Seattle starters failing to produce

Seattle's lineup is showing its age and the pitching staff has not lived up to expectations.

Updated: June 1, 2004, 4:10 PM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
The 2004 Mariners don't have any players named Murphy, but they should, because they are a living court case of Murphy's Law. Everything that could possibly go wrong -- and a few things that shouldn't have -- has.

While it was inevitable that the Mariners lineup was going to start showing its age sooner or later, what has happened to the pitching staff this year was a lot less predictable in that three of them -- Joel Pineiro, Gil Meche, Freddy Garcia -- are under 30. Ryan Franklin is exactly 31 and Jamie Moyer is considerably older than that. Last year, the five-man unit was the only one in the big leagues to start all 162 games, a practice that has continued through into 2004. With ageless Moyer and four much younger men, it's no wonder the Mariners thought the good times would continue to roll.

The true test of a pitching staff is how they do on the road, away from the burdens or benefits (as is the case with Safeco) of home. Last year, the Mariners pitching staff had the best road ERA in the league at 3.99. This year, they have fallen all the way to 11th. Home teams are taking the visiting Mariner moundsmen to task to the tune of an .854 OPS. That's 150 points higher than last year.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at