Okay, so the walks took a huge dive in 2001, improved again in 2002, but back up so far this year. And the strikeouts improved until this year. Just for kicks PECOTA predicts Freddy for an adjusted BB/9 at 2.7 and SO/9 at 6.3 for this year, which is a decline but much more conservative than what we've seen so far. But hey, 45 innings. He's still got another 150 to right the ship, given he's not hurt.
Meanwhile on Friday, over at my new favorite blog, David Cameron answers all my Freddy questions with the most astute, I-calls-em-like-I-sees-em observation I've seen the past year.
And Edward Cossette at Bambino's Curse reminds us all why there is baseball, and no other sport. So beautiful, tears are welling in my eyes reading it a second time.
|| Peter @ 5/10/2003
Friday, May 09, 2003
YANKEES 16, MARINERS 5
Ouch. That smarts. Had I been there, had I been watching on TV even, I would have been right there with the crowd booing Freddy on his hook: 7 H, 9 ER, 2 BB, so all 9 of his baserunners scored.
Mateo and Carrera proved yet again to be the weak links of the bullpen, allowing 6 runs in their 4.1 innings of "work." For Carrera, that's now 9 runs in his last 3 innings. His ERA has inflated from 3.95 to 6.61. I wonder if Kenny Cloude is paying attention. Mateo gave up 5 runs in 4.1 innings in this Yankee series and seen his ERA double from 1.84 to 3.79.
So, the same question lingers in my mind with every start from Freddy since last summer. What's wrong with Freddy? Is he hurt? Or is he not really the "ace" he's hyped to be? And what can you do put send him to the mound every 5th day if he's not hurt?
Now which of these is not like the others? Was 2001 a Bret Boone-sized fluke? Given, 2003 is a pretty small sample size so far, but in my mind, this is a pretty disturbing trend for the team's "ace." He has thrown over 200 innings 3 times in the last 4 years at the ages of 22, 24 and 25. He was quoted yesterday, "I felt pretty good in the bullpen but I got hit pretty good. I didn't have enough juice." Yes, enough juice, thank you, Captain Obvious. We'll get you a gallon of Minute Maid before your next start.
I want to look at the numbers for his walks, too, as those seem to be on the rise, as well, I could be wrong. I'll just have to save that for another day. The M's ride a very, very fine line in contending for the playoffs this year, much less the AL West title, and much of their success rides on Freddy and Sasaki, who are both very big question marks that are ballooning with every outing.
|| Peter @ 5/09/2003
Thursday, May 08, 2003
YANKEES 7, MARINERS 2
I'm getting far too old to be staying up until 1 in the morning watching baseball. I tell you, it's not so easy being a West Coast fan on the East Coast.
Moose just made the M's hitters look silly, especially Winn on more than one occasion. He struck out 12 in his 8 innings of work, including the final 4 batters he faced. He was just wicked thowing 114 pitches, 73% for strikes.
Compare to Piniero's 106 pitches through 6 innings, and only 53% for strikes. He seemed to cruise through the first 5 frames, but then seemed to completely lose the plate in the 6th. He threw 25 pitches in just that inning to six batters and threw a first pitch strike only to Mondesi. He walked Bernie on 4 pitches, then gave up a 2-run homer to Matsui, and couldn't seem to regain his composure after that. I would have like to have heard the animated one-sided conversation Price had with him in the bottom of the inning that the ESPN cameras kept cutting to.
Freebies and homers cost the M's again in the 7th as Mateo hit Soriano to lead off the inning, followed by a home run by Nick Johnson.
Not much to be happy about on the hitting side, either, as more than half (14) of the outs were spent on strikeouts. Olerud homered and Boone went 3 for 4 with a double. Boone was the only Mariner (other than Ben Davis, who didn't come to the plate) not to strike out. Five of the other starters struck out twice.
Not to be more gloomy, but Wilson looked pretty inept on two steals by Mondesi. On the first, he would have nailed Raul but the throw went to the third base side of the bag and Guillen had the sweep across his body for the tag. On the second, Wilson couldn't even get a grip on the ball to throw it.
And I don't really understand at all Bob's fascination with John Mabry. The M's still don't have a pinch hit and Mabry is a big reason why. In the eighth, he pinch hits for Wilson. Why, I don't really know, as switch hitter Ben Davis is coming in to catch the ninth anyway for Wilson. Against righties this year, Mabry is hitting .167/.259/.375 in 24 AB, while Davis against righties is .294/.333/.588. That's a difference of 200 points in slugging. And career against Mussina, Mabry is 1 for 7 with a double and 5 strikeouts and Davis is 1 for 3 with a double and 2 strikeouts. Not much difference there, but I'd still go with Davis there. Sure enough, Mabry strikes out.
