The Detroit Tigers led by pitching Ace Justin Verlander beat the visiting Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park by a score of 6-1 tonight. Verlander who had struggled in his two previous outings against the Mariners had his good stuff tonight striking out 10 and walking only 1 batter. The Tigers are in the thick of the AL central race along with the Twins and the resurgent White Sox. The Mariners had another poor outing by their starting pitcher, this time it was Jason Vargas who followed a weak performance by Doug Fister the night before. Vargas was no match for the powerful Tigers lineup and was charged with 6 earned runs tonight before handing the ball to Brian Sweeney.
As you may remember coming into spring training both Vargas and Fister were considered question marks as far as making the starting rotation. Both pitchers had great starts in the early part of the season with several great outings apiece. The big question now is whether the burst of brilliance by these two was just a fluke and that they are indeed just average vs. good pitchers? In baseball a game of statistics it is hard to escape reality over a significant period of time as the numbers don’t lie, especially in today’s world of advanced analytics.
Are Vargas and Fister indeed just reverting to the sort of pitchers that they actually are? Only time will tell but if indeed these two were pitching over their heads early on, then the second half of this season could be really ugly indeed. As we all know this year’s offense is not much to brag about and tonight was no exception as the Mariners only managed the 1 run and went down on strikes a total of 12 times tonight. There were a few innings where we had a chance to rally such as the 4th and the 7th , but once again no one stepped up to deliver a clutch-hit. After a nice two-week period where we went 9-5 the lads seem to be lost at sea again.
I was thinking about all the players I have watched and read about over the years and I have come up with a little rating system that I thought I would share with the readers. Now this is by no means a quantifiable saber metrics system, but it works for me in general to classify players.
1: Poor players: Major League talent, inconsistent, low desire level. Ex: Rob Johnson
2: Average players: Major League talent, desire to win but inconsistent: Ex: Jose Lopez
3: Good players: Major league talent, desire to win, consistent: Ex: Franklin Gutierrez
4: Great players: Major league talent, strong desire to win, consistent in the clutch: Ex: Cliff Lee
Of course there are variations of this but in my mind there are these 4 distinct categories of players, with the majority over the years leaning towards average or good. The poor players usually don’t stick around to long with the Mariners and coincidently the great ones seem to move on from the Mariners after awhile……hmmm
So it does look like we will get to see Cliff Lee pitch at least one more game in a Mariner uniform as we try to salvage a game out of this series before returning home to play the Royals. I have heard conflicting reports of whether or not Eric Bedard is going to make his first start of the year on Tuesday or not. At this point it is almost anti-climatic considering he is coming back to a last place team rather than returning to help the Mariners down the stretch and into the play-offs like we all were anticipating a few months ago. Anyway happy Fourth of July everyone! http://jeffsmariners.com