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Felix is ours.



Updated: 2017-08-22T12:00:02-07:00

 



Lookout Landing Week: Kate appreciates the current staff

2017-08-22T12:00:02-07:00

Celebrating the writers I’m lucky enough to work with every day In case you missed the announcement, the Mariners are doing a Lookout Landing Night at Safeco on Saturday, September 2nd. Leading up to that, we as staffers will be taking some time out to honor some of our favorite pieces that have run on the site over the years. This may come off as excessively self-serving, but Lookout has played such a major role in Mariners fandom over the years, I feel it’s important to take a minute out to honor what this site has been, and is, and will be. I want to kick things off by picking out some of my favorite things from our current staffers, who I’m so grateful to be able to talk and joke with every day about this occasionally frustrating, occasionally exhilarating team. John Trupin - “Seattle Mariners @ Texas Rangers: Two Thumbs Down” John had only been writing at the site for a little over a month when he delivered this tongue-in-cheek review of a dreary late-August Mariners loss in terms of a lackluster summer blockbuster. What I didn’t know then, reading and chuckling to myself, was this is a particular gift of John’s: without being saccharinely and false-smiley, John can always make you feel better about any situation, no matter how lousy. He has a way of both validating your pain, and putting it in perspective so it doesn’t hurt quite so much. I hope those of you who have never had the fortune to meet John can see what kind of a warm presence he is through his words. My favorite part of the piece is how John mixes words and images to capture the feeling of this game as a particularly uninspired entry to the franchise. Isabelle Minasian - “The Art of Losing” Like John, Isabelle was a later addition to the staff last year. However, as soon as I read this piece, I knew we had added to the staff someone who shares my love of English literature, and Elizabeth Bishop in particular (such an interesting puzzle of a person!). I particularly enjoyed the classification here of losses into three categories: Expected, Surprising, and Painful. And they say LL doesn’t invent metrics anymore. In a short and simple recap, Isabelle manages to say something very big about not just the experience of losing this Mariners game, but the nature of loss itself. It is, as a recap, as close to a poem as I think you’ll get. Zach Milkis - “Macabre Mariners Retell the Raven”* Except then sometimes you get the whole poem. Like Isabelle, Zach is someone whose literary references I appreciate, and this witty reboot of Poe’s classic was a salve to a particularly brutal Orioles loss, which in turn came on the heel of the snuff film known as Edgar Weekend. It was exactly the wry look I needed at the time, the kind of laughter that comes from a place of hurt, but is still laughter, which is sometimes all we have. *I would be remiss here if I did not mention Tee, our graphics wizard, who made the art for this piece, and takes our every weird request in slack—some of which never see the light of the internet—and makes our most fevered dreams come true. Tee is a joyful spirit and we’re so happy to have him. Eric Sanford - “When it’s more than nostalgia: Edgar Martinez, Memory, and Catharsis” One thing that I’m noting as I string these lovely little beads on this necklace is how much of a gift good writing can be. It’s a balm, a salve, on a wounded heart; it’s a light in the darkness letting you know you aren’t alone; it’s a way to draw up to consciousness things you might have known deep in the well of your soul but don’t yet have words for. And sometimes, it’s just a gift: someone opening up a little window into themselves and letting you peep in at the clockworks there. That’s what Eric does here. There’s an old saying in writing, “no tears from the author, no tears from the reader.” I know some of my best writing has felt like my riskiest, and hope those of you who read this piece appreciate what Eric has given us here. Luke Mounger - “The Reinvented Nick Vincent” Not all risk[...]



