What, you thought this Cy Young thing would be a cakewalk? Felix Hernandez ran into all kinds of bad in the fifth inning and now trails 5-0. The Angels loaded the bases with none out thanks to a throwing error by Jose Lopez, another one by Hernandez (actually, that’s now been changed to an error on Josh Wilson, who took Hernandez’s throw at second) on a bunt and then a bunt single up the third base line by Peter Bourjos.
Hernandez rallied to get a force out at home, then got a groundout to second by Bobby Abreu that scored arun to make it 3-0. But then, with two out, Torii Hunter singled to center to bring two more runs home.
The good news? Because of the two errors in the inning, none of the runs are earned. So, that’s still five innings of two-run ball. Yeah, the M’s are going to lose this one, but who cares? They’re losing just about every game. This is about the race…
7:18 p.m.: Hideki Matsui stepped up and took Felix Hernandez over the center field fence in the bottom of the fourth, giving the Angels a 2-0 lead. It was only the second hard hit ball of the night off Hernandez, but it was a big one when you consider how Seattle’s offense has been going.
The Mariners have now gone nine consecutive innings without a run, dating back to the ninth inning of last night’s game. Chone Figgins led off the bottom of the fourth with an infield hit, but that was followed by two flyouts to center, then a lineout to first base.
On the plus side, Hernandez has three strikeouts to re-take the AL lead, 212-211 over Jered Weaver.
6:49 p.m.: Felix Hernandez had allowed just one earned run his last 46 innings until the Angels came to bat in the second. But then, a leadoff walk to Hideki Matsui was followed by a flyout and then a fielder’s choice groundout by Erick Aybar.
Aybar promptly stole second with two out, then scored when Howie Kendrick lined a pitch to right field for an RBI single to make it 1-0 for the Angels.
Seattle has a lone hit the first three innings, with the Angels now hitting in the bottom of the third.
6:15 p.m.: Felix Hernandez has the ERA lead in the AL after yesterday’s implosion by Clay Buchholz. With three strikeouts tonight, Hernandez will also have the lead in that category once again. He still has the lead in innings, which will get padded with ever out he makes. What’s left? Well, his team has to score to get him some wins so we can remove the suspense from this year’s Cy Young Award race.
2B Chone Figgins
DH Russell Branyan
CF Franklin Gutierrez
3B Jose Lopez
1B Casey Kotchman
C Adam Moore
LF Michael Saunders
SS Josh Wilson
RHP Felix Hernandez
3B Alberto Callaspo
LF Bobby Abreu
RF Torii Hunter
DH Hideki Matsui
1B Mike Napoli
SS Erick Aybar
2B Howie Kendrick
C Jeff Mathis
CF Peter Bourjos
RHP Ervin Santana