Probably the most worthless statistic for assessing a pitcher’s ability would be Wins, and now we have a prime example of why in Seattle. Cliff Lee is pitching as well as he ever has, and that’s saying a lot since he has a Cy Young under his belt. He has walked just ONE batter in 30+ innings and is striking out more batters per inning than he has since 2004.
Lee’s 2.08 ERA is impressive enough, but more importantly his 2.98 xFIP is second in the AL to only James Shields of the Rays (for pitchers with at least 30 innings). xFIP is a much better prediction of what a pitcher’s ERA will likely be going forward, so it has good predictive value. So that 1-2 record doesn’t very accurately tell the story of his dominance this season.
Yesterday’s game became another frustrating loss for the Ms when they surrendered two runs in the 8th. For most teams, giving up the first-and-only two runs in the 8th wouldn’t change much, as they would probably have already scored at least 4 or 5. But the Ms, of course, had scored just one measly run, and lost 2-1.
On a positive note, the M’s AAA call-up at catcher, Josh Bard, walked and hit a single yesterday. He’s already halfway to Adam Moore‘s walk total, in 1/15 the number of plate appearances. And left fielder, Michael Saunders, went 1/2 with a walk and the team’s only RBI! It’s hard to find positives, but when Milton Bradley returns, hopefully Wakamatsu will DH him and leave Saunders in left field, greatly improving the Mariner’s AL-worst DH production.
Seattle has a pair of two-game series against Oakland and the surprising Toronto Blue Jays before starting interleague play against the Padres. Interleague has been good to the Mariners in recents years–they won 60% of interleague games versus just 49% overall from 2006 to 2009–so let’s hope this sparks a little run.