Felix Hernandez is 22-years-old and began the 2008 season with big goals – numbers beyond the 14 wins he posted last year or his career earned run average of 3.94.
Now 20 starts into the season, he has battled minor injuries and the frustration of pitching much better than his statistics show. By the numbers, Hernandez has seven wins and a 3.02 ERA.
What he has to battle is the what-ifs of Major League Baseball.
So far this season, Felix has seven no-decisions. In those seven games, he has averaged 6 1/3 innings and fashioned a 2.02 ERA.
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In some of those games, he left with a lead and saw the bullpen give it up. In others, the Mariners simply didn't score for him.
He doesn't complain. He knows that's part of the game. But at 22, with a 7-6 record, it's hard not to think of the wins that got away.