(After writing this, and before posting it, I did a scan of various Mariners websites and saw that Jeff over at Lookout Landing had a similar take on the benefits of this loss. There’s a lot more good stuff in his piece, too. As always, it’s a great read).
All eyes are on the American League Cy Young race, which is taking on monumental implications as a referendum on how open-minded members of the Baseball Writers Association of America will be when it comes to evaluating the importance of victories.
In that light, and with increased scrutiny on each Felix Hernandez appearance down the stretch, it strikes me that today’s 1-0 loss to the Blue Jays might have been an absolute stroke of serendipitous good fortune for Hernandez. If there are any Cy Young voters who don’t quite understand why victory totals are largely out of the control of the pitcher, and furthermore don’t quite fathom the depth of the Mariners’ hitting woes, this game was a giant neon sign, flashing “FELIX GOT HOSED! FELIX GOT HOSED!” over and over.
And just maybe that will prompt those on-the-fence voters to take another good, hard look at Hernandez’s game-by-game resume, notice those 14 runs that the Mariners have scored, combined, in his 12 losses, maybe notice the handful of games in which the bullpen blew leads that he handed them, and come to the only conclusion that’s possible, at least on Sept. 23: That Felix Hernandez has been the best pitcher in the American League in 2010.
Even at 12-12.