Analyzing the Jack Z Era: Taking a Look at the Win-Loss Records

The 2012 Mariners season has drawn to a close. General Manager Jack Zduriencik has come under a lot of pressure in the last couple of years as the club he has assembled has failed to win and win consistently. There are calls of firing the man who was ultimately brought in to clean up an organization that had collapsed under piss poor management from the previous GM (101 losses for a $117 million is not a good deal at all). It wasn’t going to be a quick fix and that’s hard for people, especially fans who got used to the M’s pretty consistent success from 1995-2003 (only two losing seasons).  

This post is the start of a series (how long this series goes is anybody’s guess). The goal of this series is to analyze the Jack Zduriencik era but not in the traditional sense. We won’t be looking at specific trades, specific draft picks or specific free agent signings.  So to kick things off we will be taking a look at the win loss record under Jack Z; the M’s overall, home, road, and against division record. After all win-loss is really all that regular (non-obsessive would probably be a better turn of phrase) sports fans look at when they look for improvement in a squad. 

Overall W-L
Home W-L
Road W-L
Against Division W-L

  Source for the win-loss records is ESPN

The first thing to jump out at me is the home numbers. With how offensively inept the Mariners have been over the last decade or so I expected the team to have won fewer games at their home field, which is a notorious pitchers park. Therefore, I would have expected most of the teams during Jack Z’s tenure to be getting most of their wins away from Safeco Field. Clearly that is not the case as teams under Jack Z actually have struggled to produce wins on the road. 

Speaking of those road numbers those have been atrocious, until this last season, under Jack Z. Even the 2009 squad couldn’t really put together a decent season on the road and they had to rely on awesome home numbers to avoid a below .500 finish. The horrid record on the road has a lot more to do with the squads overall flailing than their pitiful offensive performance at Safeco Field and that is surprising to me. After all most ball parks play more offensively neutral than Safeco and therefore I thought that the M’s superior pitching and a slightly improved offense would have led to more wins on the road. 
The other thing that I did not expect was the consistency against the West either. With how the team has performed against the Rangers and the Angles in the past I expected those win loss records to be much worse than they actually are. I guess it helped to have the A’s be just as bad (if not worse) from 2009-2011. But those games against the A’s shouldn’t have swayed the record against the division as much as it did; that means the M’s had to have won more games against the Angles and Rangers than it felt like they did. And playing decently against your division is one way to build the confidence of your squad.
What it looks like to me is that the M’s slow improvement at home plus a massive improvement on the road led to the second best record in Jack Z’s tenure. But the important take away from all of this is that the M’s are improving in the win-loss column and doing so in dramatic fashion. It looks like Jack Z has managed to accumulate talent that can consistently compete and win at Safeco Field, the question is can they consistently compete and win on the road. This year M’s fans saw this ball club do just that as they managed to string together some of their best offensive performances when on the road. Next year looks to be pretty interesting as this club now has the confidence that they can win on the road and (with the slightly moved in fences) the confidence that they can hit at home.


Categories: MLB