That's right, the 24-year-old ace of the staff, owning one of the best earned run averages in the game, will make his 25th start of the season tonight - and the Seattle Mariners will try to get Felix Hernandez his eighth win.
No better portrait of a lost season exists than Hernandez, who has pitched marvelously and been given so little run support that over his last two starts the Mariners ceased scoring at all. In three of his nine losses, Felix has been the victim of a shutout. In seven of those losses, the Mariners have scored one run or less.
Makes winning impossible - for the pitcher, the team and the manager.
Tonight, Daren Brown will try to prod a run or two from these Mariners and hope Felix can make 'em stand up. It's Mr. Hernandez vs. Brett Anderson.
- Yikes! A Coco Crisp bunt single, two soft line drive singles and the bases are loaded with Athletics - and no one out. Jack Cust struck out. Kevin Kouzmanoff grounded into a double play. That's pitching.
- Two outs in, Jose Lopez walked and Franklin Gutierrez doubled him to third. Casey Kotchman grounded out. After one: No score.
- Felix is working smoothly now, and has struck out six batters in four innings. Still, no score.
- In his last two starts, the Mariners were shutout and, game before that, they managed one run. Felix may be getting used to all those zeroes - through five innings, he has struck out eight and held Oakland in a scoreless tie. Firs team to score wins?
- Ichiro legs out an infield single, Chone Figgins bunts him to second base. Lopez grounded out. Gutierrez was intentionally walked. Kotchman singled Ichiro home. After six: Seattle 1, Oakland 0.
- Figgins singled, took third on a Lopez singled. Michael Saunders ran for Lopez. Gutierrez singled Figgins home. David Aardsma warming up. In the eighth: Seattle 2, Oakland o.
- As per team instructions, Felix is out after eight innings and 110 pitches. Aardsma is in to finish the game and does, his 22nd save. It's a final: Seattle 2, Oakland 0.