It seems Sports Illustrated has noticed the M's pitching. The article focuses on the youth of Freddy, Piniero and Meche. On their best days, sure, I'd take them against any other three in baseball, including Oakland or the Cubs. The trick is seeing all three of them consistent and dominant together. Tonight, in particular, is the opportunity for Freddy to show that he is the ace.
|| Peter @ 5/08/2003
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
MARINERS 12, YANKEES 7
It's mighty nice to see a drubbing of the Yankees. And Moyer started the night off right striking out the side in the first inning. He'd leave with 5 strikeouts in 5 innings, but 102 pitches (64 strikes). I'm beginning to wonder what the front office saw in Giovanni Carrera. He gave up back to back singles in the eighth inning, which led to 2 runs, while only recording 2 outs, bringing his ERA to a hefty 5.28. Somehow, I'm not impressed. Rhodes also coughed up 2 runs in the ninth on back to back to back doubles in the ninth. Not a spectacular night for the bullpen.
But it was a spectacular night at the plate. It must have been Bizarro Universe Night as every starter, sans Edgar, had a hit. Leading the singles offensive (only 3 extra base hits among 15 total hits) were Ichiro with 3 and 3 RBIs and Cirillo with 3 and 3 runs scored. That brings their OPSs to .682 and .637 respectively. Wilson also had 3 RBIs on the night, while Boonie stranded 7 on the evening.
This victory puts the M's 2 games back of the Yankees for best record in the AL, 4 wins in a row and 17 wins in the last 22 games.
|| Peter @ 5/07/2003
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
BACK IN THE LAND OF THE INTERNET-CONNECTED
I'm back. After a day of packing, a week of driving across the country in a UHaul without internet access and a couple of days of unloading and unpacking, I think I was beginning to have baseball-withdrawal symptoms. Sure, there were a couple of minutes of Baseball Tonight or SportsCenter in the hotel room and the Cubs game on the radio driving through Illinois on Thursday, but those were all just teases. It may still be a week or so till I'm somewhat settled and up to speed, but here's a couple of minutes to write.
So what'd I miss?
I seems the M's emerge from April as one of the best teams in baseball, now coming off a 16-5 run. And comparing Seattle's competition with New York's, they're a lot closer than the raw stats reveal. This week will have a lot to say about that as the Yanks visit the Safe after taking 2 out of 3 in Yankee Stadium last week. Then there was Gil Meche. Holy smokes, he not only shut out the Yanks in that opener, but outpitched the Rocket. That should count for at least 2 wins. This week the matchups look like lefties Moyer/Pettite tonight, Pineiro/Mussina Wednesday and Garcia/Wells Thursday.
Then there was the blow-out sweep in Chicago. And if anybody learned anything, it should be Kenny Williams and that he needs Mike Cameron's agent's number in the speed dial pronto. Don't get me wrong, I love Mike Cameron. He's arguably the most likable guy the Mariners have on the roster. And he absolutely sucks at Safeco Field. Its because I like him so much that I would rather see him hitting than swinging and missing at Safeco. He's a free agent at season's end, and it seems mutually reasonable for the Mariners and Cameron to part ways, given Cameron's market value and the Mariners outfield prospects. I've been thinking for a couple of weeks where Cammie might fit, and have a look at these numbers...
Cameron at Cellular - 478 AB, .280/.371/.494
Camerson at Safeco - 815 AB, .218/.329/.356
And here's what he's done the last three year's in Chicago...
2001 - 11 AB, .364/.562/.545
2002 - 23 AB, 4 HR, .304/.385/.826
2003 - 10 AB, 2 HR, .600/.714/1.500
The Rangers could be another good fit as he's hit with a 1.019 OPS at the Ballpark with 10 home runs in 136 at bats. But you've got to figure that Carlos Beltran is going to be Centerfielder #1 on every team's wishlists this winter.
Baseball Prospectus posted their Triple Play synopsis of the M's in April (along with the Indians and Dodgers). Not a whole lot we didn't already know: what to do with Cammie, disappointing weeknight attendance in the cold wet April Pac Northwest, Cirillo's mouth is still bigger than his bat, Meche's bionic arm and why, oh why, isn't Colbrunn getting at-bats.
|| Peter @ 5/06/2003
Monday, May 05, 2003
Pedro's Power Rankings - Week 5 (Week 3's rankings in parentheses)
1. NY Yankees (1) The Yankees have 7 hitters qualifying for batting crowns: Five of them have OPS over .950. The 2 that don't? Matsui (.679) and Giambi (.699).
