At the end of the day, if the season ended that day, the Mariners are still tied for the second Wild Card.
But Baseball Prospectus says that the M’s have only returned to exactly where they were on Opening Day — 30% chance of making it to the postseason.
That’s probably fair.
The simulation loves the Angels’ run differential that hasn’t shown up in their winning percentage. That’s probably fair, too. Except that those runs haven’t shown up in the standings yet.
And that’s why they play the games, right?
Game One was Felix Afternoon.
And it was his fourth straight quizzical start, after four Hall of Fame ones.
You can’t go much by his ERA (still 2.73) or FIP (2.68) or even xFIP (3.01), but if you go to the Bill James “Game Score” you get this:
64 | 74 | 72 | 73 | 50 | 51 | 50 | 35
In Game Score, you start with 50 points, so that’s three “meh” starts and one disaster.
You can see from the hyper-detailed baseball-reference.com box score that he not only had the much-noted zero strikeouts, but also only six swing-and-miss pitches (6.2%; career average 9.9%), and that all led up to the disastrous 7th, in which he gave up four hits in five batters, and the fifth was a sac fly only due to James Jones‘ running catch.
I don’t blame Lloyd McClendon for sticking with his ace with a low pitch count, but I think he went one batter too far.
Regardless, the M’s didn’t go quietly, re-tying the score in the 8th and then putting on another winning rally in the 10th.
Exactly as in the prior day’s game, things got set up by Michael Saunders (this time with a single) and finished off by Justin Smoak and Kyle Seager. Smoak’s liner off the glove of Oakland 1b Daric Barton wasn’t much, but sometimes the bounces go your way (video link). And Seager’s slicing single (video link) provided some insurance.
All of which set up the bow-and-arrow (video link), and Felix was bailed out.
That left the M’s one game behind the AL West lead, with a shot to leave Oakland in a virtual tie.
But the bats went silent.
Seattle managed only three hits, none for extra bases. MLB.com couldn’t even find an offensive highlight.
The highlight was the scoreboard freezing up at dysfunctional O.com Coliseum — and then coming back on. Last time it was soggy turf.
And yet the A’s keep winning division titles. We’ll trade one for a balky scoreboard, Kevin Mather.
- Baseball-reference.com box score here.
Kansas City comes to perfectly functioning Safeco Field for four:
- Hisashi Iwakuma vs. Danny Duffy
- Brandon Maurer vs. our old pal Jason Vargas
- Chris Young vs. rookie Yordano Ventura
- Roenis Elias vs. veteran Jeremy Guthrie