BY SPNW Staff 07:09AM 05/25/2013

#49: Felix Tasked With Stemming Seattle’s Slide

The Mariners lost to Texas 9-5 Friday night at Safeco Field, extending their losing streak to seven games. Felix Hernandez will try to stop the slide Saturday.

Kyle Seager leads the Mariners in batting with a .284 average and is second on the club with six home runs. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

GAME: Rangers (31-17, 1st, AL West, +5.5 GA) at Mariners (20-28, 4th, AL West, -11.0 GB). GAME #: 49. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING: 9th (Rangers lead 6-2). WHEN: Saturday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. STREAKS: Mariners L 7; Rangers W 2. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network

Since Felix Hernandez made his major league debut in 2005, no team has given him more fits than the Texas Rangers. Hernandez, the 2010 Cy Young winner, made 35 starts against Texas and is 12-17, 3.77 ERA. The 17 losses are nearly three times as many as any other team against Hernandez (Oakland has beaten him six times) and his ERA is the highest against any club he’s faced more than 10 times.

Hernandez gets another crack at the Rangers Saturday night when the Mariners and Texas continue their three-game series. He represents Seattle’s best chance at snapping a losing streak that reached seven games Friday when Texas won 9-5 by finally pinning a Seattle loss on Joe Saunders.

Saunders entered Friday’s game with a 9-0 career mark at Safeco Field, including a 3-0, 0.94 record this season. But he surrendered a two-run homer to Jeff Baker and a three-run shot to Lance Berkman, extending Seattle’s woes. The Mariners have been outscored 28-6 in their past three games.

Hernandez has faced Texas once this season, losing 4-3 April 11 at Safeco Field. Saturday, he’ll oppose lefty Derek Holland, who has yet to face Seattle this season but is 7-2 against the Mariners in his career.


MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (5-3, 2.07 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)

The 27-year-old Hernandez, in his ninth major league season, all with the Mariners, will make his 11th start and second against the Rangers. The Mariners ace gave up six runs (five earned) in five innings last Sunday in Cleveland after allowing just four earned runs in his previous six starts. Hernandez, who had a no-decision in his previous start, had a season-high four-game winning streak April 22-May 8.

  • LAST START: May 19 at Cleveland, lost 6-0; 5 earned runs on 8 hits over 5.0 innings; 8 strikeouts, 2 walks, 1 home run, 107 pitches, 68 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. RANGERS: April 11 at Safeco Field, lost 4-3; 3 earned runs on 10 hits in 6.2 innings; 5 strikeouts, 2 walks, 1 home run, 113 pitches, 77 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. RANGERS: 12-17, 3.77 ERA in 35 starts covering 227.0 innings; 198 strikeouts, 69 walks, 20 home runs, 1.26 WHIP.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: 52-36, 3.13 ERA in 122 starts covering 845.2 innings; 808 strikeouts, 232 walks, 66 home runs, 1.18 WHIP.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Mitch Moreland (4-for-21, .190), A.J. Pierzynski (7-for-34, .206), Nelson Cruz (13-for-53, .245).
  • HATES TO FACE: Lance Berkman (3-for-7, .429), Leonys Martin (3-for-8, .375), Elvis Andrus (17-for-54, .315).
  • CURRENT RANGERS VS. HERNANDEZ: 88-for-324, .263 BA, 69 strikeouts, 24 walks, 11 home runs, .321 on-base percentage.

RANGERS: LHP Derek Holland (3-2, 3.30 ERA, 1.16 WHIP)

The 26-year-old Holland, a Newark, OH., native in his fifth major league season, all with Texas, will make his 10th start and first against the Mariners. After going 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in his first two starts this month, Holland has posted a 6.97 ERA in his last two outings, both no-decisions. Holland defeated Boston and Milwaukee in back-to-back outings May 3 and 8.

  • LAST START: May 19 vs. Detroit, took a no-decision in Texas’ 11-8 win; 4 earned runs on 8 hits in 4.2 innings; 6 strikeouts, 3 walks, 2 home runs, 106 pitches, 66 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: July 13, 2012, won 3-2; 0 earned runs on 4 hits in 7.2 innings; 4 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 106 pitches, 65 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: 7-2, 3.74 ERA in 13 games, including 9 starts, covering 65.0 innings; 61 strikeouts, 17 walks, 7 home runs, 1.16 WHIP.
  • AT SAFECO FIELD: 2-0, 0.92 ERA in 8 games, including 6 starts, covering 19.2 innings; 14 strikeouts, 4 walks, 0 home runs, 0.91 WHIP.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Kelly Shoppach (1-for-11, .091), Dustin Ackley (3-for-17, .176), Kendrys Morales (2-for-10, .200).
  • HATES TO FACE: Kyle Seager (4-for-11, .364), Jesus Montero (2-for-7, .286), Justin Smoak (5-for-18, .278).
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. HOLLAND: 27-for-136, .199 BA, 41 strikeouts, 12 walks, 5 home runs, .264 on-base percentage.


