I hate to flog this angle again, but this is getting ridiculous. Felix Hernandez is 7-9 this year,and the Mariners have scored a total of nine runs in his losses — seven while he’s on the mound.
I admire the way Felix is handling himself in the wake of what has to be a tremendously frustrating stretch for him. It’s a sign of his growing maturity.
“He’s not a guy who’s ever going to complain, but it’s got to wear on a young guy like him, especially pitching as well as he has,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “He had a tremendous stuff tonight. I thought he had his best velocity of the year. He topped out at 97.”
Just as Wakamatsu said, Hernandez didn’t complain.
“I can’t complain – it happens,” Hernandez said. “It’s hard, but I’ve got to keep working hard. It’s not over yet.”
Hernandez, last year’s Cy Young runnerup after a 19-5 season, insisted he’s not frustrated.
“No, no. I have 10 more starts,” he said, adding that he has a foolproof way to put these games behind him: “I just go home and play with my kids. It’s not going to be hard.”
Asked what he will be pitching for the remainder of the season, Hernandez said, “For me, and for the team. I always pitch for the team, to give us a chance to win.”
The Mariners aren’t doing much winning, however. They have lost nine of 10, and 25 of their last 32. In this game, they were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position while getting shut out for the 10th time, most in the American League.
Michael Saunders jammed his right shoulder and neck going after David Murphy’s homer in the seventh, which broke a scoreless tie. Saunders said he got turned around as he raced back for the ball, and failed to take into account the slice of the opposite-field drive. He was disoriented and wound up crashing into the wall, but Saunders believes that he’s not seriously injured.
Hernandez was incredulous Murphy’s ball went out.
“I didn’t think the ball would go out – not in this park,” Hernandez said. “It was a good pitch, down and away. That’s my luck. A home run? In this ballpark? I couldn’t believe it.”
The way this year has gone, however, any Mariner mishap is believable.