BY SPNW Staff 07:02AM 04/19/2012

#14: Pigs Fly As Figgins Goes Deep; Felix Next

Chone Figgins hit his first HR since Opening Day, 2011, Ichiro followed two batters later, and the Mariners cruised by Cleveland 4-1 behind Jason Vargas.

Felix Hernandez will make his fourth start of the season Thursday, opposing Cleveland's Josh Tomlin. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

GAME: Indians (5-5, 3rd, AL Central, -3.0 GB) at Mariners (7-6, 2nd AL West, -3.5 GB). GAME #: 14. SERIES: 3rd of 3 games. MEETING (2012): 3rd  tied 1-1). WHEN: Thursday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Josh Tomlin (Cleveland, 0-1, 8.31) vs. RHP Felix Hernandez (Seattle, 1-1, 3.80). STREAKS: Mariners W 1; Indians L 1. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.

After Wednesday’s 4-1 win over Derek Lowe and the Cleveland Indians, which featured an improbable leadoff home run by Chone Figgins, the Mariners will attempt to win their third series of the season when they close out a three-game set with the Tribe.

Felix Hernandez (1-1, 3.80), who lost his last start against Oakland’s Bartolo Colon, gets the call for the Mariners, who begin a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox Friday before a road trip that takes the club through Detroit, Toronto and Tampa.

A closer look at Thursday’s starting pitchers:

MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (1-1, 3.80 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)

Felix Hernandez

The 25-year-old Hernandez, in his eighth major league season, all with the Mariners, will be making his fourth start of the season and his first against the Indians.

A native of Valencia, VZ., the 6-3, 230-pound Hernandez was signed as a non-drafted free agent July 4, 2002 by Seattle scout Bob Engle.

He made his major league debut Aug. 4,2005, absorbing a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers, in a game in which Hernandez allowed one earned run and fanned four. He is a two-time American League All-Star (2009, 2011) and won the AL Cy Young award in 2010, when he went 13-12 with a 2.27 ERA.

Hernandez has a career mark of 86-68, 3.25 ERA, and a career batting average against of .244.

  • LAST START: April 13 vs. Oakland, allowed two earned runs on seven hits over 7 IP, but lost to Bartolo Colon and the Oakland A’s 4-0; fanned six and walked two in a 107-pitch effort that included 69 strikes; had an equal number of ground ball and fly ball outs, 10.
  • LAST VS. INDIANS: Aug. 24, 2011, at Progressive Field, defeated Cleveland 9-2 for his 12th victory of the year; allowed two earned runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings; finished with 10 strikeouts and two walks, throwing 72 of his 106 pitches for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. INDIANS: 10 appearances, all starts, a 5-3 record with a 2.80 ERA in 64.1 innings; strikes out 9.2 K’s per 9 innings; has allowed just seven home runs to 277 batters.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: 102 starts, 44-30 record with a 3.23 ERA covering 700.1 IP; whiffs 8.4 batters per 9 IP, and allowed 59 home runs.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Matt LaPorta (2-for-11, .182 BA), Travis Hafner (5-for-22, .227 BA, 8 K’s), Shin-Soo Choo (4-for-17, .235 BA, 9 K’s).
  • HATES TO FACE: Johnny Damon (11-for-22, .500 BA, 4 RBIs), Grady Sizemore (9-for-18, .500 BA, 2 BBs), Jack Hannahan (7-for-15, .467 BA, 2 HRs),

Felix In 2012

  • March 28 (ND, 0-0): Pitched well enough to win season debut, but the Mariners and A’s battled through a 1-1 tie until the 11th when Seattle pushed across two runs to win 3-1, a Tokyo Dome contest that featured a home run and two RBIs by Dustin Ackley and a 4-for-5 performance by Ichiro.
  • April 7: (W, 1-0): Didn’t have best stuff — allowed six earned runs on eight hits over 6.1 IP — but the Mariners, banging 13 hits, 3 by Chone Figgins, staked him to a 6-0 lead.

INDIANS: RHP Josh Tomlin (0-1, 8.31 ERA, 1.62 WHIP)

Josh Tomlin

The 27-year-old Tomlin, in his third major league season, all with the Indians, will be making his second start (third appearance) of the season and his first against the Mariners.

