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Felix is ours.

Updated: 2017-09-22T19:07:10-07:00


9/22: Open Game Thread



Cleveland is good and this might be bad

Hello and welcome to September 22nd baseball, also known as “(maybe) not the seventh loss in a row!” Apologies for the late thread, you know how Fridays are. If you don’t know how Fridays are, they’re the day where you shirk your adult responsibilities.

The Mariners’ third-best starter this year takes the hill (yup, it’s Erasmo)! So... they have a decent shot of getting to the vaunted four-games-below-.500 mark. Yikes.

Today's Lineups

Francisco Lindor - SS Jean Segura - SS
Austin Jackson - LF Mitch Haniger - RF
Jose Ramirez - 2B Robinson Cano - 2B
Edwin Encarnacion - DH Nelson Cruz - DH
Jay Bruce - RF Kyle Seager - 3B
Carlos Santana - 1B Yonder Alonso - 1B
Jason Kipnis - CF Ben Gamel - LF
Yandy Diaz - 3B Carlos Ruiz - C
Roberto Perez - C Guillermo Heredia - CF
Trevor Bauer - RHP Erasmo Ramirez - RHP

The first of a three-game stretch against the Cleveland baseball team that has been absolutely red-hot, this has the potential to be very bad. But, as the last home series of the season let us cling to the hope that it has potential to be very good.

It’s at 7:10 PM PST (so... now...), on Root Sports NW and 710 ESPN Seattle. Go crazy.

Lookout Landing Podcast 27: Time Makes Re-tools of Us All



Examining the state of pitching in the organization, and also the state of your tv series pilot from college.

The season is over for all intensive purposes, so John and Kate look ahead at what could be done to fix some of the holes for 2018. We discuss and debate the merits of rebuilding fully and tearing everything down as opposed to retooling around the current core, and lament the inability of this team to Just. Do. Everything. Well. At. Once. Ugh. Additionally, we note the odd situation the Mariners find themselves in with their farm system. After a decade of high draft picks and well-identified talent, but a total inability to develop it, there are signs of significant improvement in development, yet much less raw talent to be maximized.

Afterwards, they take listener questions on what should be done with Félix, first base, Servais, and health-inducing witchcraft. What’s to be done with Marco Gonzales, Andrew Moore, Erasmo Ramirez, and the stable of current pitchers the M’s will undoubtedly be looking to upgrade on? We also debate what constitutes chili and learn about a harrowing experience John had within the Seattle Public Schools system.

Music: I'm On Fire - Bruce Springsteen

Please submit any of your future questions for the podcast to @LookoutLanding or leave them in the comments below.

Note: If you’re searching for the podcast to subscribe (and we would love it if you did) please be aware that it is listed as simply “Lookout Landing” and not “Lookout Landing 2.0” which is understandably confusing. We’re sorry.

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Enjoy! Leave feedback! And go M’s.

Series Preview: Mariners (74-79) vs. Cleveland (96-57)


The Mariners host the best team in the American League this weekend. I’m a little relieved that the Mariners finally laid any postseason hopes to bed this week. Sure, a miracle run towards the second Wild Card spot like 2014 and 2016 would have been fun, but this team just couldn’t get out of its own damn way. The same could be said for any of the Wild Card contenders this year. Amazingly enough, the Mariners have only fallen down the standings by a game and half during this six-game losing streak. The failures of every team ahead of the Mariners allowed us to hold on to some sliver of hope. Now that reaching the postseason by some miracle is off the table, maybe the Mariners will turn their attention to seeing what players like Dan Vogelbach, Marco Gonzales, and Andrew Moore can contribute in 2018. It’s a familiar refrain for Mariners fans, only this year it came in September rather than in July. Cleveland: The ballclub from Cleveland has lost just a single game since August 23rd. Their 22-game winning streak broke the American League record (and the major league record, depending on who you ask). During this 28 game stretch, they’ve allowed just two runs per game. They’ve recorded seven shutouts and have held opposing teams to three runs or less 22 times. Cleveland has claimed the best record in the American League on the back of one of the best pitching staffs in the history of the game. During their two series against the Rangers the past week, the Mariners faced four starters who ranked in the bottom 15 in strikeout rate—the three starters they’ll face this weekend all rank in the top 15 in strikeout rate. Key Players SS Fransisco Lindor – At just 23 years old, Fransisco Lindor already has 16.3 career WAR. He posted wRC+ numbers of 126 and 111 his first two years in the league, but has added to his offensive repertoire this year with increased power. His fly ball rate has jumped nearly 14% from last season, resulting in a sharp increase in home runs. Lindor is also a fantastic fielder, running a career 15.4 UZR/150 at shortstop. 3B Jose Ramirez – Another bright young star, 24-year old Jose Ramirez has the highest WAR on the team this season (5.8). He broke out last season offensively, slashing .312/.363/.462; however, a sharp increase in ISO has catapulted his season wRC+ to 145. Ramirez’ fly ball rate has jumped a bit since last season, but the greatest difference in his batted ball profile in a 7.7% increase in hard contact rate, which has fueled an over 8% jump in HR/FB. He’s swinging at fewer balls and more strikes, which could serve as an explanation for his impressive batted ball stats as well as his increased walk rate. He’s played over 500 innings at second and third base this season, but has performed better at third, evidenced by a 7.7 UZR/150. DH Edwin Encarnacion – After a slow start to the season, Edwin Encarnacion has posted a 138 wRC+ since the beginning of May. He’s eclipsed the 30 home run mark for the sixth consecutive year, and is two RBI short of the triple digits. His contact rate dropped for fourth consecutive year, resulting in a 20.2% strikeout rate. Meanwhile, his o-contact% is his lowest since 2009, yielding a career high 15.8% walk rate. When he puts the ball in play, Encarnacion generates a lot of hard contact, specifically on fly balls, which leads to a lot of home runs. Probable Pitchers Through the first two months of the season, Trevor Bauer had posted an ERA of 6.00, almost two full runs higher than his FIP. His strikeout-per-walk ratio was higher than ever but he was getting knocked around nonetheless. Since the beginning of June, he’s seen his ERA fall below his FIP, down to 3.55, despite a slight increase in his BABIP allowed. His improvement this season isn’t just simply better batted ball luck. Towards the end of May, Bauer decided to start throwing his curveball much more often, more than 30% of the time, twice as often as before. That pitch generates an above average number [...]

