Thursday, April 29, 2004

Jarvis Not the Problem 

Apparently I am not what Jeff would consider a reasonable observer. I'm sure many of you are agreeing.

Still I have a hard time saying that Kevin Jarvis cost us two wins. I have a hard time saying he cost us any wins. Here are the outings where Kevin Jarvis gave up ANY runs (3 scoreless outings not included).

4/6 - gave up 3 runs in 10-5 loss
4/7 - gave up 1 run in 10-7 loss
4/21 - gave up 1 run in 7-4 loss
4/23 - gave up 2 runs in 10-8 loss - this is as close to his fault as I can find
4/25 - gave up 5 runs in 14-6 loss.

He had three poor performances - 4/6, 4/23 and 4/25, with the last two happening in front of Howard Lincoln and resulting in him getting the axe. Lets take a closer look at these performances to see if Jarvis was the reason the M's lost.

4/6 - Down 6-1, Jarvis comes in and strikes out Guillen, gets Salmon in a flyout and gets Molina to ground out. Unfortunately, his strikeout of Guillen came on a wild pitch and Guillen got to first, so instead of three outs, the Angels had two outs and a baserunner. At this point he walks Adam Kennedy and gives up a run-scoring single to David Eckstein. Exit Jarvis, enter Ron Villone, who proceeds to give up a Darin Erstad single and a Vlad bases-clearing double to make the score 10-1.

4/23 - Down 7-5, Jarvis comes in to pitch the bottom of the 7th and gives up a single to Hank Blalock and a double to Alfoso Soriano. Again, Ron Villone comes in and gets a pop out and a lineout and then walks Kevin Mench to load the bases. Bases loaded, two outs, Villone pitching. He gives up a two-run single to Laynce Nix and then throws a wild pitch to let in a third run, to put the Rangers up 10-5. While Jarvis did no good here, we were in a situation that we should have gotten out of, with a rookie getting a clutch hit off our lefty setup man.

4/25 - Down 9-6 (again three runs score on Villone's watch), Jarvis has the horrible three homer inning, and finishes out the game giving up another run, making the loss 14-6 instead of 9-6. We never scored again when there was no pressure, so there is no reason to think we would have scored when the game was on the line. It has been the M's modus operandi to only score in bunches when the game was out of reach.

Right now, Ron Villone has done a lot more to cost the M's victories than Jarvis. His shiny 3.77 ERA looks good, but allowing 5 of 10 inherited runners to score shows that moving him to the rotation may just be to keep him from harming another pitcher. Luckily, Villone has had some good outings as well, that were key in four of the Mariners six wins. But, if Villone gets Laynce Nix out with the bases loaded and 2 outs, the M's may win that game and are able to laugh off the Kevin Jarvis 3-HR outing.

Essentially, Jarvis didn't hurt us much this April. And certainly he cannot be affixed with the lion's share of responsibility for ANY of the Mariner losses. He is just the first scapegoat, and if today's game was any indication, there will be more to come. Don't get me wrong, I think Jarvis should be gone - but I don't think M's management hurt the team that badly for the effort to showcase him. You may argue psychological stuff all you want - but the fact is, Jarvis has pitched as well, or better than, Shiggy, Pineiro, Myers and the doppleganger claiming to be Rafael Soriano.

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