In what has become one of the worst seasons in franchise h istory, there’s been one remarkable performance through the year – the pitching of Felix Hernandez every fifth day.
Now 10-10 with a 2.47 earned run average, Felix has compiled one of the more stunning stats in baseball – in his 10 wins, he has a 0.87 ERA. In his 10 losses, that ERA is 3.55 – but in those 10 games the Mariners averaged one run.
Proof enough that pitching can’t win with offense.
The Mariners have Ichiro, Chone Figgins and Franklin Gutierrez in the top third of their lineup, with Russell Branyan batting cleanup for just the 10 time this year. While it would be nice to get production lower in the lineup, the front four bear the burden of carrying this offense.
Hard to imagine Seattle scoring more than a couple of runs if that quartet isn’t someone producing.
- In the first inning, Felix caught a line drive by Alberto Callaspo that nearly took his head off, then froze Bobby Abreu with a called third-strike curve. A 1-2-3 inning.
- With one out, Chone Figgins singled and stole second base, his 33rd seal of the season. Franklin Gutierrez grounded to third base. Russell Branyan walked. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Jose Lopez grounded back to the mound. After one: No score.
- Torii Hunter and with one out Mike Napoli walked. Erick Aybar’s infield single loaded the bases – and Hernandez got out of it with a double play gronder from Jeff Mathis. Felix isn’t at his best yet, but he’s managed to get through two.
- With two outs, Adam Moore and Josh Wilson singled to give Seattle another opportunity. Ichiro’s infield single would have loaded the bases – but Moore rounded third base too far and was tagged out in a run down. Yikes! After two: No score.
- Callaspo singled with one out and stole second, taking third on a Figgins error – he missed Moore’s throw. Callaspo was out at the plate on Howard Kendrick’s ground ball to Lopez. Abreu took a third strike. In the third: No score.
- With one out, Ichiro picked up his second infield hit of the night – and 169th hit of the season – on a ball Dan Haren tried to bare hand. With two outs, he stole second base and was stranded. After five: No score.
- Lopez doubled with one out. Michael Saunders drew a two-out walk. Moore struck out. Afer six: No score.
- Felix began the seventh inning having thrown 91 pitches. Given the Mariners edict to protect their staff ace and limit his pitches, he’s not likely to get more than another inning, maybe two. He finished the inning with 104 pitches, and struck out his 200th batter of the season, his eighth tonight.
- Another great game Felix won’t win – he’s out after seven shutout innings, replaced by Brandon League. With one out, Callaspo doubled – the Angels fourth hit. Kendrick doubled Callaspo home. In the eighth: Los Angeles 1, Seattle 0.
- Against reliever Kevin Jepsen, Branyan walked with one out and Lopez singled him to third base. Kotchman walked, loading them up. Saunders flied out, pinch-runner Matt Tuiasosopo scoring. Moore threw a broken-bat single into center field, Lopez scoring. Wilson singled, scoring Kotchman. In the eighth: Seattle 3, Los Angeles 1.
- David Aardsma on for the ninth inning. After a walk, he got a 5-4-3 double play, got a pop fly and picked up his 26th save. It’s a final: Seattle 3, Los Angeles 1.