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September 13, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Mariners need to score in multiple innings for Felix Hernandez today

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Something happened in the opener of this Mariners-Blue Jays series back on Tuesday that escaped my notice until last night. That is, the Mariners finally snapped a streak of 19 consecutive games in which they had done all of their scoring in two innings or fewer out of nine.
That is, they scored in three different innings and went on to beat the Blue Jays 4-3.
You’ll remember how we discussed that manager Eric Wedge prefers that his team score in at least three different innings. When you do that, there’s a good chance that you’ll have at least one multiple-run inning and score at least four in the game. And when you score four or more runs, you give your starting pitcher a decent shot at winning the game.
You don’t need that pitcher to work miracles. Chances are, if he throws a “quality start” and allows three earned runs or fewer over six or seven frames, he’ll win.
And that’s what happened for Erasmo Ramirez on Tuesday.
Photo Credit: AP


Now, the Mariners hung on to win last night’s game 3-2, scoring in only two different innings again. At the risk of being repetitive, when you’re playing teams as bad as the Blue Jays have been in the second-half — winning at a .382 clip — you can get away with stuff that you won’t get away with against the A’s, Angels, Orioles, White Sox, Yankees, etc.
Felix Hernandez badly needs a decisive showing today to stay atop the AL Cy Young Award race. It would be nice if this offense — struggling for nearly a month to generate many four-plus-run games — could give Hernandez some early breathing room.
The last time the Mariners scored in more than two different innings when Hernandez was on the mound?
Way back on July 29 at Safeco Field against the Royals.
That’s not good enough.
If this team wants its second-half won-lost record to be taken seriously by folks other than the usual suspects who prepare parade routes after each two-game winning streak — taken seriously by the fans disguised as empty seats at Safeco Field home games in September — it will have to show it is capable of scoring more than two or three runs on a dozen hits. Time to show up and get the job done. It won’t be for the home fans this time.
It will be for the best pitcher in the game.

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