  • CURRENT HOME STAND: Three vs. Texas (Friday-Sunday), two vs. San Diego (Monday-Tuesday). Following the home stand, the Mariners will play two at San Diego (Wednesday-Thursday) and three at Minnesota (Friday-Sunday). The Mariners have begun a run of 20 games in 20 days with their next day off June 13.
  • Kendrys Morales has at least one hit in 16 of his last 19 games and is batting .347 over that span.
  • Jesus Sucre made his MLB debut and recorded his first career hit with a single in the ninth inning.
  • Brendan Ryan has hit safely in eight of his past nine games and is batting .409 over that span.
  • Raul Ibanez’ went 2-for-4 and his double in the third inning was the 400th of his major league career.
  • The Mariners Friday called up catcher Jesus Sucre and INF Carlos Triunfel and designated INF Robert Andino for assignment. Sucre becomes the backup catcher, replacing Jesus Montero, optioned to Tacoma, where he played first base Friday night. The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright Andino’s contract to the minors.


Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
5/25 Sat vs. Tex RHP Felix Hernandez (5-3) vs. LHP Derek Holland (3-2)
5/26 Sun vs. Tex RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (5-) vs. RHP Nick Tepesch (3-4)
5/27 Mon vs. SD  TBA vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (3-5)



  • dinglenuts

    Is it time to begin the Wedge Watch yet? Or will he get a pass this season because he’s working with what is mostly a AAA-caliber roster? Of course, if they continue this horrific baseball through this series and into the next one, Z may have no choice but to cut him loose and “go in a different direction”, as they say.

    • Trygvesture

      The ‘cut loose’ portion of the show is long overdue, starting at–of course– the top. The franchise sucks. The franchise is a hell-hole of terrible management, decision making, hiring, PR–you name it. Z is a lousy MLB GM by any measure. Lincoln and Chuckster the sidekick are lousy FO execs by any measure. Wedge is a mediocre, dime-a-dozen recycled MLB field manager. The roster– well, same old same old.
      A Big TV and a shorter porch is a typical off-season non-response to a failed franchise with one of the best parks in the game– a gift from us.

      • Tim Madison

        Agreed, Tryg. The M’s have two Nintendo execs in the front office trying to match wits with Nolan Ryan and Billy Beane. This has no chance of working out. That is why we have GM’s (the talent evaluator) and field managers who are here to collect a paycheck and string it out as long as they can before they are relieved of duty. After that, a new GM and field manager together with the ‘rebuilding’ meme followed by 7 more years of bad luck, silly PR, Rupert Murdoch/Fox TV productions, and a huge screen flooding the park with demands to clap hands and cheer. I like the fact that Seattle has MLB baseball. I’m disappointed that it is so cheesy.

        • Trygvesture

          Right on. Can you imagine the hilarity in Arlington when they got Lee and we got , uh… Smoak and the liability relief pitcher? Match wits with Lincoln and Armstrong? That’s gotta have the other execs shakin in their boots!

  • jafabian

    Dumping Wedge, or Jack, or getting rid of the underperforming players isn’t the answer. The short term fix is getting into the players heads about the sense of urgency that’s on them right now. They were a game under .500 at one point. If they don’t get it together NOW they’ll be 20 games under. This team wasn’t going to contend for the division crown however they need to find ways to win. And for the most part they’ve been in winnable games during this skid.

    I think that Bob Melvin guy in Oakland would be a good manager here if they do let Wedge go. Wait, where have I heard his name before???

    • Trygvesture

      It’s not a case of telling the players to feel a sense of urgency. Like, what? They don’t know? Or they don’t care? Unlikely. The issue is simple: they’re not very good. Since they’re not very good, they’d have to play above their mean capabilities all the time to be better– which isn’t possible in the long term. (Regression to the mean and all…) The games aren’t really ‘winnable’ –with the caliber of players on this roster–or they’d win more of them. They aren’t any better than they are –no matter how much we’d like to believe the poor play is just anomolous. It’s not anomylous, it’s what the are. They’ll play slightly above their mean capabilites sometimes, below sometimes, but’ll end up averaging to the mean, and their mean level of capabilities is less than it needs to be to be any good. Rah rah Wedge, right-on-track Jack, I’m in the hot seat Lincoln, big screen and shortened porch notwithsanding, they just aren’t good. Top to bottom, Lincoln to the next guy going to Tacoma, they are less than mediocre. They’ve proven that year after year after year after year…
      Pathetic, huh? Loss of ticket revenue is the only way to encourage change. Maybe the do-nothing Board might even get the hint.

    • Tim Madison

      Over the years it seems to me that the Nintendo bosses who own the M’s run it as a profit center, a business that can be managed by money-men, public relations teams, and accountants. Baseball isn’t the main focus. I understand that there’s a big business component to running a big league team but for the Nintendo posse fielding a good team is not high on the agenda. What seems to satisfy them is a team that can win 60-80 games, hit a few home runs, and attract a fat TV contract. This is what we’ve been getting for 37 years except for the Piniella/Gillick years when baseball men were in town. That, apparently, was a complete accident.

  • Joe_Fan

    I don’t understand why a baseball writer with guts in this town doesn’t start a regular, fact filled series on the ineptness of Chuckie and Howie. We need to keep battering them until they are gone. In my opinion, they are the number 1 reason for the continued poor performance of this team. Ownership and FO simply HAS to change. I love going to M’s games, but it is becoming an embarrassment.