M's Split First Two in Minny
Tyler Duffy locks down the Mer'ners


M's 2, Twins 3

While Detroit loses ... Orioles win ... and the M's playoff chances become desperate.  With 8 to play in Seattle, 7 to play in Baltimore, the Mariners are -2 behind in the loss column.  Fangraphs evaluates this as a 7% chance for the Mariners to play a Wild Card game.

The Mariners just proved again today what Keith had noted earlier - that the M's chances rest mainly on the teams ahead of them botching it.  In baseball it's hard to "force" victories.  Any tomato can, bleeding a blood-red ERA of 6.39 as Duffy is, can hold you to 2 runs if he walks nobody and you hit the ball at fielders.


Granted, one of the Twins' fielders was a fan in the third deck.  Here is the StatCast of Cruz' 493-foot shot off a quality inside fastball.  Since StatCast began in 2015, the only two homers longer were a GianCarlo Stanton shot in Coors Field, which is located in the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range, and a 495-footer by Kris Bryant.  

Boomstick now has 39 homers and 98 ribbies.  Since 2014, there are six players in the American League with 100 homers and you've probably heard of them.  Mike Trout, the two Blue Jays, David Ortiz, Chris Davis ... Cruz leads them all by a comfortable margin with 123 homers.  You know, the day was, Dr. D would have headed over to USSM and LL to bask in the Dec. 2014 articles that savaged Jack Zduriencik for his 1970's-era "understanding" of baseball.  It's probably best those days are gone ...


In the 9th inning, the Mariners were down one run when Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz got on base with nobody out.  Run Expectancy +1.4.  Dr. D was weaned on baseball played during the days when this scenario was an automatic bunt, whether or not you had an All-Star at the plate.  Run Expectancy +1.4 after a successful bunt, assuming the third baseman completes the out, but the chance of tying the game goes from 61% to 68%.  

So with a simple bunt, you lose no runs at all, but you improve your chances of scoring that huge huge run.  Even Earl Weaver, who lived and died with outs wasted, always had an aterisk:  "Unless you know that one big run will swing the game outcome."

Nowadays they remind you that today's major leaguers probably can't complete a successful bunt.  So Kyle Seager swung away.  A double play and loss was the result.  DaddyO, Moe Dawg, Dr. D and several others felt very, very old.  Get off my lawn, you punk kids.

Hmmm.  Glancing back through this for the 60-second redraft so favored by us professional writers ... does Dr. D seem irritable to you at all?  And how he dearly hopes for somebody to opine that "we professional writers" is preferred to "us professional writers."  But LrKrBoi29's, along with Mariners playoff seedings, simply refuse to show their faces at SSI any more.  That's sad.



Granted, Scott Servais had an XL chart going on his laptop that cross-referenced Tango's RE chart against the Minny closer, Kyle Seager, the right field crosswind and the 68-61% chance of tying.  It no doubt said the chance of winning, in twelve innings or nine, was greater if Seager swung away.  If you interrupt my rant I'll empty the magazine in your general direction.


The next few days, Detroit and Baltimore could lose a couple apiece.  Seen far, far weirder things happen, about eight of them in the Seahawks-Packers championship game.  It will be a long, cold winter, so enjoy Happy Taijuan Day.  And Happy 16-W Day, and Happy Felix Day, and Happy Zeus day.

Bah humbug,

Dr D




Didn't see the game (was busy enjoying kids and grandkids), only found out about the results last night. Cryin' shame.

The point about even meatball pitchers are capable of shutting you down in any single game: The Mariners have had an AWFUL LOT of such individual games lately, the 10-run outburst on Friday being the lone exception to the rule since the 8-game winning streak. Set against Friday are what, four or five or six games that follow Saturday's template.

Lesson #1-- you can't pull off longshot late-season runs if you repeatedly make meatball pitchers look like aces in the box score. 

Lesson #2-- if you intend to make the playoffs, you'd better not put yourself in a position where you need to make longshot late-season runs.

As I think on it, it seems that the M's ran into a series of games starting with C.C. Sabathia's where they faced good pitchers who pitched at the top of their game. That seemed to throw the team into an offensive funk that continued against marginal pitchers. Any long-time baseball watcher has seen this phenomenon before. One moment you're leading MLB in runs scored in September, then bing, bang, boom a couple of really good pitchers throw really well against you and next thing you know you can't hit the broad side of a barn, much less a baseball, even facing 1998-vintage Bobby Ayala.

So, whadda the M's need to do now? Only lose 1 game the rest of the way and hope the stars align in other games affecting your chase. Each of the next few games almost becomes an elimination game. So you're saying we have a chance?



We ended up in a weird place; we had no one left to PR for Cruz.  I think we were down to Sucre and Vogs.  In a two-man relay they might get smoked by Frank Howard and Cecil Fielder.  We needed a ball into the RF corner or one over the RF fence to score Nellie from 1B. Or we needed two hits.  But even from 2B you need a ball in the corner or a ball over the fence to score Nellie.  OK, a 4 MPH seeing eye dribbler single into RF  might have done it.  Maybe.  

Venditte throws with both hands. Can he run with both legs?

I suppose Servais was playing to win on the road.  Seager did have 64 XB hits before that AB and only 16 GIDP.  Well, crud.

If you bunt them over does Kintzner intentionally BB Lind to set up a DP?  Unlikely with Martin up next.  Lind has all of two SF's all year.  You go after him, high and hard.  

I think Servais was choosing to go to war with Seager, rather than Lind.  

Doc, am pretty sure that I said "Ground control to Major Tom" when Nellie hit that blast.  As kids. you, Daddy and I watched Walter Cronkite announce Apollo launches that weren't that majestic.  But what was it that J. W. Booth said (looking at his hands) as his last words:  "Useless, useless!"

C'mon team...win 7 of 8.



"I would be glad to have Brad Miller's SS glove if we could have his bat, too!!"

"Where are you Brad, we hardly knew ye."

And then I tell that voice to shutup and I try to fall back in like with Marte.  While reminding myself that he's just 22, I'm becoming a bit worried that he's Ryan-esque (Brendan, not Zimmerman) with the bat but lacks the glove to carry it.  

17 BB's and 80 K's alarms me.  

He's getting schooled.

But more and more I like this Storen dude.  He's found his mojo again.


You've got Kyle Seager facing a righty. Kyle with a B-Ref offense WAR of 5.3.  Nobody is coming up after him nearly as good. You got three outs and arguably your best hitter up. I want  Seager hitting the ball hard somewhere. 

Kintzler is a ground ball pitcher, but was in a bad stretch. If you're hitting the ball on the ground somewhere, Seager certainly picked the right place to do it - toward Sano's direction. Too bad the shift wasn't on. :-)

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