BY SPNW Staff 10:17PM 04/24/2015

Game recap: Mariners 2, Twins 0; Iwakuma hurt


Nelson Cruz homered and Felix Hernandez dominated. It’s starting to look the way the Mariners hoped when the season began. Seattle (7-9) won its second in a row and its fourth in six games as Hernandez threw a complete game to beat the Twins 2-0 (box score).  It was an uptick for the Mariners after news that RHP Hisashi Iwakuma was placed on the 15-day disabled list. GM Jack Zduriencik called the move “a precaution.”

Essential moment

Hernandez rarely disappoints, and he found a way to add some juice to the electrified fans in King’s Court with three strikeouts on 14 pitches to open the game. In striking out the side, Hernandez set the tone for another outstanding performance.


The Mariners had a rested bullpen for the first time in awhile. Hernandez made the Twins look silly at times during a complete-game performance that was nothing short of dominant. The only disappointment came when Minnesota’s Trevor Plouffe ended a bid for perfection with a two-out single in the fifth. That came after 14 consecutive outs to start, during which Hernandez looked so in the zone that a no-hitter seemed possible. He settled for his first complete game, and his first shutout, since Aug. 27, 2012, when Hernandez beat the Twins 1-0.


Nelson Cruz was back to his old tricks. What the heck took him so long? He hit his first home run in five days. Cruz has been in such a funk that his pace of 108 home runs this season has fallen into double digits. 1B Logan Morrison did his best Cruz impersonation with a solo shot in the fifth, his first, but the Mariners couldn’t do much else against Minnesota starter Phil Hughes. The low point was watching C Mike Zunino strike out on three pitches in the seventh – his 22nd strikeout in 47 at-bats.


“It’s been awhile, so it feels really good.” – Felix Hernandez, on his complete game.


According to Zduriencik, Iwakuma’s right shoulder was feeling fatigued after his Monday start and again after a Friday bullpen session. Iwakuma (0-1, 6.61 ERA) hasn’t looked right this season, and the DL move could give him time to get right . . . It’s likely LHP Roenis Elias will be back for a Sunday start to fill in for Iwakuma. Elias looked like a phenom as a rookie early last season, but faded down the stretch. This spring, he couldn’t beat out Taijuan Walker for a roster spot. LHP Lucas Luetge is also back in Seattle, although his stay might be short with the Elias promotion likely to come Saturday night or early Sunday morning.


It’s a safe bet that LHP James Paxton has been champing at the bit to get back on the mound after a rough week. First, he had a miserable third inning in Sunday’s 11-10 win over Texas. Then he saw his ERA rise from 5.40 to 8.40 without throwing a single pitch. An MLB scoring decision changed a Sunday error to a hit. Paxton (0-1) will throw again Saturday night, when he takes on the Twins’ RHP Trevor May (1-1, 4.76).



  • jafabian

    It was like someone fired up the Delorean and we went back to when Randy was a Mariner. Just need to go back and get Dan Wilson now because Z’s batting average is starting to look like the 1991 Dave Valle’s.

    • mindful

      Felix same age as randy age during the m’s time now ,It is Such a treat to watch, so worth watching the game or just going to the games when he pitches, Like the randy days. Think with felix motion he got at least 12 more years in him. And we not seen his best yet.

    • art thiel

      Wasn’t it Swannie’s that charged $1.90 for beers, as a tribute to Valle’s avg.?

      • Da Kid

        $1.68 at one point.

  • mindful

    It is such a treat to have felix on are team , One the greatest pitchers in this era ,It was so nice to watch a game that took less the 4 hrs and old school baseball time of under 2 hrs and 30 min game, felt like baseball again,

    Man we have been spoiled watching one the greatest pitchers in felix pitch , like we were spoiled with randy.

    Just sucks most times m;s not get felix the wins, but his numbers are some the best in history and sucks that the rest of country not seeing it. for him and m’s fans. for some respect.

    Now can we just win some titles or even get to a world series. doubt it with are upper management .

    They never will make the bold moves to get a title. and scouting , been piss poor and holding on to the flame outs for some other talents

    Then are coaching in the minors is sucking bad as bad, not getting guys ready, then they go to a new team increases there stats 30%,

    • art thiel

      What do you call signing Cano, if not a bold move?

      • coug73

        Art. Keep on keeping it a 100%.

      • Da Kid

        Seriously? You, Tan Grande, of all people, are asking that question after covering the various front office numbnuts for 37+ years???

        You know what I call it? YEARS OVERDUE!

  • Da Kid

    I’m with mindful. If Felix doesn’t go out and pitch a complete game shutout every time out his chances of getting a win are less than 33%. Go ahead…add up last year’s one/two-run losses, no-decisions and the bullpen’s blown saves and what have you got?

    Far as I can tell, absolutely nothing’s changed when Felix pitches, but the addition of Cruz. Nice of Lomo to stop by (for the first time this season); but this team, despite offseason hype and hope, has already assumed the mantle of perennial hitting impotence that is the hallmark of traditional Mariners futility.