To hear Felix Hernandez talk about it, his first start of the spring today - scheduled to last three innings - was something of a failure, since he came up one out short.
After going slow with their ace all spring, the Mariners turned him loose against Oakland, but not completely loose. When Felix threw his 53rd pitch with two outs in the third inning, manager Eric Wedge pulled him.
Was Hernandez tired?
"No! I haven't pitched since last year," he said, laughing. "I felt pretty good, I threw a lot of strikes. It's been a long time."
Hernandez allowed five hits, walked one man and struck out three. It wasn't always pretty, but he was effective. And perhaps a bit lucky - Oakland leadoff hitter David DeJesus buzzed a line drive just past his head in the first inning.
"I thought, 'Oh,man, the first game?' I got out of the way," Felix said.
Hernandez said the plan the rest of the spring call for him to pitch every fifth day, and that in his next appearance he'll go four innings.
When a New York-based writer told Hernandez that general manager Jack Zduriencik had said he wouldn't trade him, Felix smiled.
"Good," he said. "I love it here."