-, the 1993 Braves leading the way at 75. Since the same year, this Mariners rotation would rank in the upper 10%, but it’s the bullpen that’s been truly absurd — its 62 ERA- is topped only by the 2003 Dodger bullpen’s 61 ERA-. The Mariners projected to have a reasonably effective bullpen, but to this point it’s been almost unparalleled.

You can get yourself some of the way toward understanding how this has happened. Felix Hernandez is the AL’s Kershaw, and he’s been pitching at an even higher level than he used to. Hisashi Iwakuma also has a sub-3 ERA and xFIP. Chris Young, healthy now, has a history of beating his peripherals, and over his last ten starts he’s had four times as many strikeouts as walks. The bullpen has avoided both injuries and hits, and it’s been improved by the emergence of Brandon Maurer. Lloyd McClendon‘s starters have generally taken him deep enough to afford bullpen flexibility, and it’s not surprising that any of those relievers have succeeded. In any given season, dozens if not hundreds of relievers will over-perform.

There’s also the matter of the team’s defense, which is why I’ve been careful to use the term “run prevention”. DRS thinks the Mariners have been average, but UZR thinks they’ve been considerably better, and Matthew Carruth’s team-level analysis is even more flattering. While the defensive unit lacks an Alex Gordon or an Andrelton Simmons, it’s also a unit that doesn’t have a glaring weakness (at least, anymore). The Mariners have all the elements to have an above-average run-prevention unit; throw in some good health and some good luck, and you’ve got a unit that right now is performing at a historic level.

Then comes the possible regression, which is the problem. Because the Mariners have had an extreme performance, you have to assume it’ll be closer to average going forward. At the moment there’s a 15-point gap between the Mariners’ ERA- and FIP-, and there’ve been just five bigger gaps since 1969. There’ve been no bigger gaps since 1991. The Mariners can’t really count on a 79 ERA- for the final six or seven weeks, which is why it’s imperative they start scoring runs. They can hope for continued good defense and they can hope for health and effectiveness out of James Paxton, but they should probably be closer to above-average than elite. The 2014 Mariners’ run prevention might be this year’s 2013 Cardinals hitting with runners in scoring position, or 2012 Orioles record in one-run games. That which is better than it ought to be could become what it ought to be at a moment’s notice.

But if it helps, the rest of the way the Mariners are projected for either the AL’s fifth-best record, or the AL’s third-best record. As one unit projects to do worse, the other unit projects to do better, with basically offsetting regressions. Adding Austin Jackson doesn’t hurt; getting Michael Saunders back should completely eliminate Endy Chavez. (The team’s been playing Endy Chavez.)

No matter where the Mariners go from here, there’s no disputing that, for two months and for four months, the run prevention has achieved at a level seldom before seen. Yet, these Mariners have won 52% of their games. The teams with the top 25 run-prevention units since 1969 have won an average of 60% of their games. So there exists the belief among some people that the Mariners are wasting the gift they’ve been given. That’s true in a way, as the Mariners are a non-elite team with an elite-level partial performance. But from the other perspective, the Mariners have taken full advantage of this run prevention, as a team with a lousy offense is a game back from making the playoffs. A team with so few runs allowed has little business being outside of the playoff picture; a team with so few runs scored has little business being anywhere close to the playoff picture. I think the only thing that really matters is that on August 7 the baseball still matters.



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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The Fangraphs Janitor
Guest
The Fangraphs Janitor
1 year 9 months ago

“…the Mariners as a team have posted a 2.50 ERA, that is a full run better than a 3.50 ERA, which would be a pretty good ERA”

3.5 – 2.5 = 1.0
Thanks!

Joe
Guest
Joe
1 year 9 months ago

typical jeff.

Grant
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Grant
1 year 9 months ago

Because… math.

Snooty Babitt
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Snooty Babitt
1 year 9 months ago

Aside from friends and family members of the 2001 Mariners, who is making the argument that the 2001 Mariners are the greatest team in baseball history?

Pot Is Legal In Washington
Guest
Pot Is Legal In Washington
1 year 9 months ago

He runs or use to run a Mariners blog before he got run out so of course he is going to believe this. They were good. They won a lot of games that one year. But one of the greatest teams in baseball history? No.