Andrew Albers dons the armor of James Paxton

2017-08-22T09:40:36-07:00

Can the newest Mariners starter hold the line until his countryman returns? In Avatar, a film that made $2.7 billion at the box office, the catalyst for the events of the film is that the twin brother of the protagonist dies, forcing the living twin to take his place. It's a common trope, and one always made all the more absurd by its outlandishness. Is the twin qualified? No. Do they have the characteristics necessary to fulfill the role as it was expected? Nope. Do they look kinda like the other guy and come from the same place? Yes? Congratulations, they're hired. Andrew Albers is no twin of James Paxton, but you could be forgiven for thinking Jerry Dipoto went to the cloning machine from Rick & Morty with a few of Pax's whiskers and came up a few credits short. Albers is a Canadian LHP, formerly of the University of Kentucky, with a devotion to wearing numbers usually reserved for backup offensive linemen. Lest you confuse the two, I've highlighted some of the main similarities and crossed out the key differences below. Albers was technically "born three years earlier" and is "older than Paxton," but that's just semantics. If Paxton's baseball life cycle is entering his red supergiant phase as a Mariner, Albers is a mere protostar that is inching its way straight towards white dwarf-hood. At 31, Albers is not a likely candidate to be developing much further, but in the Mariners' nebulous rotation, he does not have to go supernova to shine. Albers certainly qualifies as a fringe MLB starter. Surprisingly, he's throwing as hard as he ever has in his pro career, and through 100+ IP had a better FIP & ERA than Braves' top SP prospect Sean Newcomb in AAA this year. On the other hand, Albers is nearly five months older than Yovani Gallardo, tops out at 90 mph, and has been a replacement level player the last couple times he was in the majors. The Mariners have essentially decided to start James Paxton's buddy Andy from college. Perhaps they are hoping opposing hitters will squint and be confused and think it's still Paxton pitching. Their motions are not totally dissimilar! Look at that blazing heater! Now compare that to Pax... Big performance from Big Maple in Houston. #GoMariners pic.twitter.com/IiJCqAB36H— Mariners (@Mariners) July 19, 2017 (And yet, the Braves are okay with Matt Kemp playing in the outfield...But I digress.) Andrew Albers is making his second start for the M’s and his 14th of his career — this one will be against his most recent team before flying west to Seattle. Also, for those of you who watched the M’s play the alt-Mariners this weekend in Tampa, you’ll notice there are zero former Seattle players in Atlanta’s lineup tonight. In fact, the only former M on the Braves’ roster is knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who will start Wednesday’s game. Finally, your daily Wild Card update: as of press time, the Mariners sit just 1.5 games back of the second Wild Card spot, and one figures that their three-game series against the Yankees this weekend could perhaps even put the first spot into play. Game time: 4:35pm PT TV: ROOT Sports Northwest Radio: 710 ESPN MLB.tv where available - free game of the day! And, before we get to the action, since I’ve been puppy-sitting for the weekend, here’s a picture of the cutest Italian greyhound you ever did see. Meet Pascal! This is when he wasn’t chewing on my shoes/wreaking havoc in my apartment. [...]



Lookout Landing Day at Safeco

2017-08-21T12:00:04-07:00

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Join us for drinks! Chats! Jerry Dipoto sighting!

We’re thrilled to announce Saturday, September 2, will be Lookout Landing Night at Safeco. $32 will get you a view-level ticket, a drink, a t-shirt, and attendance at a pre-game panel located up at Lookout Landing, which will be staffed by:

  • Me. Por supuesto.
  • John Trupin, Friendly Neighborhood Bear
  • Isabelle Minasian, LL’s HR Rep/Chief Proponent of the All-Cuban OF
  • Nathan Bishop, Former LL Managing Editor
  • José Rivera, Former LL Graphics Wizard/Current MLB In-Game Social Media Coordinator
  • Colin O’Keefe, Former LL Editor/Current Digital Marketing Coordinator
  • Jerry Dipoto. Maybe you’ve heard of him?

Yes, Jerry will be stopping by to take questions from us/you, and has reportedly said this is “the most important thing” on his agenda for the day, so it should be some pretty meaningful face time with the Mariners’ GM. We will talk baseball, blogging, baseball blogging, and whatever else, and would love to see you there! Tickets can be purchased by clicking this link.

