It is constantly brought up that the Mariners hitting has been woeful, yet they are six games above .500. Yes their .301 on base percentage, 28th in baseball is awful, but their batting average has climbed to 23rd at .243.
But there are three parts to a baseball team; hitting, pitching, and fielding, and two much attention is focused on hitting, as if that was the only key to winnings. I say “Bah, humbug.”
The Mariners are 4th in baseball with a 3.25 earned run average and 2nd in runs allowed per game at 3.45. Since the Martiners score more than four runs per game they have a + run differential and the reason for the 3.45 per game, besides good pitching with the top bullpen in baseball, is that they are 3rd in fielding percentage at .987 and their 39 errors in 80 games is second fewest, the Reds with 32 are the best.
This is why I get irritated with so called talking head baseball experts on TV and radio who say the Mariners will fall out of the wild card race because of lack of hitting. Why is so little focus given to pitching and defense when over the course of 162 games that will win you games.
Many thought Denver would beat Seattle in the Super Bowl because they had the best offense in history. They forgot what an excellent defense can do, especially when you are faster and tougher. And I always harken back to the 1963 World Series because the Yankees with their power hitting team would destroy the Dodgers whose offense consisted of base stealing Maury Wills. But the Dodgers swept the Yankees because good pitching-Koufax and Drysdale stops good hitting.
If the Mariners pitching and defense holds up they will make the playoffs. Since their eight game losing streak they are 36-24 and when they find their fifth starter, whether Taijuan Walker or through a trade, maybe both, Seattle will only get better.
As an aside I have three e-books on sale this weekend for.99; one is about the 1911 New York Giants based on a true story. You can read about the three books here. http://thequilltheewordthelooniness.wordpress.com/