Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Risk in strategy seen

With the team dropping the first game against the Angels, after having lost two in Texas, the pressure of playoff baseball is starting to appear.

The M's have had few "must win" games this season. They have been the chaser, which in some ways is easier. You look ahead, not behind, and get to play a little freer when you have no expectations from the fans. (the benefit of sucking for 3 years)

Baker of the Times and many other fans have been supportive of McLaren and his "ride the veteran" approach. They talked about the need for rest, but at the same time saw no reason other than to play the same lineup as long they won.

I've talked about the risks associated with this strategy. Sure it looks great as long as Vidro continues to hit .400 and Ibanez hits a home run every other day. But there is always the risk the players cool off, and you have no backup plan.

This team is about to play a brutal stretch of road games with a playoff intensity every night. They have a small bench courtesy of their desire for keeping the Rick White's of the world on the roster. They have had every opportunity this season to cultivate an active bench that plays regularly and contributes. It could have kept it's core players rested and ready for a critical September.

The team has neglected to pursue that strategy.