BY SPNW Staff 07:11AM 04/27/2013

#26: Felix To Face Angels, His Major Nemesis

After Friday night’s 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, the Mariners will send Felix Hernandez to the mound Saturday in search of his third win. He’ll oppose Joe Blanton.

Marines catcher Jesus Montero has struggled through the month of April, hitting just .208 with one home run. He got Friday night off. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

GAME: Angels (9-13, 3rd, AL West, -6.5 GB) at Mariners (9-16, 4th, AL West, -8.0 GB). GAME #: 26. SERIES: 3rd of 4 games. MEETING: 3rd (series tied 1-1). WHEN: Saturday, 6:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Angels W 1. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network

It’s probably too early to say that Aaron Harang is a candidate to get designated for assignment, but Harang has at least walked halfway out on that plank in the three starts he’s made since replacing Blake Beavan at No. 5 in the rotation. In 12.2 innings, Harang has allowed 16 earned runs on 21 hits, including six homers, and sports an 11.37 ERA and 1.97 WHIP.

It’s also safe to say Harang is no longer on anyone’s fantasy team after allowing five earned runs with his first 58 pitches and exiting after three innings in what became a 6-3 Seattle loss to the Los Angeles Angels Friday night.

In part because of Harang’s dismal performances, the Mariners still have not won consecutive games since the first two contests of the season.

But it wasn’t all Harang’s fault Friday. The Mariners went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 15 runners stranded in an affair in which the only positives were that Seattle made a game of it after trailing 5-0 and Kyle Seager extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games, longest in the majors this season.

The Mariners should be more competitive Saturday with Felix Hernandez (2-2) seeking his third victory — although he is just 6-12 in his career against the Angels. Hernandez will oppose Joe Blanton, who hasn’t pitched against the Mariners since 2008, but likely won’t have forgotten that he’s 5-0, 2.93 for his career at Safeco Field.

On the other hand, Blanton — 0-3, 7.84 ERA, 2.08 WHIP — is off to a start this season almost as bad as Aaron Harang’s. A closer look at the probables:

SATURDAY’S PROBABLES

MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (2-2, 2.08 ERA, 1.01 WHIP)

The 27-year-old Hernandez, a Venezuelan native in his ninth major league season, all with Seattle, will make his sixth start and first against the Angels. The 2010 Cy Young winner, who bounced back after two consecutive losses to win his last start, has worked into the sixth inning in each of his outings and has allowed three or fewer earned runs three times. He posted his most dominant outing April 17 in a no-decision against Detroit, fanning 12 for the ninth time in his career.

  • LAST START: April 22 at Houston, won 7-1; 0 earned runs on 5 hits in 6.0 innings; 9 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0 home runs, 93 pitches, 58 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. ANGELS: Oct. 1, 2012, lost 8-4 at Safeco Field; 7 earned runs on 12 hits in 5.1 innings; 7 strikeouts, 3 walks, 0 home runs, 98 pitches, 65 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. ANGELS: 6-12, 4.07 ERA in 30 starts covering 205.2 innings; 178 strikeouts to 57 walks, 22 home runs, 1.29 WHIP.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: 51-36, 3.15 ERA in 121 starts covering 837.2 innings; 801 strikeouts to 232 walks, 65 home runs, 1.18 WHIP.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Peter Bourjos (2-for-14, .143), Josh Hamilton (8-for-48, .167), Alberto Callaspo (9-for-38, .237).
  • HATES TO FACE: Mike Trout (10-for-24, .417), Brendan Harris (2-for-5, .400), Mark Trumbo (8-for-28, .286).
  • CURRENT ANGELS VS. HERNANDEZ: 71-for-298, .238 BA, 67 strikeouts, 21 walks, 7 home runs, .291 on-base percentage.

ANGELS: RHP Joe Blanton (0-3, 7.84 ERA, 2.08 WHIP)

The 32-year-old Blanton, a Bowling Green, KY., native in his 10th major league season and first with the Angels, will make his fifth start and first against the Mariners. Blanton is off to a rocky start with three consecutive losses, and a no-decision in his last outing, April 22 vs. Texas. He has allowed at least four earned runs in each of his starts and twice has been dinged for double figures in hits. Blanton, who began his career in 2004, has also pitched for Oakland, Philadelphia and the L.A. Dodgers.