Sporcle Friday: Most Productive M’s Pitchers in Short Periods of Time



We need some more of these.

In just 25.1 innings as a Mariner, Mike Leake has accumulated 0.9 WAR. In a 150 inning season, he would be on pace for over 5 WAR. Impressive stuff. I decided to take a look at some other Mariners’ pitchers who, in a short span of time, made a big impact for their team. Can you name the Mariners pitchers with the 15 highest WARs in seasons with less than 50 innings pitched?

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And we had Robinson Cano’s 300th home run. No, Cano wasn’t fantastic this season, but he embodied the overall attitude that has made this iteration of the Mariners not just bearable, but fun.


But. James Paxton was pulled in the 4th. As in this season, taken away too soon for him to show us what he really could have done. The Mariners bats, oh so potent at times, simply failed to produce without a tangible excuse or scapegoat. It could have happened. It just didn’t.

As the Mariners lost their sixth straight game and the season slipped still further out of our grasp, I could not help but stop and reflect. For pretty much this entire year, this team has felt like it’s capable, but it simply hasn’t been. Much like the Greek myth of Tantalus, we are unable to grasp the apple that is so unbearably close.

Speaking solely for myself, the narrative that this season has been more fun than any in recent memory has been pushed down my throat. There have obviously been fun moments, but this season, more than any other, has felt like an effort. That’s not what baseball is supposed to feel like, so maybe I’m doing it wrong. I think we just got really unlucky with injuries, or circumstance, or whatever.

For the last month, the only thing on my mind has been Fuck 2017.

74-79: Chart



Big ol’ bucket of yikes


Robinson Cano’s 300th home run: Nelson Cruz (0.045 WPA)

Everything else about tonight: Danny Valencia (-0.090 WPA)

9/21: Open Game Thread



Mathematically possible, rationally implausible

Hello, Happy Thursday, and welcome to James Paxton’s final home start (and possibly final start...?) of the year! This is cause for joy, because Maple Grove, and James Paxton, and seeing one of the team’s best players! It’s also cruelly ironic, as this team, which has floundered away this last chance at a playoff birth given to them by the Twins’ recent losing streak, turns to the man who might have led them to said birth had he not been injured.

Anyway, if you’re here after last night’s heartbreaker that means you either just really love baseball (ha!) or still think this team has a legit chance (also ha!).

Please don’t let my cynicism impede your enjoyment of the game.

Today's Lineups

Delino DeShields Jr. - LF Jean Segura - SS
Shin-Soo Choo - RF Mitch Haniger - RF
Elvis Andrus - SS Robinson Cano - 2B
Adrian Beltre - DH Nelson Cruz - DH
Joey Gallo - 1B Kyle Seager - 3B
Carlos Gomez - CF Danny Valencia - 1B
Robinson Chirinos - C Mike Zunino - C
Rougned Odor - 2B Guillermo Heredia - CF
Will Middlebrooks - 3B Ben Gamel - LF
Cole Hamels - LHP James Paxton - LHP

The team is running out their full starting lineup, signalling that they are still making a desperate final push. Even if this game ends up being bad, it will be Adrian Beltre’s final start in Safeco Field this year, so enjoy it!

Game’s at 7:10 PM. It’s on Root Sports NW and 710 ESPN Seattle.