Wednesday, June 1, 2011

MARINERS: May grades

Brendan Ryan is keeping the
M's offense afloat 
The Mariners were the worst offensive baseball team in the month of May scoring 84 runs, but yet went 15-11 and came within ½ game for the AL West lead. How did this happen?

Pitching. And lots of it.

Starting Pitching: The Mariners’ pitching staff was ridiculously good, as they finished the month of May with a 2.82 ERA (3rd in MLB) and a 1.13 WHIP (1st in the league). At one point, the starters had a 9-game stretch where they averaged 7 2/3 innings per start, had an accumulative 0.77 ERA and a .160 opponent batting average.

To Continue...

Felix Hernandez: 2-2, 44.0 IP, 3.07 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 81 strikeouts
Jason Vargas: 3-2, 31.1 IP, 3.45 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 19 strikeouts
Doug Fister: 3-5, 35.2 IP, 3.24 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 24 strikeouts
Erik Bedard: 2-0, 32.1 IP, 1.39 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 32 strikeouts
Michael Pineda: 2-1, 32 IP, 2.81 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 36 strikeouts

Every starter contributed to the Mariners winning ways. Jason Vargas’ stats are a little skewed, as he had a huge collapse near the end of the month vs. the Yankees to spike his ERA. But the no. 1 performer this month was Erik Bedard. The man has rediscovered his curve ball and is keeping hitters way off balance.

Without these red hot starters, the Mariners would still be in the AL West cellar. All five of them have given the Mariners an opportunity to win every night, and that has given the team new life.


Hitting: Yeash. The Mariners’ offense has reached new levels of futility, only averaging 3.2 runs a game in May, good for last in the Majors. But there have been a couple positives.

Brendan Ryan: .384 AVG, 11 RBI, 11 runs, 7 strikeouts
Adam Kennedy: .290 AVG, 8 RBI, 2 HRs, 8 strikeouts

If it weren’t for these two guys, the Mariners would have wasted all of the starting pitcher’s performances. Brendan Ryan was batting ninth most of May, but eventually moved up to the second spot in the lineup replacing Chone Figgins. Oh yeah, Chone Figgins…

Chone Figgins: .163 AVG, 2 RBI, 0 HR, 5 runs, 13 strikeouts
Ichiro: .210 AVG, 6 RBI, 0 HRs, 11 runs
Michael Saunders: .111 AVG, 1 RBI, 1 HR, 2 runs, 27 strikeouts

It’s disturbing when your no. 1 and no. 2 hitters are in the kind of slump Ichiro and Figgins are, so Eric Wedge finally cut his losses and yanked the Donkey from Shrek from the lineup.

Courtesy SeattleSportsNet

After the Mariners cut Milton Bradley, Jack Zduriencik decided to bring up Mike Wilson and Carlos Peguero. They are batting .190 and .167.


Bullpen: The Mariners bullpen has been even better than the starting pitching.

Brandon League: 6.92 ERA, 8 saves, 13 IP, 11 SO, 2 walks
David Pauley: 0.56 ERA, 16 IP, 11 SO, 0 walks
Jamey Wright: 2.11 ERA, 12.1 IP, 6 SO, 8 walks

Aside from a four game struggle when Brandon League blew four straight games, the Mariners bullpen has been untouchable. David Pauley is pitching at All-Star level, and League currently leads the American League in saves with 15.


Sorry for the short post, as spring football practice has started and I only have so much time. Expect posting to be down a bit over the next three weeks.

Reach Nathan Parsons at