Felix Hernandez, like Cliff Lee before him, worked a scoreless first inning and now will begin the agonizing wait each Seattle pitcher must endure – will the Mariners offense score?
They didn’t on Friday, wastaing a marvelous start and good work from the bullpen. It’s the danger of having two great pitchers and an anemic offense. The Mariners lost 2-0 last night, and one run would have been enough.
Think of it. You shut the opposition out for 11 innings – and lose.
And sadly, with this attack, it won’t be the last time. It’s Felix vs. Matt Harrison, Mariners vs. Rangers.
- How stagnant is the Mariners offense? Last night, Don Wakamatsu tried a couple of hit-and-run plays – and a fly ball was hit on each – pinch-hit for his shortstop and called a squeeze play. Over-managing? Consider this: Left to their own devices, the Mariners aren’t scoring. Wakamatsu is pushing it, but with reason.
- Yikes! Clean single, pop fly single and a walk – the Rangers loaded the bases in the second inning with no one out. Felix struck out Matt Treanor. Julio Borbon grounded to first, scoring a run – which may be more than Seattle does all day. Elvis Andrus flied to left-center field – and both Milton Bradley and Franklin Gutierrez watched it drop cleanly between them, a two-run double on a catchable ball. In the second: Texas 3, Seattle 0.
- Jose Lopez singled to open the second and, one out later, Mike Sweeney singled. Casey Kotchman walked to load ‘em up. Rob Johnson grounded into an inning-ending double play.
- Jack Wilson legged out a single, Chone Figgins drew a one-out walk and Lopez singled home a two-out run – and the Mariners have scored! Bradley beat out another infield single and Figgins scored. After three: Texas 3, Seattle 2.
- The good news for hitters: Neither starting pitcher figures to be around long. Harrison has thrown 82 pitches in four innings, Felix has thrown 82.
- Josh Hamilton hit a 2-1 pitch out to the opposite field, hitting his fourth home run of the season into the Texas bullpen. Felix walked two men with one out, and that was it. After 96 pitches, he’s gone. Now pitching: Jesus Colome. Justin Smoak single in a run on Colome’s first pitch. Matt Treanor walked to load ‘em up. Colome got out of it. In the fifth: Texas 5, Seattle 2.
- Final line on Felix, whose streak of 18 consecutive quality starts ended: 4 1/3 innings, 8 hits, 5 earned runs, four walks and five strikeouts.
- Figgins was safe on Michael Young’s second error of the day, going to second base on his wild throw. Gutierrez bunted for a hit. This is a typical Mariners rally! Cleanup hitter Lopez grounded softly to secon base to drive in Figgins, his 12th RBI. In the fifth inning: Texas 5, Seattle 3.
- Pitch for a team with Nolan Ryan as president, you don’t throw 100 pitches and bail. Harrison just retired Ichiro to end the sixth inning – with his 126th pitch. Ryan once threw more than 200 pitches in a game.
- With Kanekoa Texeira pitching, Julio Borbon bunted safely with one out, was bunted to second with the second out and scored on Michael Young’s single. In the eighth: Texas 6, Seattle 3.
- It’s a Mariners rally! Bradley singled and took second on a wild pitch, which is how every Seattle threat seems to start. Thinking home run? Well, the Mariners haven’t hit one since Sunday. Sweeney flied out. Kotchman flied out. Johnson walked. Ken Griffey Jr. pinch-hit for Wilson, and flied out. After eight: Texas 6, Seattle 3.
- Ninth inning: Ichiro and Figgins walk on nine pitches to bring up the heart of the order. Gutierrez strikes out. Lopez and Bradley fly out. It’s a final: Texas 6, Seattle 3.