Maybe it was that garish green cap MLB forced him to wear, or perhaps it was the mid-spring blahs - Felix Hernandez is having a tough night against Kansas City.
On nights like this - the Seattle Mariners were down 6-1 when Felix left after four innings and had one hit - it's hard to think the Mariners are more than, say, a 65-win team in 2011.
Behind Felix, they made three errors, two that cost runs, and screwed up a run down play that allowed another run to score without a throw. Seattle's only offense? Long home run by reserve outfielder Ryan Langerhans, hit to straightaway center.
Mr. Hernandez? He allowed nine hits, used 80 pitches, allowed six runs - three earned - two walks and had seven strikeouts. He showed flashes of his vintage self:. In the first inning, he gave up a single, stolen base and a walk - then struck out the side without allowing a ball to be put in play.
“Yeah, but after that look what happened,” Hernandez said. “Six runs!”
No, he wasn't happy.
"I threw everything and they hit it all," he said.
Felix now has two starts left before the season begins, and yes, he'll start opening night in Oakland. All he wants now, he said, is 'to pitch well and get my confidence back."
After waiting a beat, Hernandez laughed. "Just kidding," he said.