Seventeen straight losses and counting for the Seattle Mariners

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We’ve gotten to the point where, yes, we will highlight every Mariners loss until they win a game.  And yes, when they win a game we’ll not that too.

But for now, the ineptitude continues unabated.  Granted the schedule has been rocky lately, what with trips through Boston and New York, but they look like they’d lose to any team you could throw at them lately.

Seattle struck out 18 times.  They got one hit. If it wasn’t for the rain delays — and Joe Girardi’s decision to keep sending CC Sabathia out when they ended — I doubt they would have gotten the one. Some late walks and errors by the Yankees gave them a chance to score that run, but there was never a sustained threat.

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times posted a list of the worst losing streaks of all time in his blog post last night.  It’s worth a gander:

24 — Cleveland (NL), 1899
23 — Philadelphia (NL), 1961
23 — Pittsburgh (NL), 1890
21 — x-Baltimore (AL), 1988
20 — Boston (AL), 1906
20 — Philadelphia (AL), 1916
20 — Philadelphia (AL), 1943
20 — Montreal (NL), 1969
19 — Kansas City (AL), 2005
19 — Detroit (AL), 1975
19 — Boston (NL), 1906
19 — Cincinnati (NL), 1914
18 — Philadelphia (AL), 1920
18 — Washington (AL), 1948
18 — Washington (AL), 1959
18 — St. Louis (NL), 1897
17 — Boston (AL), 1926
17 — New York (NL), 1962
17 — Atlanta (NL), 1977
17– SEATTLE (AL), 2011

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.