Steve
Guest
Steve
1 year 9 months ago

I don’t have a problem considering them ONE of the greatest, but it’s hard to make that argument against the 1998 Yankees when the relics of that very team, literally on their last legs, soundly eliminated the 2001 M’s in 5 games.

I mean, I love Jeff’s writing, and I get his argument, but the 1998 Yankees went 125-50 FFS.

125-50.

Have at me, M’s fans….

Nathaniel Dawson
Guest
Nathaniel Dawson
1 year 9 months ago

Steve, no one is ever going to be able to convincingly say which team was the best in baseball history. There’s no doubt that the 2001 Mariners were an outstanding team, just as there is no doubt that the 1998 Yankees were as well. And you’ve got several other outstanding teams throughout the years in the mix as well. There’s no right or wrong answer here, just speculation.

SimonSays
Member
SimonSays
1 year 9 months ago

The 2001 Mariners went 120-52, so they’re entirely in the same league. And we all know playoffs don’t really mean anything about which team is better than the other. Not to discount my DBacks or Yankees that year (who I who would put as the 4th and 3rd best teams that year, respectively), but the Mariners were the best team in the game by a fair bit in 2001.

Visitor
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Visitor
1 year 9 months ago

I didn’t remember there being a lost-limb problem with the ’01 Yankees. No wonder Jeter is supposed to be so great!

Nathaniel Dawson
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Nathaniel Dawson
1 year 9 months ago

He runs or use to run a Mariners blog before he got run out….

You have no idea what you’re talking about, so stick to what you know, whatever that might be.

ghug
Guest
ghug
1 year 9 months ago

For a website with such smart writing, I’m often surprised by the irrationality of some of the comments. Statistically, that team is the greatest in recent memory, and undoubtedly in the conversation for one of the greatest ever. The playoffs are a crapshoot.

AC of DC
Guest
AC of DC
1 year 9 months ago

Oh, sure, if you want to measure quality by statistics like Win-Loss record, or Winning Percentage (.716), or Run Differential (+300), or stuff that happened . . . but what about our tender feelings?

Snooty Babitt
Guest
Snooty Babitt
1 year 9 months ago

Jeff wrote they were arguably the best of all time, not one of the best. The distinction is clear. I doubt anyone here is trying to knock them out of a conversation about the top 10 or so teams ever, but until Jeff’s opening sentence, I’d never heard somebody argue for them over equally dominant regular season teams that also steamrolled through the postseason and whose talent pool also achieved more success in surrounding seasons.

ghug
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ghug
1 year 9 months ago

“arguably”

There are too many variables in play to know for sure. There is certainly an argument to be made that it is the greatest team ever.

Wobatus
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Wobatus
1 year 9 months ago

Sure, the playoffs are a crapshoot to a degree, but that M’s team great as it was spread out over season had a problem for the playoffs. Garcia FIP 3.48, Moyer 4.17, Sele 4.31. Mussina 2.92, Pettitte 3.02, Clemens 3.29.

So it may be a crapshoot but since the idea is to win the world series you have to be built for the long haul and the playoffs.

Jeff is right, in the conversation for one of the greatest teams ever. And not to detract from a fascinating article. I had no idea the M’s run prevention had been so good this year.

Bill_TPA
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Bill_TPA
1 year 9 months ago

FIP really doesn’t tell much of the story here, though, because the Mariners pitchers who outperformed those FIPs still got to pitch in front of the same defenses that helped them do it, and the Yankees pitchers who underperformed *their* FIPs still had to pitch in front of Jeets and Bernie and Alfonso “Totally a Second Baseman” Soriano. The M’s pitchers, with that defense, were as built to win in the postseason as they had been in the regular season — it just didn’t work out this one time. Definitely, inarguably a better team, regardless of which month they were playing in.

BDF
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BDF
1 year 9 months ago

I think the issue is that “greatest team ever” just isn’t very meaningful outside the context of a WS victory. Whatever pride or pleasure those Mariners feel is surely insignificant compared to what the 2006 Cardinals feel. I understand and agree with the point Jeff is making, but nothing hangs on the point. That first paragraph actually contributes nothing to the rhetorical thrust of the post. It makes for an interesting comparison, I suppose, but throwing in “arguably the best team in baseball history” doesn’t improve or clarify the argument at all.

Wobatus
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Wobatus
1 year 9 months ago

Yes, they were better than those Yankees. And sure, D matters. And those Yanks had an awful total zone ranking, last in baseball.

Those Mariners were a better team. And even in a short series favored. I just think that given the top starters it was an issue for the Mariners in a short series. The Yanks led the league in pitching WAR. The M’s were 9th. This was magnified in a short series. Paul Abbott was awful.

The 1927 Yanks had the best hitting by far and 2nd in pitching. And they won the World Series. I better reiterate I’m not a Yankee fan.

DNA+
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DNA+
1 year 9 months ago

The 2001 Mariners were not a better team than the 2001 Yankees. They happened to have a better outcome during the regular season because a majority of their players happened to fortuitously perform better than their abilities all at once. Note that they turned back into pumpkins in 2002.

Michael
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Michael
1 year 9 months ago

Jeff got run out? Wow, news to the entire Lookout Landing community.

And Jeff still occasionally writes and podcasts for Dave Cameron’s USS Mariner. So…

Go Nats
Guest
Go Nats
1 year 9 months ago

Wow I am not a Mariners fan, but to me the 2001 Mariners are one of the best all time. But I was in my 30s and an avid baseball fan in 2001, so maybe you kids have the clouded judgement of youth distracting you from a clearly obvious fact!

AC
Guest
AC
1 year 9 months ago

“At the moment there’s a 15-point gap between the Mariners’ ERA- and FIP-, and there’ve been just five bigger gaps since 1969.”

How much of that is Chris Young?

As has been mentioned a few times on this site, his skillset of inducing popups isn’t captured by FIP, so he’s hurting the team FIP, but the expected regression should be smaller than for other, more typical, pitchers.

Matt
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Matt
1 year 9 months ago

Chris Young has pitched 134.2 of the M’s 1019 innings, 13% of the total. If you take out his innings, the M’s team FIP drops from 3.57 to 3.40, so that’s a big difference, in fact a 4.7% difference.

Balthazar
Guest
1 year 9 months ago

Chris Young may be due for some regression given that he will be pitching to innings totals he hasn’t seen in many, many years if he stays in the rotation through the season. Felix Hernandez hasn’t always been strong in September, and has never had to maintain his effectiveness into postseason in his career given the putridness of the teams he’s played on most seasons. Roenis Elias, a rookie starter, likely will his innings restrictions by the time a playoff drive comes in September. Getting James Paxton back may offset the one, but it’s not clear where the other offset will come from. Walker isn’t presently ready to pitch effectively in the majors. Erasmo Ramirez has been good at times, especially lately, but terrible at other times. The bullpen has really been in synch, and there are at least two good arms at AAA to use as a stopgap if anybody actually got hurt.

All of that says that regression for the astounding pitching is likely, but it may not be fall-off-the-shelf regression. Just a couple of arms going from fabulous to usually-pretty-good. Being fabulous hasn’t translated into wins due to terrible offense, so declining to pretty darn good, if that happens, won’t necessarily sink the Mariners boat. (As it were.) improving the offense is by far the most important ins sue in whether the team ups it’s win rate going forward. There are a few flickers of light there since the trade deadline, but the outcome is unclear so far. I’d sure love a few more 4-3 wins than the 2-1 losses we’ve seen too many of this year up on the Northleft Coast.

But the Mets went all the way not once but twice with fabulous pitching, better than you though defense, and miserable but just good enough offense. The 2014 Mariners don’t feel very Mets-ian; they don’t play with a lot of confidence. But they just god an infusion of experienced players, and this is exactly where experience counts; not in series-by-series performance but in pushing a little harder and surer because post-season play is close enough you can almost touch it. I’m not counting on any one aspect of the team to carry the whole going forward—but don’t be surprised if this outfit surprises. Patching the worst leaks may have more than expected return in wins given how egregiously the team has been underperforming at getting the W relative to what all else they are doing.

wobatus
Guest
wobatus
1 year 9 months ago

It’s funny but the 1969 Mets were 5th in pitcher WAR in the NL (and the majors), and the 1986 Mets were 6th in the majors.

They were first in position player WAR in 1986. The hitting was not miserable but just good enough. It was good. They were 3rd in O and 5th in D for overall best.