As you know, Lookout Landing has a long, rich tradition of covering the Mariners through a variety of lenses: analytic criticism, thoughtful introspection, supreme silliness. Leading up to this event, we will be celebrating some of our favorite pieces ever published on LL—sort of personal LL playlists. The writers will be taking turns curating some of their favorite pieces; we’d love for you to weigh in, as well, so please do so in the comments.

We’re so excited for this event and hope to see you on the 2nd! If you can’t make it cancel your plans the mountains will still be there in a week feel free to leave some questions you’d like us to ask in the comments.




Series Preview: Mariners (63-62) at Braves (55-67)

2017-08-21T10:00:05-07:00

The Mariners wrap up their interleague slate with a trip to Atlanta and Sun Trust Stadium. The Mariners started their road trip on the right foot, taking two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays. They’ll look to stay hot as they cross the Florida-Georgia line to square off with the Braves, who own the worst record of any team the M’s will face before returning home to Safeco. This is an opportunity the Mariners need to seize. Taking two of three in Atlanta would mark three straight series wins, giving the team some confidence and momentum before traveling north to New York and Baltimore. For how tumultuous of a season the Mariners starting rotation has had, the Braves are one of seven teams with a higher xFIP than Seattle. An offense that’s scored seven runs in three of the last four games will be looking to enjoy similar success against the Braves. The Braves: Once 45-45, the Braves have lost 22 of their last 32 games. Over the last 30 days, their offense has only managed to muster an 88 wRC+. They reinstated Matt Kemp from the disabled list this weekend, which should help boost their offense a bit, but it may not be enough to neutralize their pitching woes; during the same stretch, the Braves pitching staff has run the fifth highest xFIP in baseball. They’ve struggled with a high walk rate (4.37 per 9 innings), and have fallen victim to the long ball (1.57 per 9 innings). Only the Reds, White Sox, Tigers, and Rays have surrendered more earned runs in the last 30 days than Atlanta’s 5.44 ERA during that stretch. Key Players 1B Freddie Freeman – A wrist fracture has limited Freddie Freeman to just 78 games in his best offensive season of his career, but he hasn’t skipped a beat since returning from that injury. Freeman had always been a productive hitter, but a sharp increase in fly ball rate over the past two seasons has seen his ISO skyrocket. His fly ball rate and line drive rate are both well above league average, while his groundball rate is very low. As a result, he’s managed a .305 ISO this season. Defensively, Freeman has had a solid season, running a 3.9 UZR/150 at first base. He’s even played a little third base, where he’s held his own, owning a -1.3 UZR/150. LF Matt Kemp – While he might not be mirroring his 2011 and 2012 numbers, Matt Kemp has had a productive season for the Braves. His strikeout rate is the lowest it has been since 2009, though his walk rate is also down 1.2% from his career average. His fly ball rate is down over 9% from his career average, while he’s hitting line drives at the third highest rate of his career. This change in his batted ball profile has led to a lower ISO, but has helped nourish a high BABIP. He started the season off hot before cooling down in June and getting hurt in July. He was recently reinstated from the disabled list, and will be looked to provide his early season numbers for a struggling Braves offense. CF Ender Inciarte – Ender Inciarte homered twice on Thursday to reach double digit home runs for the first time in his career. His fly ball rate is higher this year than any year in the past, while his roundball rate has trended in the opposite direction. That said, he still hits grounders and line drives at an above league average rate. His speed is a weapon; he’s third in the majors in bunt singles, and has stolen 17 bases this year. His speed translates into incredible range in centerfield, and he has a strong arm to top it off. His ability to get on base, run the bases, and play great defense has earned him the second highest WAR on the team. Probable Pitchers It took a while, but Mike Foltynewicz is finally fulfilling all the promise he showed as a first-round draft pick back in 2010. Many assumed he was destined for the bullpen with a fastball that averages 95 mph and a devastating slider. To his credit, he’s stuck in the rotation for most of last year and all of this year. While his raw stuff is pretty impressive, he’s b[...]