WYMAN AND BOB

Not just ‘fun differential’ — Mariners have run differential now, too

Sep 7, 2022, 11:13 AM

Mariners Cal Raleigh...

Cal Raleigh hits a two-run home run in the Mariners' win over the Chicago White Sox on Sept. 6. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The Mariners’ overall record doesn’t look all that different from last year.

Mariners Breakdown: After win streak, is the offense where it needs to be?

Entering their 137th game of the season Wednesday, the M’s own a 77-59 record. A year ago entering their 137th game, the Mariners were 74-62, and when the season ended they sat at 90-72 – 18 games over .500, just like right now.

There is a big difference in the way the Mariners have gotten to where they are this season compared to 2021, however. Last year’s team ended the year with a minus-51 run differential, meaning they scored 51 runs less than they allowed to their opponents. In 2022, Seattle has a plus-68 run differential.

That’s not to say that “fun differential” – a term that was coined for the 2021 Mariners – has gone away. But the M’s have figured out a way to win games by more than the skin of their teeth.

“I think that last year they leaned on their pitching an awful lot, especially their bullpen. And when they were winning games, they were winning by a run, and when they were losing games, they were losing by five runs,” said Mike Blowers, a former Mariners infielder and current ROOT Sports color commentator, in his weekly visit with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Tuesday. “And over the course of the summer, I think it’s an outlier to get in a position where you’re going to win 90 games doing that.”

So what has allowed the Mariners to get on the positive side of run differential and make a push for the playoffs?

“I think this year the rotation has been better with Robbie Ray and what George Kirby has done in addition to the other three guys, and then the bullpen has picked up,” Blowers said. “It’s one of those things you never know from year to year, but the bullpen has been outstanding holding teams down. And then now over the last three to four weeks, they are scoring a lot more runs – especially the last two weeks, they’re averaging five runs a game. And when your rotation has an ERA of 2 over that span and the bullpen is giving up nothing, that’s going to make a big difference in your run differential.”

The impressive development of young hitters like Julio Rodríguez and Cal Raleigh plays a big role, as well.

“I think at the end of the day the lineup is better, especially with the additions of Julio and Cal Raleigh,” Blowers said. “(Poeple) didn’t know what to expect and they’re both having fantastic seasons, which made a difference with the rest of the veterans in the lineup.”

You can listen to the full conversation with Blowers in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

MLB Network’s Morosi: Why Mariners’ pitching is as deep, certain as any in AL

Wyman & Bob

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Partly Sunny
High 87° | Low 59°
No game today.

Wyman and Bob

...

Seattle Sports Video

Video: Why Teoscar Hernandez doesn’t like hitting at T-Mobile Park

Former Mariners outfielder and new Home Run Derby champion Teoscar Hernandez explained why he was never comfortable hitting at T-Mobile Park during All-Star Media Day yesterday. Former MLB pitcher Trevor May also explained that multiple players have told him they had issues with the batter’s eye. Does T-Mobile Park have a structural issue for batters? […]

14 hours ago

Seattle Mariners closer Andrés Muñoz...

Zac Hereth

Sadler: How Mariners get best from bullpen arms

Ex-Seattle Mariners pitcher Casey Sadler explains why the communication and preparation from the organization is so effective in the bullpen.

5 days ago

Seattle Mariners J.P. Crawford Victor Robles...

SeattleSports.com Staff

Video: Mariners Breakdown – Is Seattle getting back on track?

Bob Stelton of Seattle Sports checks in to share his reaction to five Mariners questions after their two-game sweep in San Diego.

6 days ago

Seattle Mariners Julio Rodriguez San Francisco Giants 2023...

Cameron Van Til

A World Series winner can be the blueprint for Mariners

MLB insider Jon Morosi mentioned a World Series champion that could give a roadmap for how the Seattle Mariners can make a deep October run.

7 days ago

Seattle Mariners 2B Jorge Polanco...

Zac Hereth

How much longer does Mariners’ Jorge Polanco have for turnaround?

Seattle Sports' Dave Wyman and Mike Lefko discuss Jorge Polanco and the Seattle Mariners' second base situation on Wyman and Bob.

8 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Scott Huff UW Huskies 2021...

Cameron Van Til

Big Ray: What stands out about Seahawks’ new OL coach

Former NFL offensive lineman Ray Roberts explains how new Seattle Seahawks O-line coach Scott Huff is instilling a high attention to detail.

8 days ago

Not just ‘fun differential’ — Mariners have run differential now, too