Friday, September 24, 2010

Felix

Please indulge a side jaunt here today. I'm singling out a West Coast pitcher who works for San Diego's so-called natural rival. This pitcher often works while folks in other time zones are either asleep or headed toward bed. Hence the need for West Coast Bias to help to draw attention to his deeds. Further, because the pitcher has a win-loss record of 12-12, he may get slighted in voting for the Cy Young award. Friend Larry Stone, who ably covers baseball for the Seattle Times, will tell you about the pitcher, Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners. King Felix is having an incredible year for a team that's generally been a (Space) needle to the eyes. Larry forwarded his comments below after Hernandez suffered a 1-0 loss to the Blue Jays on Thursday.

Larry said that Thursday's game was "a classic example of why Felix Hernandez’s win total should not be held against him in Cy Young voting. He limited the Blue Jays to two hits in a complete game – but one was Jose Bautista’s 50th homer in the first inning. So Felix got tagged with his 12th loss, and is now 12-12. Keep in mind that the Mariners have scored a total of 14 runs in his 12 losses. That’s not 14 runs while he was in the game; that’s 14 runs total.

"A couple of weeks ago," Larry continued, "I did a blog post detailing seven games that could cost Felix the Cy Young. This gives an indication of the lack of bullpen and offensive support he’s battled (and you can add Thursday’s game to the list):

* April 5, vs. Oakland: On Opening Day, Hernandez and the Mariners are holding a 3-1 lead after six. He gets two quick outs in the seventh, then walks Mark Ellis and Travis Buck. Sean White replaces him, and gives up RBI singles to Cliff Pennington and Rajai Davis to allow Oakland to tie the game. The Mariners score two in the ninth to win, 5-3, for Brandon League.

* May 13, at Baltimore: Hernandez pitches seven strong innings, limiting the Orioles to five hits and one run. He leaves with a 5-1 lead, only to have League give up five runs in the eighth. The Orioles win 6-5, and Hernandez gets a no-decision.

* May 29, at Los Angeles Angels: Hernandez pitches another strong game, limiting the Angels to one run on six hits through eight innings. But the score is 1-1 when he's pulled, so no decision for Felix. The Angels go on to win 5-1 on Kendry Morales's ill-fated grand slam in the 10th off League.

* June 24 vs. Cubs: Felix works nine innings, limiting Cubs to five hits while striking out eight, but the game is tied 2-2 after regulation. In the fourth, the M's had the bases loaded with no outs, but couldn't score. In the ninth, they had first and secord, one out, and again couldn't score. The Cubs won 3-2 in 13, the loss going to Garrett Olson.

* July 5, vs. Royals: He leaves with a 4-2 lead after seven strong innings, but League gives up two in the eighth to eliminate Hernandez's victory. The Royals scored two in the 10th to win 6-4.

* July 21 vs. White Sox: Hernandez blanks White Sox on two hits, striking out eight, in eight innings. But the game is scoreless when he is removed. The Mariners go on to win 2-1 in 11, but the victory goes to League, who gave up a run in the top of the 11th only to have the M's score two in the bottom.

* Aug. 31, vs. Angels: Hernandez blanks the Angels on three hits over seven innings, but again the Mariners can't score, either. Another agonizing no-decision. The M's eventually win, 3-1, the W going to League.

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