  • LAST START: April 22 vs. Texas, took a no-decision in a 7-6 loss to the Texas Rangers; 4 earned runs on 12 hits in 6.0 innings; 0 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0 home runs, 91 pitches, 60 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: July 9, 2008, lost 6-4; 6 earned runs on 9 hits in 6.0 innings, 2 strikeouts, 0 walks, 0 home runs, 92 pitches, 57 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: 8-5, 3.50 ERA in 15 starts covering 103.0 innings; 51 strikeouts to 14 walks, 8 home runs, 1.18 ERA.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: 5-0, 2.93 ERA in 6 starts covering 40 innings; 24 strikeouts, 6 walks, 3 home runs, 1.12 WHIP.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Jason Bay (0-for-5, .000), Kendrys Morales (0-for-3, .000).
  • HATES TO FACE: Endy Chavez (3-for-7, .429), Brendan Ryan (2-for-5, .400), Kelly Shoppach (2-for-6, .333).
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. BLANTON: 24-for-88, .273 BA, 17 strikeouts, 4 walks, 1 home run, .304 on-base percentage.

MARINERS STATS / NOTES

  • CURRENT HOME STAND: Four vs. L.A. Angels (Thursday-Sunday), three vs. the Baltimore Orioles (Monday-Wednesday). Following a day off Thursday the Mariners will play three at Toronto (May 3-5) and two at Pittsburgh (May 7-8).
  • L.A.’s scoring outburst against Seattle starter Aaron Harang ended the Mariners’ 18-0 scoring run against the Angels that included Thursday’s 6-0 victory and a 12-0 decision in the final game of 2012.
  • During his 15-game hitting streak, Kyle Seager is batting .393 with seven doubles, three home runs and 11 RBIs.
  • Dustin Ackley extended his hitting streak to seven games with a pinch single in the seventh. Ackley is hitting .440 during the streak.
  • In the Mariners’ nine victories, they are batting .377 (26-for-69) with runners in scoring position. In 16 losses, the Mariners are batting .114 (12-for-105) with RISP. The Mariners have no hits with RISP eight times in 25 games.
  • OF Michael Saunders joined AAA Tacoma Friday for a rehab assignment. He could rejoin the Mariners as early as Monday.
  • LHP Danny Hultzen, one of the franchise’s top prospects, has been diagnosed with a left rotator cuff strain and tendinitis. Hultzen, currently on the roster of the AAA Rainiers, is expected to miss two weeks.
  • The Mariners are in the midst of 16 games in 16 days. They will not have their next day off until Thursday.

UPCOMING PROBABLES

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
4/27 Sat vs. LAA RHP Felix Hernandez (2-2) vs. RHP Joe Blanton (0-3)
4/28 Sun vs. LAA RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (2-1) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (0-2)
4/29 Mon vs. Bal LHP Joe Saunders (1-3) vs. TBA
4/30 Tue vs. Bal RHP Brandon Maurer (2-3) vs. RHP Jason Hammell (3-1)
5/1 Wed vs. Bal RHP Aaron Harang (0-3) LHP Wei-Yin Chen (1-2)

 


YourThoughts

  • maqman

    Felix is Venezuelan not Dominican.

    • art thiel

      Fixed. Thanks.

      • maqman

        That “V” tattooed on his neck was a clue.

  • OffTheLows

    Watching the draft and hearing “How Ya Like Me Now” on repeat on espn and seeing Harang has me thinking about Jon Garland, even more so with the setback that Hultzen will be dealing with.

  • Trygvesture

    How about those Ms?

    Talk about building civic pride— They can’t seem to evaluate big league talent, but they can’t develop players beyond AAA level. However, they can’t recognize good field managers. Still, they’re pretty bad at hiring GMs. On the other hand, they’re dumb enough to alientate their fans in other ways, too.
    You gotta laugh–they’ve become Clowns in bumper cars.

  • jafabian

    Ackley is starting to warm up. Smoak is still a work in progress. Can’t believe he had 6 LOB last night.

    • Tian Biao

      Smoak is a work in progress? But that implies progress. Smoak is a work in regress. I keep expecting Z and the gang to see what everyone else sees, and simply cut the guy.