Ideally this article will mix pain with pleasure.
I recommend reading a slide during each of the 17 breaks between half-innings of today's game between the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees. I say 17 breaks assuming the Yankees will need to bat in the bottom of ninth inning after—or maybe during—a strong Felix Hernandez start.
The pain comes from the facts' relationship with the Mariners' last 17 games.
They are “unhappy totals,” to paraphrase Mariner announcer Rick Rizzs.
Why save this one for the end? I don't want anybody to quit reading just to look up the easy facts!
This one is extremely bad. We might as well get it out of the way.
The Seattle Mariners scored 44 runs and allowed 101 runs during the streak. Yikes. That translates to 2.59 runs scored and 5.94 runs allowed per game. In other words, the Mariners have been outscored by a factor of 2.3 during the streak.
I'll hit you hard again with No. 13. In the meantime, enjoy some only somewhat-bad numbers.
The Seattle Mariners managed 128 safeties during the last 17 games. Their opponents banged out 173. These figures surprised me. I assumed the Mariners would be out-hit by more than this. Of course, their opponents rarely needed to bat in the ninth inning, cutting down on at-bats.
On a per-game basis, that is 7.53 Mariners hits to 10.2 opponents hits.
The Seattle Mariners hit nine home runs while allowing 25 during the last 17 games. At least the Mariners weren't tripled up on long balls by their opponents.
The Mariners began this streak with nine consecutive homer-less games. The most home runs hit in a game by the Mariners during the streak was two. The most they allowed in a game was four, to the Angels on the third game.
The Seattle Mariners put on their iron gloves for this string, too. In 17 games, the Mariners committed 16 errors. Their opponents committed only four errors during the same stretch. The Mariners' worst game was a three-error effort against the Oakland Athletics, the game that began the losing spell.
The Seattle Mariners struck out 142 times to their opponents' 87 Ks.
I had no idea how this number would tabulate. What with Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, and a strong bullpen, I thought the Mariners might win this category. Last night's loss to the New York Yankees and C.C. Sabathia removed this measure from the set that are close.
The Mariners struck out at least five times in every game during the streak. The opposition struck out four or more times only 11 times during the streak.
Hey, I can't put all the big-name statistics up front! Some people care about balks. I am one of them. You can skip on ahead if you really need sexy statistics.
The Seattle Mariners lost the battle of the balk. It was close loss: 0-2. Felix Hernandez and Jason Vargas each surrendered a single balk.
Believe me, if I could find pick-off throw numbers to go along with this, I would present them. I might be the only fan of the pick-off throw on Earth.
This measure is slightly altered by opponents forgoing the ninth inning on many occasions.
Felix Hernandez, in Game 1 of the streak, threw eight innings in a game in which he might have thrown the ninth had the Oakland Athletics needed to hit.
He is the only starter to throw eight innings in a game during the streak, so the effect is very small. The Mariners' starters probably lost at most one inning of pitching due to the team's losing ways.
Inning pitched by starters is close. The Mariners starters threw 103.2 inning during the streak, or just over six innings per game. Opponent starters managed 126.2 innings, or a little over 7.1 innings per game.
The Seattle Mariners walked 33 times during the streak. Their opponents walked 47 times. Keep in mind, the opponents often did not play the ninth inning.
The Mariners drew .21 walks per inning or about one-per five innings. Their opponents drew about .32 walks per inning or almost one-per-three innings.
Twice the Mariners drew four walks in a game. Those games were the high-water marks for Mariners hitters. The Mariners pitchers issued five or walks in a game three times in the streak.
The Seattle Mariners non-home-run extra-base hits were few and far between as well. During the streak, they managed 25 doubles and triples combined. The Mariners allowed 37 such extra-base hits.
The Mariners had five games with three doubles and triples combined. Their opponents had five games with four doubles and triples combined.
At least the Mariners' speed kept them closer in this contest.
The Seattle Mariners lost this category as well. The Mariners were plunked two times. They drilled their opponents five times.
Two times in 17 games is very few plunkings. The Mariners are already last in the American League in getting hit by pitches (HBP), with only 17 total HBP received. Their rate of earning the painful trip to first was .174 per game before the streak started. During the streak, the rate was .118 per game.
This is one of the most ugly contrasts. The Seattle Mariners batted .218 during the streak. Opposition hitting clocked in at .295.
The Mariners don't have a single player hitting .295 unless Dustin Ackley is counted. Even the loose demand of 150 at-bats lets in nobody with a batting average higher than Ichiro Suzuki's .268 average.
Naming more names would be too painful.
Finally we have a statistical victory for the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners stole 17 bases while getting caught five times for a success rate of 77 percent.
Mariners opponents stole only 13 bases while making the same number of attempts. The Mariners held their opponents to a 59-percent success rate.
Unfortunately, out-stealing the opposition by four bases is not much help when the opposition out-homers you by 16.
I am tagging the 13th post-introduction slide with the worst statistic after runs scored.
Avoiding outs is the essence of run scoring. The Seattle Mariners were disastrous in this regard. Their normally bad on-base percentage was held to an even lower level, .265 for the last 17 games.
The teams faced by the Mariners combined for a .352 on-base percent during the streak.
So much for a pleasant slide to accompany your seventh-inning stretch.
To pile up a big grounded-into-double-play (GIDP) number, a team needs to put some runners on first base. The Seattle Mariners did this infrequently during the streak. The upside to the Mariners offensive failings was that opponents' defenses rarely could wipe out two Mariners base runners simultaneously. The Mariners were doubled-up only five times. Their opponents were caught in 13 double plays.
The Mariners' way is not a good way to avoid double plays. This is a win of sorts, but it is not one that merits bragging.
This metric is also very ugly. I decided not to put it next to on-base percentage lest some masochistic readers started calculating on-base plus slugging percentage.
The slugging percentage figures may be off by plus-or-minus .005 because of errors counting total bases from box scores. My errors, the box scores are fine.
However, you should forget that amount in light of the staggering difference between Seattle Mariners slugging percentage and opponent slugging percentage, .291 and .489, respectively.
The Mariners slugged over .500 in only one game of the streak, the 8-12 loss to the Red Sox on July 24.
The Seattle Mariners have played four bottom halves of the ninth. Only four of the streak games have been home games.
The opponents needed the bottom half of the ninth a grand total of two times. The Los Angeles Angels scored the winning run in a 4-3 victory in the bottom half of the ninth. The Angels victory on July 8 was but the third game of the streak. The Toronto Blue Jays played the bottom half of the ninth, but only won in the bottom half of the 14th inning, by a score of 6-5 on on July 19, Game 10 of the streak.
If you read according to my recommendation and the Seattle Mariners obliged my wishes, this break is occurring.
Opponent saves are also unlikely to increase tonight given if one of the aforementioned conditions holds.
The Mariners' opponents recorded seven saves during the streak. Neftali Feliz and Jonathan Papelbon lead the way with two saves a piece. Andrew Bailey, Mariano Rivera and Jordan Walden each had one.
I won't mention the Mariners save total.
Congratulations for making your way to the end! Things can't get much worse can they?