In the aftermath of their 100th loss Wednesday night, Sept. 24, many of the Seattle Mariners players were about as talkative as the Republican (or "GOP," as we seem to prefer here in Washington) veep nominee, Vanna White.
As the 2008 post-mortem proceeds, stats are being crunched like empty aluminum beer cans. The one that crunches flattest? Not a single '08 Mariner pitcher will have won more than nine games, not unless Wednesday loser Felix Hernandez (staff "ace" at 9-11) somehow gets in as a reliever during one of the M's mercifully few remaining games. By contrast, when the M's won 116 games in 2001 (this, of course, is comparing apples with crab apples), all five starters won in double digits, with reliever Arthur Rhodes adding an 8-0 record.
Baseball, of course, is a collaborative game; pitchers lose games they would have won with a little support from hitters and fielders. Ask Harvey Haddix, who lost a 1959 game after pitching 12 perfect innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates. By contrast, the 1971 Baltimore Orioles collaborated so well that four pitchers won 20 or more games, 81 total. Seattle's top four throwers through Wednesday totaled 27 wins.