As Jim Bouton used to say, “Tell your statistics to shut up!”
Despite consecutive wins over the Toronto Blue Jays, including Monday’s stunner in which they won 8-7 after trailing by seven runs (first time in 35 seasons they won after trailing by seven-or-more runs in the sixth inning or later), the Mariners still are off to one of the slowest starts in franchise history. The problem, as it was in 2010, is Seattle’s ability to produce at the plate, especially when it counts. How does Seattle’s April batting totals so far compare to other editions of the club in the first month of the season?
Not favorably. With four starters — Chone Figgins (.158), Jack Cust (.171), Brendan Ryan (.185) and Ryan Langerhans (.200) — all hitting .200 or below, the Mariners are batting .201 as a team — 19 points under the American League average of .239.
The Mariners rank 10th in batting average, ninth in on-base percentage, 13th in slugging and 10th in OPS. And their leading home run smasher, Langerhans (3), bats in the lower part of the order (hit ninth on Tuesday).
We looked at all the 90-loss teams in franchise history and found that only the 1986 Mariners had had a lower April batting average than the current Mariners (.221). only two (1986, 1983) had a lower on-base percentage, only one (1978) had a lower slugging percentage and just two (1986, 1978) had a lower on-base+slugging number:
The Mariners are pretty bad at hitting with runners in scoring position. Even if their 8-7 comeback victory over Toronto on Monday, they went 3-for-15. After last night, when they went 1-for-5, the Mariners are batting .199 with runners in scoring position, in large part because the 2-3-4 hitters (Chone Figgins, 0-for-10; Milton Bradley, 1-for-10 and Jack Cust, 2-for-12, are a combined 3-for-32. If carried over a full season, the overall team average would rank as the worst mark in franchise history. Worst RISP numbers in franchise history: