Yes, Felix Hernandez may be King Felix on talk radio and the internet, but in the Seattle Mariners clubhouse, everyone calls him 'Fifi' - a nickname Gil Meche or Ryan Franklin gave him in 2006.
"I can't remember which, but now it's all anyone calls me" Hernandez said.
Here's the simplest Seattle math: They have 55 wins and need at least eight more to avoid losing 100 games this year. Fifi has five more starts, and he's more than willing to win each one, which would leave three more to pick up along the way.
Trouble is, of course, the Mariners don't always score runs behind Hernandez - only nine of them in his 10 losses this season. Granted, he doesn't need as many as some pitchers, but he can't do with none.
Tonight's lineup hasn't been juggled or tweaked, it's the standard bearer for manager Daren Brown. Here's the lineup that will faced right-hander Ervin Santana:
- Ichiro Suzuki, RF
- Chone Figgins, 2B
- Russell Branyan, DH
- Franklin Gutierrez, CF
- Jose Lopez, 3B
- Casey Kotchman, 1B
- Adam Moore, C
- Michael Saunders, RF
- Josh Wilson, SS
- Felix Hernandez, P