Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mind your M's and Jays

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Finding success in the major leagues is a very delicate balancing act. One cannot win with just offense or pitching alone - it takes a precise combination of those two things to consistently win ball games.

On one side of the scale we have the Seattle Mariners - a preseason favourite to win the American League West. On the other, we have the Toronto Blue Jays - a preseason favourite to finish in the basement of the American League East.

Interesting how things have a way of panning out, don't they?

Not to say that you can completely write off the Seattle Mariners at this point in the season, because they have the benefit of playing in the statistically weakest division in baseball this season.

As expected, the Seattle Mariners have a strong starting pitching staff and they currently rank second in the American League when it comes to starter's ERA. With a former Cy Young winner in Cliff Lee and a Cy Young runner-up in Felix Hernandez, the Mariner's don't have to worry about starting pitching.

Their main problem is one that plagued the Blue Jays for many seasons: the ability to score runs. The Mariners rank dead last in runs scored (3.3 runs per game) compared to the Blue Jays who rank third in the league (5.16 runs per game).

Now Cliff Lee has become all too familiar with what it's like to throw a great game and not have any run support. Twice thus far Lee has pitched at least 7 innings and given up 2 or less earned runs and walk out with either the loss or no decision.

Somewhere, Roy Halladay is smiling.

And so Doug Fister also experienced the exact same thing in last night's 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays. While he held the Jays to only three runs through eight innings, the Mariners lineup couldn't pick him up for more than two runs.

If last night was any indication of what's going to happen in tonight's contest between the Mariners and the Blue Jays, it will be another low-scoring affair ... at least, on one side of the scale.

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