Mariners Analysis

Thursday, April 15, 2004

M's start season with highest ERA in AL

So much for predicting the M's would win last night. They were thoroughly outclassed in every possible way, and are clearly deserving of the 1-7 start. It was painful to watch, but if you are an M's fan, you have to admit the Angels are simply better (even with suspect starting pitching every 4th and 5th day).

It is hard to see this team pulling it together and beating Oakland or Anaheim for a postseason berth. While you can't win the division in April, you can sure lose it, and this season is slipping away. They need to quit playing Anaheim ASAP!

While the M's have the worst ERA in the AL, it is surprising to see Anaheim have the second worst. But when you look deeper, it makes sense- Anaheim has scored more runs than anyone in the AL (55) and played 4 games against Texas (who is second in the AL with 49). Things don't look to get any better for the M's, as you look at their schedule and it's hard to see where the easy wins will come during the next month. As I explained earlier, there are few "patsies" this year and the M's will have to come ready to play for every series. No room for "building arm strength" in the majors- got that Bob?

On the positive side, your division rivals are going to face improved teams as well. I don't see Anaheim or Oakland winning at a ridiculously high winning percentage, so if the M's can hang around .500 by the All Star break, they might be closer to the leaders than you think. They need to get some confidence back, and fix some glaring problems that have surfaced:

  • Teams are running on our catchers at will. Anaheim has exposed a Seattle weakness, and every team will be watching those tapes and running. Currently 0-10 and counting.
  • We have no speed. Ichiro is not stealing bases, and beyond that we have no team speed, even on the bench. Who votes for replacing Jarvis with a speed runner from our farm system?
  • Hasegawa has given up 5 runs this year- it took until August 22nd of last year to give up 5 runs. If they cannot fix the bullpen fast, this team will continue to blow leads and sink the season. All we need is to look back on the Ayala years to remember how demoralizing a bad bullpen can be.
  • Inconsistent starting pitching. No team wins the division when your 1, 2 and 4 pitchers stink.
  • .... I could go on with 10 other things, but you can say that about every 1-7 team.

Let's see if Franklin can pull it together tonight and help eat up some innings- but against the Angels line-up, would we be anything but homers for thinking he will?