Endy Chavez
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Endy Chavez
1 year 9 months ago

Why do you bring me up at every possible opportunity…

AC
Guest
AC
1 year 9 months ago

Twelve players have come to the plate at least 150 times for the M’s this year, and fully half are below replacement level. Three are now trying to disappoint fans in Tacoma instead, another is on the DL. Only Chavez and Morrison remain. LoMo is only on the roster because the only thing worse is not having a 1B at all.

Chavez should be a 5th OF on a bad team, not a regular starter for one with post-season dreams.

/rant

Endy Chavez's Mother
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Endy Chavez's Mother
1 year 9 months ago

Yeah, yeah, and if you don’t have anything nice to say, YOUNG MAN…

Go Nats
Guest
Go Nats
1 year 9 months ago

Endy Chavez has been a great defensive OF for many years now. (whisper) he has never ever hit a lick!

Jason
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Jason
1 year 9 months ago

From 2012 to today, you have been worth -2.6 WAR which is third worst in baseball.

Matt
Guest
Matt
1 year 9 months ago

Does FIP become that much better of a measure than ERA over such a larger sample, or we can assume after 1000+innings the gap is bridged by defense, plus the 28 unearned runs?

Fark Pactors
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Fark Pactors
1 year 9 months ago

What ever happened to the Safeco park factors? Didn’t fangraphs set them to like 1.00 last year after they moved the LF fence in? Could that partially explain the low ERA-?

Jason
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Jason
1 year 9 months ago

Pretending that SafeCo is a new ballpark and resetting the park factors would be a little extreme. Moving the fences in shouldn’t have much effect on strikeouts, ground balls and singles.

Parks can change over time without moving the fences at all and you wouldn’t want to keep resetting the PFs. The dirt and grass can change depending on the grounds crew. Weather plays a large part. SafeCo also had a giant black honeycomb structure installed in center field installed in 2003 to help with glare in the batter’s eye. Things like that are why PF use multiple years of data.

pft
Guest
pft
1 year 9 months ago

You just made a compelling argument to change park factors, but I agree with you such changes should be on a multi-year basis to avoid the noise.

The use of PF actually introduces greater error to player stats because a batters handedness and batted ball profile is generally not considered. Each player should have a unique park factor based on his profile.

Bookbook
Guest
1 year 9 months ago

Good question.
The M’s pitching has certainly been excellent, even if the park factors aren’t quite right.
It’s hard to see Almonte and James Jones in CF and be convinced the defense has no weaknesses, however. (We won’t even mention the occasional sightings of Corey Hart in right or Morales at 1b.)

The Ancient Mariner
Guest
The Ancient Mariner
1 year 9 months ago

Jones is in Tacoma, and Almonte’s in San Diego. You’re a little behind the times.

AC
Guest
AC
1 year 9 months ago

He was probably referring to the implication that the defense HAS BEEN good all year, when CF has been manned by sub-par defenders for all but a handful of innings:
http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=cf&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=0&type=1&season=2014&month=0&season1=2014&ind=0&team=11&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

Balthazar
Guest
1 year 9 months ago

The thing about the Mariners defense this year is that they have been above average at nearly all positions. Not hugely above, but above. CF was the weak spot, and Austin Jackson should at least bring them up to league average there. Denorfia is above average and when Saunders comes back he is too in the corner, so they will both take innings away from guys not as good. Chris Taylor is now starting at SS but he’s an above average defender also. Jesus Sucre took over backup catcher, and his defense is _also_ above average.

This, too me, has a lot to do with the extremity of the Mariners’ good run prevention. The pitching is very good, but beyond that no matter where the other team puts a ball in play the Mariners are just a bit more likely to turn it into an out. There also haven’t been any routine error-makers. Almonte was, but is long gone. Brad Miller tends to make bad throws, but even he improved as the season went on, and he’s not starting now either. The defense doesn’t flash a wow factor, it is just a quiet edge that keeps on working, and likely will to the end of the season.

pft
Guest
pft
1 year 9 months ago

I guess Cano has been a pretty wise signing after all, at least this year. The offense is not great buts its not quite as hapless as it has been. Now if Jackson and Morales can get their bats going down the stretch, they could be the team to beat for the 2nd WC.

