Mariners: A look at the numbers in 2014

Mariners: A look at the numbers in 2014

SEATTLE -- Numbers, numbers, numbers. Baseball loves 'em, and so do we. Here's a look back at some interesting numerals from the Mariners' 2014 season:

87: Manager Lloyd McClendon racked up the second-most wins ever by a Mariners skipper in his first season, with only Bob Melvin's 93-69 debut in 2003 exceeding McClendon's 87-75 mark. As it stands at the moment, McClendon is the only Mariners manager besides Lou Piniella with an overall winning record during his Seattle tenure. McClendon never won more than 75 games in a season in his five years with the Pirates from 2001-05.

57.1: The percent of challenges that McClendon won in MLB's first year of instant replay. The Mariners challenged 35 calls and had 20 overturned. Those numbers were very close to the MLB average of 34.8 challenges per team, with 18.7 decisions overturned for a 53.6 percent success rate for all 30 teams, based on numbers tallied on BaseballSavant.com.

The Yankees had the highest success rate of any MLB team at 82.1 percent, as they had 23 of 28 plays overturned. The Blue Jays had the lowest success rate at 33.3 (16 out of 48). The Cubs issued the most challenges (getting 25 of 56 overturned), while the A's used the fewest challenges (14 of 25).

2:54:49: The average time for the Mariners' nine-inning games this season was the fastest of any team in MLB. Seattle also had the lowest average time for home games at 2:53:40 and for all games, including extra-inning affairs, at 2:58:33. Perhaps other teams should take notes on the Mariners' pace as the average for a nine-inning MLB game this year was 3:02:21, about three and a half minutes longer than last year's 2:58:51.

This is the first year the average length of an MLB game has exceeded three hours, but the time of games has been gradually increasing over the last 30 years. In 1981, the average was 2:33. By '91, that had hiked up to 2:49, and it grew to 2:54 by 2001. Some adjustments lowered the timing slightly through the next decade, but now the time has trended upward for the last five years, which is why baseball is looking into ways to speed things up with some experimental rules during this offseason's Arizona Fall League.

$106.7 million: The Mariners final 2014 player payroll, with $95.7 million going to 55 players who spent time on the 40-man roster, $5.1 million in performance bonuses, $4 million for pro-rated signing bonuses (Felix Hernandez, Dustin Ackley and Danny Hultzen) and $1.9 million to buyouts for 2014 contract options that were declined (Joe Saunders, Franklin Gutierrez and others).

$2.975 million: Veteran right-hander Chris Young earned that figure in performance and roster bonuses with his outstanding comeback season, as he signed a team-friendly $1.5 million base contract that had lots of incentives built in based on number of starts, innings and time on the Major League roster. Young reached almost all his potential bonuses, leaving only $500,000 on the table if he'd been able to pitch 15 more innings. As it was, his 29 starts and 165 innings were both the most he'd posted since 2007.

16: Seattle's 16-win improvement from 2013 was the third-biggest jump by a Major League team this year, behind only the Angels' 20-game hike from 78 to 98 wins and the Astros' 19-win leap from 51 to 70. The 16-win step forward was the fourth-best in franchise history.

Plus-80: The Mariners had the sixth-best run differential in the Majors and scored more runs than they allowed for the first time since 2003. Of the nine-leading teams in run differential, Seattle was the only one that didn't make the postseason.

.262: Though the Mariners finished 14th in the American League in batting average at .244, they were fifth in the AL with a .262 batting average with runners in scoring position. That was a huge step forward from the .228 mark in 2013, and it was the best for a Seattle club since '07.

Batting averages with RISP for all Mariners with 40 or more at-bats: Robinson Cano, .339; Logan Morrison, .303; Kyle Seager, .301; Endy Chavez, .294; Michael Saunders, .280; Brad Miller, .256; Austin Jackson, .250; Corey Hart, .245; Ackley, .233; Mike Zunino, .214; Justin Smoak, .210; Kendrys Morales, .191; Stefen Romero, .167; and James Jones, .164. Morales led the team in 2013 at .312.

19: The Mariners set a club record for times being shut out, the most by any AL team since the 1981 Blue Jays.

.190: The cumulative batting average for Seattle's designated hitters, which ranked as the worst in the AL by 25 points. Take the DH out of the mix and the Mariners team batting average would have climbed from .244 to .250.

Seattle's DHs combined for 15 home runs and 50 RBIs with a .190/.266/.301 slash line. The league average was .249/.319/.424 with 23 home runs and 83 RBIs. A year earlier, when Morales had a strong season, Seattle's DHs hit .265/.333/.448 with 25 home runs and 79 RBIs.

1,121: Zunino caught the second-most innings of any AL catcher, trailing only Kansas City's Salvador Perez.

3.17: The Mariners shattered their franchise record for team ERA, posting the fifth-lowest number for an AL team for a full season since the introduction of the designated hitter in 1973. The previous club record was 3.54 in 2001. The bullpen went from 29th in the Majors in '13 at 4.58 to first at 2.59, which is the second-lowest AL relief mark since 1990, and it smashed the club record of 3.04 set in '01. The starting pitchers also set a Mariners record at 3.48, breaking the previous mark of 3.67 in '90.

82: While pitching got most of the publicity, the Mariners helped themselves defensively as well, as their 82 errors were the lowest in the AL. Their .986 fielding percentage was the third-best in franchise history, and Seattle improved from minus-97 defensive runs saved in 2013 to minus-2 in '14, the best team improvement in the AL.

2.14 Final AL-leading ERA of Hernandez, the lowest by an AL starting pitcher since Pedro Martinez's 1.74 in 2000. Hernandez's 0.92 WHIP was also the lowest by a qualified AL starting pitcher since Martinez in the same '00 Cy Young Award-winning season.

152: Days until the 2015 regular-season opener, when the Mariners host the Angels on April 6 at Safeco Field.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.