2. St. Louis (9) Edmonds, Pujols and Renteria top 3 in NL batting average.
3. Seattle (13) Gil Meche: He shuts out those Yanks in Yankee Stadium. The K/9 has dropped below 1 per inning, but the ERA is down to 2.43, 5th in the AL.
4. Philadelphia (6) Phils rank 8th in runs scored, but Lieberthal (.976) is the only regular with an OPS over .800.
5. Chicago Cub (2) At 1.67, Mark Prior 3rd in ERA in all majors.
6. Oakland (7) We all expected this: Top 4 of the rotation all with ERAs below 3.30. Then John Halama at a very respectable 4.01.
7. Kansas City (3) Joe Randa hitting .308/.373/.560.
8. Montreal (8) Zach Day: 1.94 ERA but 4.75 K/9.
9. San Francisco (4) Damian Moss looking fine at 4-0 with a 2.21 ERA.
10. Los Angeles (17) LA pitchers have an ERA of 2.79, nearly half a run better than runner-up Montreal.
11. Boston (9) It's not just the bullpen: Pedro only one in rotation with ERA below 4.40. Lowe is 5.29.
12. Baltimore (19) Oriole pitchers tied with Expos at second-best allowing only 81 walks.
13. Colorado (11) Only team that's outscoring the Yanks. They've just given up 60 more runs.
14. Atlanta (23) Gary Sheffield leads majors in BB/K at 16:9.
15. Anaheim (12) Eckstein a one-hit wonder? At .252/.338/.345, one of 3 Angels in the starting lineup with OPS in the .600s.
16. Pittsburgh (16) How would you like a lineup of Aramiz Ramirez (.299 OBP), Kenny Lofton (.291), Jack Wilson (.306) and Pokey Reese (.261)?
17. Chicago Sox (17) Ranked at 21 among teams with 99 walks, Sox hitters only lineup among the AL Central not in the bottom five. The AL Central is averaging 88.2 walks per team.
18. Minnesota (14) Bobby Kielty leads the Twins hitting at .300/.400/.525. Is he in the starting lineup yet?
19. (tie) Houston (15) What's up with Wade Miller? His ERA (6.07) is higher than his K/9 (5.76).
19. (tie) Toronto (21) Toronto pitchers have coughed up a league leading 49 home runs.
21. Arizona (25) Andrew Good. K/BB an even 1.00 with 5.25 ERA not-so-good.
22. Florida (16) Were I the GM in Miami, I would have Torborg's and Arnsberg's heads on silver platters.
23. Texas (29) Only team that's out homering the Yanks. They've just allowed about 20 more.
24. NY Mets (22) The hitting is, in a word, atrocious: Rey Sanchez .179/.216/.202. On the bright side, despite his 1-2 record, Jae Weong Seo has a 3.15 ERA.
25. Tampa Bay (25) How long will Rey Ordonez hit .321/.333/.500?
26. San Diego (20) Striking out more hitters than only the Cubs, Dodgers and Marlins.
27. Cincinnati (28) Dunn (9) and Kearns (9) account for nearly half of the Reds 44 home runs.
28. Cleveland (25) Maybe this lineup is worse than the Mets: 5 starters with OPS in .600s and 2 in .500s and Omar at .708.
29. Milwaukee (27) Wow, in 14 appearances and 11.2 innings, Luiz Vizcaino, while posting a 10.03 K/9 rate, is giving up runs (10.80 ERA) at a quicker pace.
30. Detroit (30) Okay, the witticisms about how bad the Tigers are is just old one month into the season. Jeremy Bonderman does have half the staff's wins.
AL - Mike Cameron (Seattle) 18 AB, 5 R, 8 H, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 4 BB, .444/.545/1.000, 1.545 OPS
NL - Rod Barajas (Arizona) 20 AB, 4 R, 12 H, 6 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 BB, .600/.619/1.050, 1.669 OPS
AL- Barry Zito (Oakland) 2-0 W-L, 15.0 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 7 SO, 0.60 ERA
NL - Brett Myers (Philadelphia) 1-0 W-L, 13.2 IP, 11 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 7 SO, 0.66 ERA