Felix Hernandez will make the first of his two remaining starts this season and further his campaign for this year’s AL Cy Young award. Do I think he’s going to win it? If we had to vote today, I’d say no. But two dominant starts could change the voters’ minds.
So I can’t think of a better reason to come to the ballpark. Yes its going to be a bit nippy. It’s cool already. Yes it’s the Oakland A’s, and they aren’t exactly packing a lot of starpower. But you know what that means? No obnoxious opposing fans (like the Red Sox or Yankees) and plenty of available seating – close 29,000 seats available.
As I wrote a few months back, – when I was covering the team on a more frequent basis, Felix should be must see viewing as a Mariners fans. Something magical, memorable or historic can happen anytime he takes the mound.
The first is tonight against the Oakland A’s (75-81), who have played better of late.
Here’s who he’ll be facing and what they are hitting against him.
- Adam Kennedy — .111 (1-9), 2 Ks
- Rajai Davis — never faced him
- Ryan Sweeney — .143 (2-14), 3 Ks
- Kurt Suzuki — .333 (2-6)
- Jack Cust — .238 (5-21), 2 HRs, 11 Ks
- Daric Barton — .417 (5-12), 3 Ks
- Mark Ellis — .323 (10-31), 7 Ks
- Eric Patterson — .000 (0-2)
- Cliff Pennington — .000 (0-5)
A few other Felix notes from today’s game notes.
- In his last start, he recorded W#17 in Mariners 5-4 victory at Toronto on Sept. 24… tossed 5.0 scoreless innings, before allowing a 3-R HR to V. Wells in the 6th… also allowed a run in the 8th…struck out a season-high 11 batters (3rd career start with 11 or more K’s, last 12 on 4/2/07 vs. OAK)and also recorded his 800th career strikeout.
- He is 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA (5 ER, 39.0 IP) in 5 starts in September…since Aug. 1 is 6-1 with a 1.94 ERA (17 ER, 79.0 IP).
- Felix among AL leaders, ranks 2nd in ERA (2.49), 1st in quality starts (27), T2nd in opponents batting avg. (.229), 4th in strikeouts (207), 7th in strikeouts/9.0 IP (8.30), T2nd in wins (17), T3rd in games started (32) and T3rd in innings pitched (224.1)…is the only AL pitcher to rank in the top 4 in the three “Triple Crown” pitching categories (W-ERA-SO).
- Hernandez has recorded a quality start in 22 of his last 23 starts, going 13-2 with a 1.93 ERA (36 ER, 167.2 IP) since May 24…had string of 11 consecutive quality starts (May 24-July 22), tied with Tim Lincecum for the longest streak in the Majors this season…was also tied for the 3rd-longest quality start streak in club history: Erik Hanson, 14 (1990-91); Erik Hanson, 13 (1992-93), Mark Langston, 11 (1988-89).
- He recorded his 200th strikeout of the season on Sept. 24 at TOR…is just the 5th Mariners pitcher (done 13x) to record at least 200 strikeouts in a single season, ranking 12th on the Mariners single season K’s list.
- In 10 no-decisions, has a 2.15 ERA (16 ER, 67.0 IP) and received only 2.28 runs of support per game.
- Allowed a season-high 7 runs 7/27 vs. TOR to snap career-high 7G winning streak…first loss since May 19…allowed 4, 2-out runs in 6th.
- Leads the AL with 8 starts of at least 7.0 shutout innings…has pitched at least 7.0 innings in 22 of 36 starts, 3rd most in the Majors.
Here’s the lineup that will be supporting him..
- Ichiro RF
- Gutierrez CF
- Lopez 2B
- Griffey DH
- Beltre 3B
- Carp 1B
- Hall LF
- Johnson C
- Jo. Wilson SS