Got the postgame blog up a little late after wanting to get back to Tacoma at a reasonable hour.
If you missed the game, here’s what you need to know: Felix Hernandez is really good. Felix Hernandez was really good on Thursday night against the A’s at Safeco Field. Felix Hernandez says he’s going to be really good in the future.
“From now on, that’s the way I’m going to pitch all my games,” he said.
The Mariners wouldn’t have a problem with that.
Hernandez turned in a brilliant outing on Thursday at Safeco Field, pitching 72/3 shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out a season-high eight hitters and walking three,
“He was special tonight,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “His stuff was as good as anybody in the game. He really stepped up for us. We took him as far as we could take him.”
Indeed, Hernandez threw a season-high 126 pitches. He entered the eighth inning at 106 pitches.
“He’s the guy,” Wedge said. “A 1-0 game and he’s controlling the ball game and his stuff was still good. He earned the right to keep going.”
It was very similar to the Felix we saw last season. It was so similar that his teammates scored all of one run – an Adam Kennedy solo homer off Brandon McCarthy, who was equally as good for the A’s.
Look, we all know the Mariners struggle to score runs. And Jack Cust, Chone Figgins and Miguel Olivo aren’t hitting Ichiro’s weight right now. But the lineup was without Justin Smoak and Milton Bradley and that makes a difference.
A few quick thoughts …
Adam Kennedy had a brilliant game at first base. He caught a tough foul pop over his shoulder late in the ninth. he took a rocket off his chest on a ground ball. The ball bounced into foul territory, and he hustled and picked it up bare handed and flip it backward to Felix, who was covering, to get the out. But his best play was the stretch and scoop on Brendan Ryan’s backhand and throw off his back foot play. I don’t know if Jack Wilson, Josh Wilson or Nancy Wilson makes that play the way Ryan does.
Kennedy said it was basically instinct on those plays.
Carlos Peguero got his first big league hit …. an infield single to shortstop. Of all the variations that you would think of Peguero – a monster slugger – getting his first hit, it would not be that. But I was impressed how well he moved down the line.
Jamey Wright came in for Felix and made one pitch to get out of a jam. IN his last two outings, Wright has thrown two pitches and recorded three outs. It’s not some special trick. He’s just throwing his sinking fastball like always. Only now it sinks with consistency and stays low instead of staying up in the zone and getting crushed.
- Brandon McCarthy tossed his first complete game of the season and 2nd of his career (last: 5/24/09 at HOU)…retired all but 5 of 27 batters faced, pitching 6 strikeouts and only allowing 1 walk but also allowing the winning home run.
- The A’s pitchers have compiled a 2.52 ERA (48 ER, 171.2 IP) this season, which currently ranks 1st in the Majors…their starting pitchers have compiled a 1.11 ER (6 ER, 48.1 IP) over their past 7 starts and are now 7-4 with a 2.14 ERA (30 ER, 126.0 IP) this season, ranking 1st in the Majors.
- Josh Willingham reached base safely by hit or walk in 3 of 4 appearances at the plate (2 H, 1 BB).
- 10 of 19 games this season have been decided by 2 or fewer runs (3-4 in 1-run, 1-2 in 2-run).
- Coco Crisp had previously hit safely in each of his past four games (5×19, .263)….went 0x4 tonight…Kurt Suzuki also had previously hit safely in each of past four games (6×14, .429) but went 0x3 tonight.
- The Mariners beat the A’s 1-0, the first 1-0 win of the season and 41st in franchise history (last: 9/3/10 vs. CLE)…It also marked the 27th time the Mariners have won 1-0 at home (last: 9/3/10 vs. CLE)…It was the 3rd in Felix’s career to win 1-0 (also: 8/9/05 vs. MIN and 4/13/09 vs. TB)…it marked the 13th time in club history for the Mariners to win 1-0 with the only run coming on a home run (last: 4/23/09 on Ichiro lead off HR).
- The Mariners recorded their first shutout of the season (last 9/5/10 vs. CLE)…it was the 25th time in franchise history for the Mariners to shut out the A’s (last 8/10/10 vs. OAK).
- Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez had a season-high 8 strikeouts (previous: 6, 3x, last: 4/16 at KC).
- Hernandez has won his last 4 consecutive decisions vs. the A’s, going 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA (10 ER, 45.0 IP) in his last 6 starts (since 9/29/09)…dating back to April 7, 2007, Felix has won 9 of his last 11 decision, going 9-2 with a 2.42 ERA (29 ER, 108.0 IP)…his 11 wins vs. Oakland are now the most against any team.
- After allowing a career-high 7 runs in his last start, Hernandez bounced back tossing 7.2 scoreless inning to earn his 2nd win on the season…he tossed 126 pitches, his highest pitch total this season and T2nd highest in his career (also: 7/10/10 vs. NYY).
- Tonight marks the third career time that Adam Kennedy has hit a home run in back-to-back games (8/30-9/1/02 with ANA, 7/15-16/07 with STL)…first time as a Mariner.
- Ichiro Suzuki snapped his four-game hitting streak…also snapped his 16-game hit streak versus Athletics…during the streak he hit .358, (24-for-67) with 7 runs, 2 doubles and 5 RBI during streak.
- 10 of 20 games this season have been decided by 2 or fewer runs (4-4 in 1-run, 0-2 in 2-run).
- Jamey Wright he has retired 21 of 25 batters this season and has not allowed an earned run in 7.1 IP this season.
- Carlos Peguero recorded his first MLB hit in the bottom of the 3rd inning (first hit of the night for the Mariners).