Balthazar
Guest
1 year 9 months ago

The Seattle offense has been very painful to watch due to the number of guys making zero contributions. Corey Hart, Smoak, Almonte, Stefan Romero, John Buck, Brad Miller (love him, but he has been brutal outside of June), James Jones (like him but the league erased him), Ackely had several abysmal months (though hitting the snot out of the ball now); even Zunino with some excellent power but very little else when not putting the ball in the seats. Team ISO has been woeful too.

This has led to huge sequencing problems. On any given night, the Mariners could count on having 3-4 automatic outs in the lineup, with some of the not-automatic outs being Willie Bloomquist and Endy Chavez (yes really, it’s been that bad especially in June-July). Simply replacing these automatic outs with guys who could give close to league average performance would make a huge difference.

And that’s what’s happened over the last few weeks. Logan Morrison has replaced Smoak, and while that isn’t much of an upgrade Morrison has managed to make a small but _steady_ contribution rather than a burst here and there for a week followed by months of uselessness. Denorfia, Austin Jackson, and Chris Taylor have all replaced guys who simply weren’t producing offensively. Sucre won’t hit, but he’s a defensive wizard who will allow the team to rest Mike Zunino a bit more, and so perhaps get a bit more out of his bat. Replacing auto-outs with guys who at least can keep an inning alive stands to make the overall offense better in a way beyond individual totals. I will be very interested to see how this effect plays out the rest of the year.

The Mariners figure to still be below average offensively through the rest of 2014. It won’t take much of an increase to really improve their win totals given the rest of the team context.

Balthazar
Guest
1 year 9 months ago

I didn’t mention Kendrys Morales either. His numbers remain bad, but he has actually been hitting the ball hard regularly but not getting much to show for it; a cliche but also true. The point is that he is hitting the ball and putting it in play, and especially with men on base. A double to drive in a run; single to drive in a run; SF tonight to pick up a run. Sure, SSS, and likely to regress, but he’s likely to get some positive regression on BABIP. And the real point is that he replace Corey Hart in the lineup who was incapable of doing even that much. Morales doesn’t have to be even good to be vastly better than Hart, so the Mariners have a slightly better chance to string together scoring chances.

This is the later season offense in a nutshell. Not looking way better, but able to string things together to get closer to normal expected scoring totals. Which would be enough given the rest of the team context.

dls
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dls
1 year 9 months ago

2001 Mariners are best baseball team of all time.

really?

Not being a douche… but wtf?

dls
Guest
dls
1 year 9 months ago

Dude… I LOVE baseball… and I LOVE stats.

Best song (#1 on Billboard “End Hot 100 singles)… Lifehouse.

“Hanging by a Moment”

OK, I recognize… not a perfect stat comp.

but again…

WTF?

2001 Mariners? Greatest team of all time? Dude. not

dls
Guest
dls
1 year 9 months ago

(“best song is the 2001 “best song”)

dls
Guest
dls
1 year 9 months ago

Hell… I’m ancient (by FG standards)… and I have no recollection of that 2001 song! LOL

I do remember that the Mariners weren’t even in the World Series that year though.

So, yeah. Coulda been greatest team ever.

dls
Guest
dls
1 year 9 months ago

Dude… chillax! They won it later! In… ummm OK. Nevermind.

dls
Guest
dls
1 year 9 months ago

And heck… the M’s could have been the greatest team EVER! Just like Ruben Amaro thinks the current Phils are the greatest team EVER. Right???

Go Nats
Guest
Go Nats
1 year 9 months ago

I am an odd fellow in that I prefer run prevention to runs scored, so this year’s Mariners are VERY COOL! I am hoping they make the playoffs a ton!

Jeremy
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Jeremy
1 year 9 months ago
dls
Guest
dls
1 year 9 months ago

yeah. tough to argue #6 system also. but hey. whatevs.

And I have NEVER done the #6 thing before. But I’m sorry… if you are going to present the 2001 Mariners as the best team EVER. Puh-lease.

dnc
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dnc
1 year 9 months ago

#6org. If you’re going to troll, troll correctly.

Justin Bailey
Guest
Justin Bailey
1 year 9 months ago

I downvoted this post but only because you used “puh-lease.” Are you like, what, a 55-year-old mom from Kenosha?

moeball
Guest
moeball
1 year 9 months ago

Speaking of the park factors, Cano has hit reasonably well this season but his power is way down. Is Safeco the reason? Who has been helped/hurt more by the fences being moved? And what’s up on the West coast that every single park there has helped pitchers over the last several years?