A native of Tyler, TX., Tomlin was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 11th round of the 2005 amateur draft, but did not sign. The Indians selected Tomlin in the 19th round of the 2006 amateur draft.

Tomlin began his pro career at Mahoning Valley in the New York-Penn League (2006) and made his major league debut July 27, 2010, collecting a 4-1 win over CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees (allowed one run on three its over 7.0 innings).

Tomlin made 12 starts in 2010, going 6-4, 4.56, and became a mainstay in Cleveland’s rotation in 2011, when he started 26 games, compiling a 12-7 record with a 4.25 ERA in 165.1 inniings.

Tomlin’s greatest asset is that he doesn’t walk batters, issuing 21 in 165.1 innings in 2011. His 1.1 BB’s per 9 innings pitched led the American League.

Tomlin has a career record of 18-12, 4.48 ERA.

  • 2012: Against White Sox at home April 9 was hammered, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in 5 IP; struck out seven and walked only one, but surrendered two home runs; worked in relief in second appearance.
  • LAST APPEARANCE: April 14 vs. Kansas City, came on in relief of Jeanmar Gomez and allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits in 3.2 innings; threw 62 pitches, 43 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: Aug. 24 lost to Hernandez 9-2 at Progressive Field; lasted 4.2 innings, allowing six earned runs on 11 hits, including four by Kyle Seager and three by Wily Mo Pena, who drove in four runs.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: Three starts, 2-1 record with 6.23 ERA covering 17.1 innings; has 15 strikeouts in three starts and has issued four walks; has surrendered three home runs.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: Two games, two starts, 2-0 record, 4.26 ERA over 12.2 innings; nine strikeouts, three walks facing 50 Seattle batters; 6.4 K’s per 9 IP.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Casper Wells (1-for-6, .167 BA, 1K), Chone Figgins (1-for-5, .200 BA).
  • HATES TO FACE: Kyle Seager (3-for-3, 1.000 BA, 1 RBI),  Dustin Ackley (2-for-3, .667 BA), John Jaso (2-for-5, .400 BA), Ichiro (3-for-9, .333 BA),
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. TOMLIN: 15-for-49, .306 BA, 0 HRs, 9 K’s.


Mariners 4, Indians 1

AT SEATTLE (April 18): Chone Figgins hit a leadoff home run, Ichiro followed with a homer two batters later, and Jason Vargas allowed one run on four hits over 7innings, leading the Mariners past Derek Lowe and the Indians in front of just 11,343 at Safeco Field — lowest home game in Safeco history.

Figgins’ home run was his first since Opening Day of the 2011 season and barely cleared the fence in right-center. It marked Figgins’ eighth career leadoff homer and was the first by a Seattle leadoff hitter not named Ichiro since Rickey Henderson went deep May 26, 2000.

“For some reason, Lowe’s ball was more running and not sinking,” Figgins said. “Usually it’s sinking straight down, and tonight it looked like it was kind of running. That makes it a little easier to hit; he’s tough as it is, anyways.”

The Mariners added a third run in the second when Jesus Montero drew a four-pitch, bases-loaded walk that scored Brendan Ryan from third. Seattle padded its advantage in the fourth when Dustin Ackley singled home Ryan from third. Ryan was aboard via his fifth walk in two days, and moved to third on a single by Figgins.

The Mariners chased Lowe, who pitched for Seattle briefly in 1997, after 4.1 innings, getting to him for four earned runs on eight hits.

“When it all settles in and these guys start to mesh together, we’re going to see more pitches, we’re going to draw more walks and strike out less,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.


