After a lame offensive performance Tuesday in a 6-2 loss to Detroit, the Mariners will turn to Felix Hernandez Wednesday, still in search of his 100th career win.
GAME: Tigers (8-5, 1st, AL Central, +1.0 GA) at Mariners (6-9, 3rd, AL West, -5.0 GB). GAME #: 16. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING: 2nd (Tigers lead 1-0). WHEN: Wednesday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Tigers W 3. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network
Felix Hernandez made his major league debut against the Detroit Tigers Aug. 4, 2005, at age 19, and came away with a 3-1 loss. Ninety-nine wins later, nine at Detroit’s expense, Hernandez can record his 100th career victory Wednesday night at Safeco Field when the Mariners contest the Tigers in the second game of a three-game series.
To reach the century mark, Hernandez will require a significantly better offense performance from his teammates than Aaron Harang and four Seattle relievers had Wednesday night in a 6-2 loss to the Tigers in front of a sparse crowd of 12,379.
The Mariners eked out four hits off former Mariner Doug Fister, who cruised to an easy win on the strength of five strikeouts and 11 ground-ball outs. Except for the fourth inning, when Fister allowed two runs, he never gave Seattle hitters a chance.
This will be Hernandez’s third attempt at No. 100, and he’ll have to beat the best-hitting team in the majors. Detroit lashed 12 hits, three each by Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez . Bad news is, Cabrera, the reigning Triple Crown winner, is a .429 career hitter against Hernandez, the former Cy Young winner. Martinez is a lifetime .278 hitter off King Felix.
Hernandez’s opponent Wednesday, Max Scherzer, might not be of All-Star caliber, but he’s 1-0 this year, 4-1 lifetime against Seattle and 2-0 at Safeco Field. A closer look at the starters:
MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (1-2, 3.21 ERA, 1.16 WHIP)
The 27-year-old Hernandez, in his ninth major league season, all with Seattle, will make his league-high fourth start and first against the Tigers, a team he has dominated. After defeating Oakland 2-0 on Opening Day in an eight-strikeout, one-walk performance, Hernandez has been ordinary compared to his usual standards. In his last two starts, he has allowed seven earned runs on 16 hits with eight strikeouts and five walks.
TIGERS: RHP Max Scherzer (1-0, 1.91 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)
The 28-year-old Scherzer, a Missouri native in his sixth major league season and fifth with the Tigers, will make his third start and first against the Mariners. Scherzer’s only victory was April 6 when he defeated the Yankees 8-4 at Comerica Park. In two starts covering 11.0 innings, Scherzer has produced a tremendous strikeout-to-walk ratio, 18 whiffs to three free passes. He has allowed one home run.
MARINERS STATS / NOTES
|4/17||Wed||vs. Det||RHP Felix Hernandez (1-2) vs. Max Scherzer (1-0)|
|4/18||Thr||vs. Det||RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (1-0) vs. Justin Verlander (2-1)|
|4/19||Fri||at Tex||LHP Joe Saunders (1-1) vs. Yu Darvish (2-1)|
|4/20||Sat||at Tex||RHP Brandon Maurer (1-2) vs. RHP Nick Tepesch (1-1)|
|4/21||Sun||at Tex||RHP Aaron Harang (0-1) vs. LHP Derek Holland (0-1)|