Felix Hernandez is done for the year, giving up his only two earned runs of the day in the seventh inning. He has a 4-3 lead. his ERA up to 2.49 from 2.48. The crowd gave him a long, loud ovation as he was replaced by Randy Messenger, who got the final out of the inning. The bullpen now has to ensure Hernandez can notch his 19th win.
A 19-5 record and 2.49 ERA would normally get a guy a Cy Young Award. This year, i’m not so sure. But it was a fantastic season for Hernandez.
2:33 p.m.: Seattle scored three times in the bottom of the fifth to go up 4-1 here on a cold and windy day at Safeco Field. The good news for Felix Hernandez is that the tying run he allowed in the fifth on a groundout woujnd up being unearned, the result of an error by Josh Wilson to start the inning off.
The Mariners opened the scoring in the third inning when Franklin Gutierrez singled to bring home Wilson.
In the bottom of the fifth, Wilson singled with one out, then Ichiro singled with two out. A ground-rule double by Gutierrez brought Wilson home and then another double by Jose Lopez cashed in two more.
That’s 96 RBI on the season for Lopez. Needs a grand slam in a big way.
12:55 p.m.: Hard to believe the end of the season is already here. Seems like yesterday we all gathered down in Peoria, AZ for the start of spring training. Lots of surprises since, including the M’s trying to notch their 85th win of the season today.
For me, the highlight of the season would have to be a pair of walkoff hits, one a single by Ken Griffey Jr. against the White Sox in that 14-inning game back in August, and then Ichiro hitting that two-run homer off Mariano Rivera and the Yankees a couple of weeks ago. Neither mattered much in the overall scheme of the playoff race, since the Mariners had pretty much fallen out of it by then.
Early on, there was the 15-inning victory by the Mariners over Oakland. Also, that season-opening road trip to Minneapolis and Oakland that pretty much set the tone for the 155 games to follow.
There was the heartbreak of blowing those two saves in Texas early on, then that meltdown in an attempted series sweep in Anaheim in late-May. We saw players arrive and depart.
Jack Wilson, Ryan Langerhans, Josh Wilson, Ian Snell , Bill Hall and Luke French weren’t with this organization when the season began. And now, Yuniesky Betancourt, Jarrod Washburn, Wladimir Balentien and former No. 1 pick Jeff Clement are gone.
The winds of change are still blowing. Miguel Batista likely saved his final game for the Mariners last night. Adrian Beltre is probably playing his final game for this team as well. And then, there’s that Griffey guy.
Ken Griffey Jr. is today’s DH for the Mariners. Let’s see how this act unfolds and whether it is, indeed, his final one.