|SEA||Ken Griffey Jr||-0.932||-0.932||0.000||0.000||0.000||0.00||0|
Player of the Game: Kurt Suzuki (2.478 NRuns: 2.607 hitting, -0.265 fielding, 0.136 running)
Runner up: Jack Cust (2.217 NRuns: 0.645 hitting, 1.572 fielding)
A's Outfield (Cust, Rajai Davis, Ryan Sweeney): 4.647 NRuns
A's baserunning: -1.217 NRuns
Mariners baserunning: -1.227 NRuns
Mariners Player of the Game: Casey Kotchman (1.887 NRuns: 2.303 hitting, -0.416 running)
Rob Johnson's big out at 3rd base: -1.436 NRuns
Rob Johnson's defense and hitting: 1.978 NRuns
Goat: Ben Sheets (-2.136 pitching NRuns)
Yes, Ben Sheets was a big reason this was a game at all. A bumbling and out-tastic Mariners lineup got a few meaty pitches from Sheets that allowed them to get a few runs and stay in a game that Felix Hernandez nearly pitched them out of. Felix's poor outing was somewhat salved by some typically excellent defense from Saunders and Gutierrez, plus two runners gunned out by Rob Johnson. Between their efforts they saved about a run from Felix's performance.
The quick blame will go to Brandon League, but the fatal hit came on a groundball (BTW, Matt Tuiasosopo, backup shortstop, was the closest to that ball) and the fatal runner reached on a typically marginal one out, bases empty walk. That the latter took 2nd on a flyout and 3rd on a wild pitch were marginal: There were two outs. Roughly 76% of the time, a groundball from Kurt Suzuki gets League out of the inning without damage... instead of producing the M's 11th walkoff loss.
Also, Sean White could not get out of the 7th after coming in with men on 1st and 2nd and no outs. And yes, the line drive RBI single to Kouzmanoff was his fault. But he followed that with a big strikeout on Jack Cust (well, okay, Cust is prone to the K, but the situation made it a big K), and after the subsequent sac fly to Eric Chavez, White got two groundballs. However, both grounders got through for hits, and White was subsequently pulled. White's Net Runs for that performance? 0.226. The defense's during that stretch? -1.495. White will get blamed for a bad outing, however. The perils of results based analysis....
The best news from this, aside from two pitching performances not being as bad as they looked, is that embattled acquisitions Casey Kotchman and Chone Figgins hit the ball well, piling up a combined 3.101 NRuns at the plate between them.
The weakest performance at the plate... what a surprise. Ken Griffey Jr: -0.932 NRuns.
If there is a culprit in this game, it's the baserunning, which was bad for both teams as both sides lost more than a run on the basepaths in an active running game (Rob Johnson's atrocious out at 3rd base to end the top 5th was the big killer for the Mariners)... and treacherous defensive performances by the left side of the infield, as 3B Jose Lopez and SS Josh Wilson cost the M's a combined 2.344 NRuns on defense.