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August 23, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Seattle Mariners at Cleveland Indians: 08/23 game thread

Felix Hernandez got pulled from the game after six innings, 101 pitches. He probably could have gone another inning, but with his team down 6-1 there wasn’t much point. Only three of the six runs he allowed were earned, so his ERA climbs to 2.73 from the 2.66 he began the day with. That’s still good for second in the AL.
He’s also moved ahead of Roy Halladay into No. 2 in the AL for innings pitched at 178 1/3. He’s a half-inning behind C.C. Sabathia for top spot.
So, allowing him to pitch another inning would have given him the lead in that category and — assuming it was scoreless — lowered his ERA to 2.71. But that was a stressful inning for Hernandez and you want him there for the long haul. I agree with pulling him.
Fausto Carmona of the Indians is done as well, looking to be in vintage 2007 form. He threw 116 pitches today, allowed just one run over seven innings while striking out a season-high eight and walking just one.
Mariners have scored one run their last 19 innings.

11:56 a.m.: Jose Lopez took his eye off a routine grounder in the sixth inning and it cost his team big-time as Felix Hernandez went on to yield four runs and now trails 6-1. Instead of two out with none on, Jhonny Peralta — a pain in Hernandez’s hind quarters today — reached base on the error. Hernandez then allowed three straight hits, starting with a single to right by Travis Hafner that put runners at the corners. Luis Valbuena then singled to right again to bring a run home and an ensuing double by Matt LaPorta — off the wall in left — made it a 4-1 game.
Hernandez then got an out on a hard line drive caught by Franklin Gutierrez, but the runner at third tagged and scored. Andy Marte then singled to left to bring him the fourth Cleveland run of the inning.
Yeah, the inning likely goes much differently if Lopez makes the play, but Hernandez has to do a far better job than that of picking up his second baseman. He did not get it done today when he had to.
Only one of the runs was earned, for those keeping track of Hernandez’s ERA and Cy Young chances. But he did not pitch like a Cy Young contender in that inning.
11:24 a.m.: Felix Hernandez found himself in a tie game, but gave the lead back only three pitches into the bottom of the fourth inning as Jhonny Peralta hit a home run to left field for a 2-1 Cleveland lead. The count had been 1-1, but Hernandez then put his next pitch right down the middle of the zone, outer half of the plate. Peralta won’t miss those too often. Hernandez was visibly upset with himself, pounding his glove with his fist before even turning around to watch the ball fly out of the park.
Ken Griffey Jr. had tied things up in the top half of the inning with a 418-foot solo shot to right center. The 624th home run of Griffey’s career.
10:51 a.m.: This whole Russell Branyan thing looks to be a mind game now, as the slugger has gone down swinging his last five times up. The most recent was in the third inning after singles by Rob Johnson and Ichiro put runners at the corners with only one out. Sound familliar? It was when Branyan came up and went down whiffing once again.
Jose Lopez then grounded out and the epidemic of stranding runners at third with fewer than two out continued. Still 1-0 for the Indians.
10:26 a.m.: Ryan Langerhans nearly killed himself trying to snare a Grady Sizemore sinking line drive at the left field warning track in the first inning. The ball was hit the opposite way and Langerhans had a long way to run for it. He reached out and had the ball in his glove, but it popped out and Langerhans then crashed off-balance into the wall.
indians0823 027.jpg
He appeared to hit his shoulder and side and was obviously hurt as he fell to the ground. Somehow, he picked the ball up and made a fantastic throw back in while still lying down. He was attended to on the field by trainer Rick Griffn and manager Don Wakamatsu for several moments, but remained in the game. That was a hard shot he took.
indians0823 024.jpg
Felix Hernandez very nearly picked Langerhans up with Sizemore at third base and none out after what was ruled a triple. Hernandez got Jamey Carroll to ground out to third and Shin Soo-Choo to hit a comebacker to the mound with the count full. But Jhonny Peralta managed to get the run home on a single to left, giving Cleveland a 1-0 lead after an inning of play.
10:04 a.m.: Felix Hernandez takes the mound today, trying to better position himself for a shot at a Cy Young Award.
Here’s a look at how he fares in some of the more important categories:
Beckett 14
Sabathia 14
Verlander 13
Weaver 13
Halladay 13
Greinke 2.44
Halladay 2.78
Jackson 2.86
Washburn 3.18
Verlander 3.29
Beckett 3.38
Sabathia 178 2/3
Halladay 178
Verlander 175 1/3
Greinke 173 1/3
Shields 172 2/3
Buehrle 166 2/3
Verlander 204
Greinke 182
Lester 181
Halladay 151
Beckett 149
Garza 144
Greinke 5
Halladay 5
Weaver 4
Verlander 3
Blackburn 3
Beckett 3
6 players — 2
The lineups:
MARINERS (63-60)
RF Ichiro
1B Russell Branyan
2B Jose Lopez
DH Ken Griffey Jr.
CF Franklin Gutierrez
3B Jack Hannahan
SS Josh Wilson
LF Ryan Langerhans
C Rob Johnson
RHP Felix Hernandez
INDIANS (53-69)
CF Grady Sizemore
2B Jamey Carroll
RF Shin Soo-Choo
3B Jhonny Peralta
DH Travis Hafner
SS Luis Valbuena
LF Matt LaPorta
C Wyatt Toregas
1B Andy Marte
RHP Fausto Carmona
Hey, look, Wyatt Toregas is back on patrol. Bad news for the M’s…maybe. We’ll see if sherriff Branyan can come up with some hits with guys in scoring position.



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