Feeding the Abscess
Guest
Feeding the Abscess
1 year 9 months ago

Oakland, SF, San Diego, and Seattle are pretty cool environments. It’s rarely over 85 in any game, even day games. LA and Anaheim are also cool compared to, say, the Inland Empire.

Feeding the Abscess
Guest
Feeding the Abscess
1 year 9 months ago

To expand beyond weather, SF’s dimensions are huge, especially in right and right center. It also has a high wall in the same areas. PETCO used to be cavernous, and is now simply large. Seattle used to be enormous in left and left center. It also had a high wall near the LF foul line that extended out to straight away LF. Oakland has high walls that span from straightaway to the gaps, and it also has the most foul territory in the majors. Angel Stadium has a high wall from straightaway right to almost straightaway CF, and has above average fence distance overall.

Nathaniel Dawson
Guest
Nathaniel Dawson
1 year 9 months ago

Safeco might have something to do with Cano’s decrease in homers this year, but you probably can’t pin too much of that on the park. Left-handed hitters generally fare pretty well in Safeco on home runs. The park generally runs home run park factors for left-handers at right around league average and up to 10-15% above. It’s probably got more to do with normal random occurrence that you typically expect to see in baseball stats.

What’s going on with the West Coast parks is the cooler and lower altitude environment that these parks reside in. That creates denser air, which not only reduces the distance of batted balls due to the drag force, but also creates more movement on pitches due to the Magnus force, making it more difficult for hitters to square the ball up and hit it solidly. There’s also the possibility that the cooler air and increased humidity (especially during the early part of the season) could lead to less evaporation from balls in storage, leaving them spongier and lowering their velocity off the bat when struck. Sort of a natural humidor effect.

D
Guest
D
1 year 9 months ago

Safeco field duh
Have them pitch in arlington or fenway and come back and tell me how it goes.

bookbook
Guest
1 year 9 months ago

It’s too bad these teams don’t play some of their games–say “half”–on the road so we’d have some point of neutral comparison for one team’s performers vs. any others….

bookbook
Guest
1 year 9 months ago

Actually, the stats may underestimate how good the Mariners pitchers have performed, since they are the only AL team that doesn’t get to face the M’s offense.

Hunter Pence
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Hunter Pence
1 year 9 months ago

Hunter Pence thinks the Mariners need better pitching

maqman
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maqman
1 year 9 months ago

With a league average offence the Mariners would possibly be leading the AL West and make it to the World Series.

Megaman
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Megaman
1 year 9 months ago

This is exactly why I like the steroid era better. So much great pitching that does occur loses it’s meaning, because in the end so much good pitching is wasted. The whole purpose of having great pitching is for there to be a consistently great payoff from it. If there’s not a great payoff it devalues not only it’s meaning, but it’s impressiveness. I mean I can’t get impressed by a pitcher if a pitcher pitches a complete game and gives up 1 run and strikes out 10, but loses 1-0, because in the end impressiveness only goes as far as a payoff. A loss is a loss whether it’s 1-0 or 10-7. I mean that’s like saying I won’t get paid if I invented the most impressive invention in the world. Sure it was impressive my invention, but I don’t care unless I get paid.

The steroid era had a payoff to those few teams that did have great pitching. Despite there being an abnormal amount of homeruns, the steroid era had more strategy in it then you think. I mean compared to the steroid era, how many times today do you see teams hitting and running today? The answer is almost never. People also forget the steroid era did have a lot of close games, they were just conducted in a high scoring environment rather than a low scoring environment.

Let’s be honest also, the steroid era had more shock value when it comes to perfect games and no hitters. I mean let’s be honest, Randy Johnson’s perfect game in 2004 was way more of a shock then any perfect game or no hitter that can occur today when you consider the offensive environment. When it’s not shocking that a perfect game or no hitter can occur in this era, it takes the fun out of watching it because it’s not like it should come as completely unexpected considering the lineups pitchers are facing.

Nothing about baseball today shocks me or impresses me, when the offensive environment simply doesn’t impress me. Steroids to me made baseball more shocking.

Impossibles
Guest
Impossibles
1 year 9 months ago

You’re just getting older and have seen more.

nicknowsky
Member
nicknowsky
1 year 9 months ago

PEDS make the league fun…in all aspects

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