Entering Monday, Mike Sweeney was 16-for-44 (.364), with six home runs, 13 RBI, and six runs scored over his past 12 games. I learned this while sitting through the M’s pregame show at Safeco Field on Monday evening.
Now you could look at this one of two ways.
You could say, hey, Mike Sweeney’s been pretty damn productive in his last 12 games. And you’d be right. Because clearly, Sweeney has been a one-man offensive juggernaut.
But you could also look at this the way I looked at it.
Re-read those stats real quick. Sweeney has six home runs and six runs scored. He also has 16 hits. Which means that on the 10 occasions when Sweeney got a hit that wasn’t a home run, he failed to score. He also reached base four other times via bases on balls, meaning there were 14 incidences where Sweeney was on base and could not score.
The blame for this is two-fold.
First, and most obviously, you can blame the team’s crappy offense. What does it say about a lineup when a dude can reach base 14 freakin’ times (a guy who hits in the four-hole, no less) and not get driven in? It’s an extreme indictment on the Mariners’ five-through-seven hitters, who are primarily responsible for Sweeney’s being stranded on the basepaths.
Second, you can blame Sweeney’s old age and rusty wheels for being — well, I’ll just say it — a liability on the tracks. Seriously. If this team really plans on scoring runs with their weak-ass offense, they need to take extra bases and be efficient on the basepaths. Sweeney might be a knowledgeable baserunner, but he’s certainly not a good one. Pinch-running for the dude after his second at-bat wouldn’t be as egregious a move as it might seem on the surface.
The fact that the M’s are 0-for-14 in the month of May when it comes to driving in Sweeney is abominable (like the snowman). What’s worse is that they’re parading these stats in front of their fans like we’re too stupid to realize what it means.
Sweeney might be a one-man wrecking crew over the past month, but he’s only one guy. And it’s clear that even with his production, the rest of the team hasn’t done enough to help him over the past few weeks.
Finally, let’s get real, Mariners. How are you going to preach your small-ball philosophy to us, then slap us in the face with these crappy statistics? We’re supposed to be happy that Sweeney reached base 14 times and couldn’t score? Please. If he isn’t hitting the ball out of the park, he’s worthless. And so are the guys behind him in the order. Wake me up when you have real stats.