The Mariners’ season ended with a whimper over the weekend. The M’s took 3 of 4 against the Rangers to finish 89-73. That’s good for 14 games behind the Astros for the division and 8 games behind the Athletics for the second wild card (also, 1 game behind the Rays for the first runner up position to that second wild card, but that’s neither here nor there).
The Mariners were -34 in run differential, which comes out to a pythagorean win total of only 77. They were 45-36 at home and 44-37 on the road. They were 36-21 in 1-run games and a whopping 14-1 in extras!
Somehow, the Mariners had a winning record against every single team in the division:
- 10-9 vs. Houston
- 10-9 vs. Oakland
- 11-8 vs. Anaheim
- 10-9 vs. Texas
The Mariners were 23-9 against the AL Central, 19-15 against the AL East. But, as I talked about before, the Mariners were a dreadful 6-14 against the National League (which, again, if you flip that, then we’re tied with the A’s for that second wild card spot).
Here’s the month-by-month:
- March/April: 16-11
- May: 18-11
- June: 19-9
- July: 10-13
- August: 12-16
- September: 14-13
And just to rub some salt in the wounds:
- Pre July 4th: 55-31
- July 4th onward: 34-42
I like to point to July 3rd as the high-water mark, but it was really just the beginning of the end. The REAL high-water mark was at the conclusion of our game on June 5th, where we beat the Astros in Houston and took a 2-game lead in the A.L. West. We, of course, lost to the eventual champs the very next day and after another week of hovering around first place, we ended up dipping below for the duration of the season.
*Sigh* those were wonderful, delightful times back in early June. I was so young and naive in those days!
Let’s move on to some individual accolades.
- Jean Segura is your 2018 Mariners batting champion, with a .304 average
- Robinson Cano is your 2018 Mariners OBP leader with .374
- Mitch Haniger is your non-suspended 2018 Mariners OBP leader with .366
- Nelson Cruz is your slugging champ with .509
- And Haniger is your OPS champ with .859 (narrowly besting Cruz’s .850)
Here are all the guys who had 10+ homers:
- Cruz – 37
- Haniger – 26
- Ryon Healy – 24
- Kyle Seager – 22
- Mike Zunino – 20
- Segura – 10
- Cano – 10
With all of that, the Mariners were just 11th in the AL in homers.
Some other individual numbers:
- Cruz beat Haniger in RBI, 97-93
- Haniger beat Seager in doubles, 38-36
- Dee Gordon beat Denard Span in triples, 8-6
- Segura edged Haniger in total hits, 178-170
- Segura also edged Haniger in runs scored, 91-90
- Gordon topped Segura in steals 30-20
My MVP has to go to Mitch Haniger, who was amazing this year. He finished with a 6.1 WAR, which was easily the best on the team, and looks to be just scratching the surface of a great MLB career.
On to the pitchers:
- Your ERA champ among qualified starters was Wade LeBlanc with 3.72
- James Paxton led the team in strikeouts with 208
- Mike Leake led the Mariners in innings pitched with 185.2
- Marco Gonzales led the team in wins with 13
- Leake led the team in quality starts with 18
Here’s your pitching section just devoted to the miracle that was Edwin Diaz:
- (Obviously) led the Mariners in saves with 57
- 57 is tied for 2nd all time in a season in MLB history
- He fell 5 short of the all-time leader, Francisco Rodriguez
- He led the team in pitching WAR with 3.2
- Paxton was second with 2.9
- He led the team in K/9 with 15.22
- Only Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances had higher K/9 in the A.L.
- Even though he’s just a reliever, and pitched fewer than half the innings of the starters, Diaz’s 124 strikeouts was still good for 5th on the team (one behind King Felix, who pitched 82 more innings)
- The next-closest reliever in strikeouts was Nick Vincent with 56
- He led the team in WHIP with 0.79
- He led the team in ERA with 1.96
- He led all pitchers in games played with 73 (Vincent was second with 62)
Without making it a whole thing, here are some props to some non-Diaz relievers who had great seasons. Alex Colome, Roenis Elias, and James Pazos all logged in some serious innings for the Mariners and all had sub-3 ERAs. I know that stat doesn’t mean much anymore, but I mean, those guys were dealing more often than not.
Nevertheless, Edwin Diaz is my Mariners Cy Young Award winner and it’s not even close.
Finally, let’s take a look at how some of these Mariners greats stacked up against the rest of the American League:
- Segura was 7th in batting average, and one of 8 in the A.L. to hit over .300
- Haniger was 9th in WAR
- Segura was 15th in WAR (with 4.3)
- Haniger was 10th in OPS
- Cruz was 14th in OPS
- Cruz was 8th in homers
- Diaz (again, obviously) led the league in saves (2nd place had 43)
So, that’s that. Another playoffs-less season in the books. Do it all again in 2019? Sure, why not? What the hell else do I have going on in my life? Might as well continue to root for a mediocre baseball team some more.