Updated Aug 21, 2012 - 2:22 pm
First half versus the second half
The impressive second half surge for the Seattle Mariners continued on Monday night as they ripped off their sixth straight win. The M's have claimed thirteen of their last fourteen games at Safeco Field. They are also tied with Tampa Bay for the best record in the American League since the All-Star break (23-13). The M's are just 13 wins behind their total from the first half of the season. What has been the difference? Here are the first half numbers compared to those in the second half:
The Mariners scored 3.87 runs a game in the first half and they have bumped it up to 4.05 in the second. They coughed up 4.19 runs a game in the first half and chopped it to 3.28 runs in the second.
The offense has improved enough for the M's to score over four runs a game which is an important benchmark for them. However, the tremendous pitching has been the catalyst for second half surge. The Mariners have peeled away almost a run a game from the first half to the second.
The numbers coincide nicely with an argument I have been making for a while on the Mariners postgame show and on this blog. I have said many times that the Mariners do not have to improve a tremendous amount offensively to win games. They need to get better, but not at a rate most people would think. The key is pitching and defense. There are twelve teams who are division leaders, wildcard leaders or.5 behind the wildcard leaders. The Chicago White Sox are the only team of the twelve who are not in the top twelve in team ERA. The Mariners are the only team with an under .500 record in the top twelve in ERA and they are the only team more than 1.5 games out of a division or wildcard race. It is going to be very interesting to see where the numbers go with the remaining games this month against Cleveland, Chicago and Minnesota.
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