On nights when Felix Hernandez isn't his dominant self, he has trouble winning games. A year ago, when he won the American League Cy Young Award, even when he was dominant he lost games.
In the AL today, scoring two or three runs a night will get you a seat in last place. The Mariners have a .232 batting average and 16 wins. The only team with a lower average in the league, Minnesota, has only 12 wins. You see the point.
Against the Orioles tonight, Felix had command issues and no sinker. And for most of five innings he still held Baltimore to one run.
“I was way off tonight,” Hernandez said. “My sinker was doing nothing. My curve ball was up. Every pitch I threw Adam (Jones) he hit – and he hit them hard.”
Two outs into that Baltimore fifth, with one run in, two on and two men out, Jones came up one last time against Hernandez - and tripled home two runs. With that swing, a winnable game was put out of reach.
The Mariners got a second run on a Michael Saunders solo home run, but were otherwise their unproductive selves.
“I was disappointed in our at-bats. (Chris Tillman) left some pitches up that we did nothing with,” manager Eric Wedge said. “We’ve got to do better offensively, there’s no doubt. It sounds repetitive, but we are going to improve our at-bats and our offense.
“We foul more pitches straight back hat we should square up than any team I’ve ever seen,” Wedge said.