Team W L Pct. GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Rangers 10 2 .833 5-2 5-0 9-1 Won 6
Mariners 7 6 .538 3.5 3-2 4-4 5-5 Won 1
Athletics 6 7 .462 4.5 3-4 3-3 5-5 Won 2
Angels 4 8 .333 6.0 2-4 2-4 3-7 Lost 2


  • The Mariners and Indians will meet eight times in 2012 (Game 3 Thursday). With Wednesday’s 4-1 win, Seattle is 159-202 all-time vs. the Indians, including 81-99 in Seattle and 22-33 at Safeco Field.
  • Kyle Seager has hit safely in all six games he has played against Cleveland, recording multiple hits in five of the six (1-for-4 with a double Wednesday).
  • Miguel Olivo’s single (1-for-4) Wednesday raised his batting average 14 points, from .111 to .125.
  • Ichiro’s home run in the first inning was his first since Sept. 9 vs. Kansas City.
  • Ichiro, 1-for-3 with a home run Wednesday, has a career batting average of .342 (139×406) vs. the Indians, the third-highest against the Tribe among all active players.
  • Ichiro (1-for-3 Wednesday) has 755 multi-hit games, fourth among active players, and No. 1 since his debut in 2001. Ichiro’s 47 games with four or more hits leads all active players.
  • Through 13 games, the Mariners are batting 26-for-93 (.280) with runners in scoring position. The Mariners went 1-for-7 with RISP Wednesday.
  • Despite home runs from Chone Figgins and Ichiro, the Mariners have been out-homered, 16-10.
  • Mariners have left 76 men on base, their opponents 83. Stranded eight Wednesday.
  • Mariners have scored 52 runs, same as their opponents.
  • Seattle’s bullpen has given up nine homers in 13 games after leading the AL with just 32 allowed last season.
  • Mariners are 6-0 when out-hitting opponent (out-hit Cleveland Wednesday 8-4).
  • Mariners starters have thrown at least 7innings in four of the past five games (Felix HernandezHector NoesiBlake Beavan, Jason Vargas). The Mariners had not tossed 7.0+ innings in three consecutive games since a four-game streak June 29-July 3, 2011.
  • The three former Mariners in Cleveland’s lineup Wednesday — Shin-Soo Choo (0-for-1), Jose Lopez (1-for-4) and Casey Kotchman (0-for-4) — combined to go 1-for 9, although Choo walked three times.
  • Milestones: Kyle Seager’s single in the fourth inning Tuesday was the 50,000th hit in Mariners’ history, and Brendan Ryan’s walk in the same frame scored Justin Smoak with the 25,000th run in franchise history.
  • Two Mariners, Ichiro (March 28 in Tokyo vs. Oakland) and Justin Smoak (April 17 vs. Cleveland) have recorded four-hit games in 2012.
  • The Mariners have been shut out twice (April 10 at Texas, April 13 vs Oakland). They didn’t suffer their second blanking of 2011 until May 7.
  • Three Mariners, Munenori Kawasaki, Lucas Luetge and Erasmo Ramirez, have made their MLB debuts this season.
  • The Mariners have batted around three time this season: April 7 at Oakland (4th inning), April 9 at Texas (1st), and April 17 vs. Cleveland (4th). Justin Smoak had two hits in the fourth vs. Cleveland, a pair of singles.
  • Mariners on the DL: Mike Carp (15-day), sprained right shoulder; Franklin Gutierrez (15-day), torn right pectoral; George Sherrill (15-day), strained flexor bundle. Gutierrez is still not ready to go out on a minor league rehab assignment.
  • C Adam Moore will undergo knee surgery Thursday to repair a right medial meniscus tear. Moore had to be removed from a Tacoma Rainiers game Monday after suffering the injury in the second inning. The Mariners have not said how long Moore will be sidelined.
  • Series Records: Won 2, split 0, lost 1.
  • Longest Win Streak: 2 (April 6-7, April 14-15).
  • Longest Losing Streak: 2 (April 9-10, April 12-13).


