BY SPNW Staff 07:00AM 08/01/2013

#108: Mariners Need Vintage Felix Performance

Felix Hernandez, who is 6-0, 2.18 ERA in his last 11 outings, has had considerable success pitching at Fenway Park. In six career starts, he’s 3-1 with a 2.53 ERA.

Boston’s Dustin Pedroia, who recently agreed to a new, eight-year contract worth $110 million, is hitting .296 with a .784 OPS. Pedroia had a two-run homer in Boston’s 5-4, 15-inning win Wednesday night. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Mariners (50-57, 3rd, AL West, -12.5 GB) at Red Sox (65-44, 1st, AL East, +0.5 GA). GAME #: 108. SERIES: 3rd of 3 games. MEETING: 7th (Red Sox lead 5-1). WHEN: Thursday, 4:10 p.m., Fenway Park. STREAKS: Mariners L 2; Red Sox W 2. TV: Root Sports. RADIO: ESPN 710, Mariners Radio Network

Felix Hernandez came away with a no-decision in his last outing (July 26 vs. Minnesota) when he allowed the tying run to score in the top of the ninth. He also came away with 10 or more strikeouts (11) with no walks for the seventh time in his career. Hernandez’s effort marked the first nine-inning no-decision with one or fewer runs allowed and 11 or more strikeouts by a Seattle starter since Randy Johnson Sept. 16, 1992.

The fun number here is seven career games, according to baseball reference.com, with 10 or more strikeouts and no walks. The greatest disparity occurred May 22, 2011 vs. San Diego when Hernandez had 13 strikeouts and no walks. He’s twice had 12 strikeouts and no walks, most recently April 17 of this year against the Detroit Tigers.

The other great pitcher in Mariners history, Johnson (1989-98), produced eight games of 10 or more strikeouts and zero walks during the Seattle portion of his career, the most remarkable of those outings June 24, 1997 against Oakland in the Kingdome. That night, Johnson fanned 19 Athletics without a walk — and lost 4-1.

Boston, a 5-4, 15-inning victor Wednesday, will be a tough place for Hernandez to post an eighth 10-K, 0-BB game to tie Johnson, But King Felix has a decent ledger at Fenway Park, where the Mariners and Red Sox conclude their series Thursday night. In six career starts, Hernandez is 3-1, 2.53, especially impressive given Boston’s hitting prowess at Fenway.

Hernandez, 6-0, 2.18 ERA in last 11 outings, squares off against Ryan Dempster, who is in his 16th season but has only five appearances against Seattle. A closer look:

THURSDAY’S PROBABLES

MARINERS: RHP Felix Hernandez (11-4, 2.34 ERA, 1.04)

The 27-year-old Hernandez, in his ninth major league season, all with Seattle, will make his 23rd start and second against the Red Sox. Hernandez, the AL leader in ERA (2.34), came away with a tough-luck no-decision in his last start, but has won six consecutive decisions without a loss since May 25 vs. Texas. In addition to leading the AL in ERA, Hernandez tops the circuit in innings pitched at 153.2.

  • LAST START: July 26, took a no-decision in Seattle’s 3-2 loss to the Twins; 1 earned run on 5 hits in 9.0 innings; 11 strikeouts, 0 walks, 0 home runs, 103 pitches, 73 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. RED SOX: July 8 at Safeco Field, won 11-4; 2 earned runs on 6 hits in 7.0 innings; 6 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 103 pitches, 63 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. RED SOX: 7-2, 3.13 ERA in 13 starts covering 92.0 innings; 82 pitches, 32 walks, 8 home runs, 1.25 WHIP.
  • AT FENWAY PARK: 3-1, 2.53 ERA in 6 starts covering 42.2 innings; 39 strikeouts, 13 walks, 3 home runs, 1.12 WHIP.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Mike Napoli (6-for-36, .167), Daniel Nava (2-for-11, .182), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (5-for-25, .200).
  • HATES TO FACE: David Ortiz (9-for-29, .310), Dustin Pedroia (10-for-35, .286), Stephen Drew (2-f0r-7, .286).
  • CURRENT RED SOX VS. HERNANDEZ: 48-for-202, .238 BA, 59 strikeouts, 23 walks, 5 home runs, .317 on-base percentage.

RED SOX: RHP Ryan Dempster (6-8, 4.24 ERA, 1.45 WHIP)

The 36-year-old Dempster, a British Columbia native in his 16th major league season and first with Boston, will make his 22nd start and second against the Mariners. The veteran Dempster won his most recent start, holding the Orioles to six hits and two runs over 5.1 innings. Opponents are hitting .254 against Dempster, who is 4-6 with a 4.14 ERA at Fenway this season.

  • LAST START: July 27 at Baltimore, won 7-3; 2 earned runs on 6 hits in 5.1 inningsl 4 strikeouts, 2 walks, 0 home runs, 84 pitches, 53 for strikes.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: July 11 at at Safeco Field, took a no-decision in Boston’s 8-7 win; 4 earned runs on 9 hits in 3.1 innings; 4 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 home run, 91 pitches, 61 for strikes.
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: 1-1, 3.60 ERA in 5 games, including 3 starts, covering 20.0 innings; 22 strikeouts, 4 walks, 4 home runs, 1.25 WHIP.
  • AT FENWAY PARK: 5-7, 4.45 ERA in 17 starts covering 99.0 innings; 94 strikeouts, 40 walks, 19 home runs, 1.37 WHIP.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Humberto Quintero (3-for-21, .143), Kyle Seager (1-for-5, .200).
  • HATES TO FACE: Endy Chavez (5-for-7, .714), Brad Miller (2-for-3, .667), Brendan Ryan (7-for-20, .350).
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. DEMPSTER: 34-for-131, .260 BA, 29 strikeouts, 12 walks, 6 home runs, .329 on-base percentage.

MARINERS STATS / NOTES

  • CURRENT ROAD TRIP: Three at Boston (Tuesday-Thursday), three at Baltimore (Friday-Sunday). The Mariners return to Safeco Field Monday to begin a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • The Mariners are 6-10 in extra-inning games following the 15-inning, 5-4 loss Wednesday. The game lasted 5:03. Seattle played its longest game of the year June 5 vs. Chicago. That game went 16 innings and lasted 5:42.
  • The Mariners are 2-5 since their eight-game winning streak.
  • Kyle Seager went 3-for-6 with his 17th home run Wednesday and finished July with a .395 batting average.
  • Hisashi Iwakuma did not get a decision Wednesday, but also did not allow an earned run for the second consecutive start. He lowered his ERA to 2.76.
  • The Mariners allowed the major league trading deadline to come and go without making a major league deal. A number of veterans — OF Michael Morse, OF Raul Ibanez, 1B/DH Kendrys Morales, SS Brendan Ryan, LHP Joe Saunders and LHP Oliver Perez — are on one-year contracts and will be free agents at the end of the season.
  • The Mariners Wednesday traded minor league outfielder Robert Andino to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Andino, 29, hit .229 (35×153) with 17 runs scored, five doubles, one triple, three home runs and 12 RBIs in 44 games with AAA Tacoma after being outrighted May 27. The Mariners designated Andino for assignment May 24 when they brought up C Jesus Sucre from the Rainiers.
  • Nick Franklin recorded a “golden sombrero” Wednesday, fanning four times. He finished the game 0-for-7.
  • Michael Morse, who went 0-for-4 in his return to the club Wednesday following five weeks on the disabled list, will play right field, first base and DH over the next few weeks, according to acting manager Robby Thompson. Morse went 0-for-5 Wednesday and is 0-for-9 since his recall.

UPCOMING PROBABLES

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
8/1 Thr at Bos RHP Felix Hernandez (11-4) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (6-8)
8/2 Fri at Bal RHP Aaron Harang (5-9) vs. Scott Feldman (2-2)
8/3 Sat at Bal RHP Erasmo Ramirez (2-0) vs. RHP Jason Hammel (7-8)
8/4 Sun at Bal LHP Joe Saunders (9-10) vs. LHP Wei-Yin Chen (6-3)

 


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