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July 11, 2010 at 5:16 PM

Felix Hernandez denied All-Star berth…because he threw 126 pitches last night

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Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the Mariners, who were thoroughly outclassed 8-2 today, with veterans messing up in the field and others wild-pitching or losing balls in the sun, we got the cherry on the sundae post-game.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi had two extra spots to add players to on his AL All-Star team roster and could have taken Felix Hernandez. But he didn’t. He went with Andrew Bailey and Justin Verlander instead.
The reason why?
Those 126 pitches thrown by Hernandez to beat Girardi’s team on Saturday night.
“I wouldn’t feel good about putting him in a game on Tuesday. He’s deserving; he’s been dominant,” Girardi said. “He has a real good chance of making this team if he doesn’t throw 125 pitches yesterday.”
It was actually 126, but once you get past 115, who’s counting anymore?
So, even the one game the Mariners managed to win here winds up coming with a pricetag. Have a good All-Star Break, Felix. Try not to smash anything against the wall. Like a Girardi bobblehead doll, circa 1998.

You can see from the photo on the opposite page that hundreds, if not thousands of Mariners fans,went home smiling after the game. After all, they got to run the bases with their kids. You can bet each family touched more bases this afternoon than the average Mariners hitter did in this series.
Casey Kotchman was the only guy who had any sustained success today, managing three hits and a home run in the ninth that, although meaningless, was the only ball hit with any serious authority today.
Yeah, a couple of guys hit the ball hard and it got caught. They could have had better results and then we’d be talking about them too.
But on July 11, with this offense the worst in the league and falling, the time for moral victories ended, oh, I’d say back in mid-May.
Especially on a day when it was amateur hour with the glovework. Jose Lopez and Chone Figgins both made errors in the first inning and two runs wound up scoring. Michael Saunders lost a double in the sun and another run came home.
The sun was a problem today. Jack Wilson had trouble with a catch, as did Franklin Gutierrez and Kotchman — who made two nice grabs while fighting off the glare.
“We haven’t really seen the sun a whole lot this year, so this was kind of new to us all and it was really nasty,” Kotchman said.
My lack of a tan says I can’t argue the point.
The Yankees didn’t really get to test the theory since few M’s balls put into play got more than a foot or two off the ground.
New York, on the other hand, seemed to be hitting every pitch to the warning track at one point. No joke, we might have seen about five additional home runs by the Yankees if this game was in the Big Apple instead of Safeco Field.
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu called Ryan Rowland-Smith “a victim” of the defense behind him. That’s quite a statement, considering Rowland-Smith himself uncorked three wild-pitches.
“It’s disappointing,” Wakamatsu said. “You can talk about accountability and we have for a long time here. And when we go into Anaheim (after the break) it’s something that we’re going to continue to address. I think there have been some changes, there have been some injuries. A lot of excuses in different areas. But for the fans, there’s no excuse. It’s something that we’re going to continue to make the guys accountable for.”
In other words, you’re all victims. Now, you get a few days off.

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins


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