Rec. Home Road Day Night vs. RHP vs. LHP Hit HR No HR
7-6 3-2 4-4 0-1 7-5 7-5 0-1 5-3 2-3


.239 .214 .252 52 10 .291 .365 .656 .280


7-6 3.91 115.0 52 49 16 .240 .278 .353


Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
4/19 Thr vs. Clev Hernandez (1-1, 3.80) vs. Tomlin (0-1, 8.31)
4/20 Fri vs. CWS Noesi (1-1, 5.73) vs. Sale (0-1, 3.09)
4/21 Sat vs. CWS Beavan (1-1, 2.70) vs. Humber (0-0, 1.69)
4/22 Sun vs. CWS Millwood (1-1, 6.30) vs. Danks (1-2, 4.82)



Gm.# Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
1 3/28 at Oak W, 3-1 1-0 W: Wilhelmsen (1-0); L: Carignan (0-1)
2 3/29 at Oak L, 4-1 1-1 W: Colon (1-0); L: Kelley (0-1)


Gm. # Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
3 4/6 at Oak W, 7-3 2-1 W: Vargas (1-0); L: McCarthy (0-1)
4 4/7 at Oak W, 8-7 3-1 W: Hernandez (1-0); L: Colon (1-1)
5 4/9 at Tex L, 11-5 3-2 W: Darvish (1-0); L: Noesi (0-1)
6 4/10 at Tex L, 1-0 3-3 W: Feliz (1-0); L: Beavan (0-1)
7 4/11 at Tex W, 4-3 4-3 W: Luetge (1-0); L: Nathan (0-2)
8 4/12 at Tex L, 5-3 4-4 W: Holland (1-0); L: Vargas (1-1
9 4/13 vs Oak L, 4-0 4-5 W: Colon (2-1); L: Hernandez (1-1)
10 4/14 vs. Oak W, 4-0 5-5 W: Noesi (1-1); L: Milone (1-1)
11 4/15 vs. Oak W, 5-3 6-5 W: Beavan (1-1); L: Godfrey (0-2)
12 4/17 vs. Cle L, 9-8 6-6 W: Perez (0-1); L: Furbush (0-1)
13 4/18 vs. Cle W, 4-1 7-7 W: Vargas (2-1); L: Lowe (2-1)
14 4/19 vs. Cle
15 4/20 vs. CWS
16 4/21 vs. CWS
17 4/22 vs. CWS
18 4/24 at Det
19 4/25 at Det
20 4/26 at Det
21 4/27 at Tor
22 4/28 at Tor
23 4/29 at Tor
24 4/30 at TB


  • JimC

    Let hope for some more Ws in the next days because that next road trip looks B-R-U-T-A-L.

  • Michael Kaiser

    The story says, “NFL hubris drips like acid rain from Markbreit’s account. Most telling was the phrase, ‘Nobody turns the NFL down.’ In five words, it captures the belief held by owners and commissioner Roger Goodell that the league views itself as infallible, untouchable and invincible. You know, like a Mexican drug cartel.” . . . . or a local state bar association.
    Really, though, I was having the same thought today about how full the NFL is of itself, and especially Goodell (Uh, former lawyer schooled in the same arrogant “it is a privilege to associate with us” that you get from bar associations) when I saw that Tate was getting fined. It was clean hit. And I also bet that Goodell is secretly happy about what has become of the Saints since Goodell’s unbelievable overkill of a punishment in that situation.
    Interestingly enough, the ref thing does not get me the same way, but I am not sure why. Perhaps It is because for some reason I really lost interest in the NFL several years ago. The generic, sanitized sameness that passes today for NFL football is not the Lester Hayes, Jack Tatum, yes, even Brian Bosworth NFL that used to be entertaining. But, if Goodell can punish the Saints the way he did for behavior that purportedly increased the chance of injury to players, he really does need to take a look at his own actions regarding replacement refs and the increased danger of injury that now exists in EVERY GAME, not just when a team is playing the Saints.

  • jafabian

    The good thing about when the Hawks are on MNF: I get things done on Sunday I normally don’t during football season.

  • Matt712

    It’s indicative of the vanishing(ed) middle class in pro sports. A reflection of society and human nature within it: Give anyone (be it a person or organization) enough money/power and it will eventually begin to believe it is exceptional in many other ways beyond what got it there. Not really any different at its arrogant core than David Stern telling Seattle to go eff itself, or the Mariner brass’ stance on a new stadium, or if you want to go back even further, the NFL blackout policy.

    And it’s culminating in an apparent belief that they don’t even have to offer the best product to their customers because we’ll buy it anyway. Why? Because we will. Reminds me of a line from a Harvey Danger song:

    “pomposity is when you always think you’re right, arrogance is when you know.”