CHICAGO – Felix Hernandez was still feeling tightness in his back Sunday, two days after slipping on the mound – and he’s no certainty to make his next scheduled start.
“He’s feeling it today, so tomorrow will be an important day for him,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said.
Hernadez’s next start is scheduled for Wednesday in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels. If he can’t go, the Mariners would have to scramble to find a starting pitcher – perhaps trying Hisashi Iwakuma or dipping into the minor leagues for an arm.
Hernandez isn’t worried.
“When am I scheduled to start, Wednesday? I’ll start Wednesday,” he said Sunday.
Should the Mariners skip Hernandez, the team has a scheduled day off Thursday and could reinsert him at any point after that. The concern is that Felix will try to rush himself and perhaps risk missing more time.
Yes, Wedge and pitching coach Carl Willis will be cautious.
AHEAD YET BEHIND
Hector Noesi had no decision in Seattle’s 10-8, 12-inning win Saturday, and though he was handed leads, he left after 4 innings, having allowed six runs.
Time after time, Noesi got ahead 0-2 in counts, only to allow hits.
“Those 0-2 situations have been an issue with him all season,” Wedge said. “He was getting better over his last few starts, and you could see the improvement.
“(Saturday) was the flip side. It’s hard work getting ahead of big-league hitters 0-2, but you have to finish that off. You have to stay aggressive, but Noesi tried to place the ball where he wanted it – and he paid for it.”
Noesi’s earned-run average leaped from 5.01 to 5.51.
Alex Liddi has the look of a rookie who may need a little more minor league time. Just 2-for-12 on this trip, he’s batting .241. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Liddi returned to Tacoma and outfielder Casper Wells returned to Seattle this week …. Moved from batting third to leading off, Ichiro Suzuki hit a pair of home runs in his second game in the role Saturday. Asked about that, Wedge smiled and said: “Ironic.” … Jesus Montero had two of Seattle’s five hits Sunday, and the rookie is batting .259. … How many on the Mariners’ 12-man pitching staff were drafted by Seattle? Three: Hernandez, Shawn Kelley and Stephen Pryor. … Three Mariners have homered batting leadoff this season – Ichiro, Dustin Ackley and Chone Figgins. That’s been done one other time in franchise history, in 1987 by John Moses, Mickey Brantley and Donell Nixon. … John Jaso has appeared in 27 games, made 21 starts, and been credited with five game-winning RBI. … Saturday was the Mariners’ 17th four-homer game since they had a five-homer explosion June 7, 2006.
Seattle plays at the Angels, a 7:05 p.m. game today that will be televised on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: Seattle’s Jason Vargas (6-4, 3.45 ERA) vs. Ervin Santana (2-6, 4.72).firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @LarryLaRue