After an exciting offseason, it's been an interesting first half for the Mariners. Before we go into analysis, we'll show you the numbers. Here are the M's team numbers and AL rankings for the first half of the season. Thank you ESPN.com and Baseball Prospectus for the stats. If you are interested in more numbers, click on the links. So no one gets nitpicky, we realize that the true first half ended a few games ago at Game #81, but whatever. OK the numbers:
Runs-377 (13th in the AL out of 14 teams)
Batting Average-.259 (14th)
Home Runs-63 (14th)
Doubles-162 (5th-WOOHOO! I had to find something)
ERA: 4.87 (12th)
WHIP: 1.46 (12th)
K/BB: 1.34 (14th)
K/9: 4.44 (14th)
BAA: .278 (9th)
IP: 513.1 (9th)
ERA: 2.99 (3rd)
WHIP: 1.22 (2nd)
K/BB: 1.82 (10th)
K/9: 6.81 (9th)
BAA: .217 (1st)
IP: 243.1 (7th)
Defensive Efficiency: .716 (3rd in majors)
Here are our thoughts:
Mike L: Coming into the season, I was fired up. I thought we'd see an exciting offense with the additions of Sexson and Beltre. I thought Boone and Ibanez would flourish with those guys in the lineup. It was going to be fun to watch Reed and Olivo grow. Ichiro and Winn would score 100 runs each. The starting pitching was questionable, but I thought good enough to keep us in most games. Joel Piniero and Gil Meche were going to have to grow up. Overall, I was expecting an 80-82 win season with hope for the future.
Um. Not quite. The offense has been putrid. Look at those numbers. Dead last in the AL in almost every category. Despite his recent improvements, Adrian Beltre has been a disappointment. The clock ran out on Boone, Olivo has been garbage in every possible way. Sexson has given us pretty much what I had expected. Big HR and RBI numbers, but not much else. The most important thing about Richie is that he's stayed healthy (knock on wood). The pitching hasn't been much better. The most glaring numbers to me are the K/BB and K/9 numbers for the starters. Thank God the M's have one of the best defenses in the league. They need a guy or two in that rotation that will strike some guys out. Meche and Piniero have been inconsistent, and I've vented my frustrations with that in earlier posts. Going by the numbers, the bullpen has been the strength of this team. Eddie Guardado is easily the M's MVP of the first half.
Looking towards the second half, there are some things to look forward to. For starters, Beltre has been hitting much better of late. He could be the next Mariners superstar, and I hope he builds on his recent success with a monster second half. Ichiro has started to get going as well. The young bucks we love so much here at Mariner Magic will continue to make growth. I'd like to see Rene Rivera is up sometime soon. The trade deadline is approaching, and some moves will likely be made. I hope Bavasi comes through. Most important, the Mariners just SWEPT the Orange County Angels of The San Andreas Fault. Are you kidding me? Where did that come from? There is something very eerie about that. In order to reach .500 for the season, the M's need to go 42-33. That's doable, and would be great to see, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was more like 33-42.
Travis -Big Daddy-
Well the first half has been nothing but a dissapointment for me. As Mike pointed out the offensive statisitcs are putrid. And the rotation whcih for me had promise has been inconsistant at best.
Lets start there witht he pitching staff. As my collegues know I am big pitching first baseball mind. Now what we had was a solid young foundation, or so I thought. I felt taht Meche was going to contnue to grow and succedd much like he did in the second half last year. Pinero I felt was going to take the moose by the horns and really take over the #1 role. Moyer was going to be liek a second picthing coach for these two and teach them to pitch and not throw. Madritch I felt was going to come in and really position himself as a solid #3 or 4 guy. He has all the tools. Injuries hurt him serverly but I have hopes he can recover and come back. I wanted franklin in the rotation. He deserves it. People rip him left and right but this guy is a innings machine. Guys like franky save your bullpen over the corse of a long season. He is #4 or 5 starter at best, but I would argue that he is the best #4 or 5 guy in the league. Putting him in the bullpen was a dumb idea he is a starter. Sele for as decent as he has been should not be here. I would have much rather seen a young guy take his spot on the roster.
The pitching may yet come around but for now there is only one word that discribes it. Inconsistant. You really never know what you are going to get when any one of our starters trot out there.