BY SPNW Staff 08:29PM 06/12/2015

Game recap: Astros 10, Mariners 0


Felix Hernandez saved the worst game of his 11-year career for the AL West-leading Houston Astros Friday, blowing apart like a chicken coop in a Texas tornado, giving up eight runs and getting only one out in the worst start in Mariners history. Compounding the ghastliness (box score), the Mariners (27-34) had only four hits in the 10-0 shaming to start a three-game series at Minute Maid Park, where they are 0-5 this season. The Astros (35-27) had lost seven in a row.

Essential moment

A day after starter J.A. Happ went 2.1 innings in a 6-0 loss in Cleveland, Hernandez went .1, getting a single strikeout while allowing five hits, two walks and a throwing error to the plate after fielding an infield chopper, which allowed the second and third runs. Concentration blown, in the same manner that a muddy Safeco mound disrupted him recently against the Yankees, Hernandez gave up home runs to ex-Mariner Luis Valbuena (three runs) and Jason Castro (two).


After missing two games with back spasms, Nelson Cruz returned to the lineup Friday. But the designated hitter could do nothing to stop the shutout streak that has reached 20 innings. The Mariners had four singles, and have scored three runs or less in 14 of the past 15 games.


Hernandez (9-3) was seeking to become the majors’ first 10-game winner. His ERA rocketed from 2.51 to 3.38. In his first five road starts this season, Hernandez was 4-0 with a 1.82 ERA.

The biggest development was the deployment of backup C Jesus Sucre as an emergency reliever in the eighth — the fourth position player to pitch in club history. He gave up a hit that was erased with a double play and another grounder for the third out in just seven pitches. The Mariners went through Joe Biemel, Tom Wilhelmsen, Charlie Furbush, Mark Lowe and Sucre.

Brett Olberholtzer completely dominated the Mariners for eight innings for his first win of the season.


“Just a bad night. He’s human. He was at 31 pitches with one out, it made no sense to continue. A good throw (on Hernandez’s misplay) and the runner was probably out” — Manager Lloyd McClendon on Hernandez.

“You can’t stress a bullpen that much and be OK on the third day. We got a young kid going tomorrow. Yesterday was really a tough game.” — McClendon on the possibility of adding another relief pitcher.


Hernandez had a one-out start in April 2007 but left that game with elbow tightness . . . After two non-save appearances in relief, McClendon hasn’t seen enough to return Fernando Rodney to old job. “I don’t think he’s quite ready to go back to the closer’s role,” McClendon said. “We’ll use him where we think it fits the best. He’s getting better. He’s still working on things every day. It’s not quite there yet.”  . . .  Hisashi Iwakuma, out since April 23 with a strained right lat muscle, could have a rehab start in a week at Tacoma if all goes well, McClendon said.


Rookie Mike Montgomery (0-1, 2.51) has the responsibility of stopping the bleeding against Collin McHugh (6-2, 4.34) at 1:10 p.m. PT.


  • woofer

    It will be interesting to observe the psychological effect of this game, both on Felix and the team as a whole. Do they dig deeper to find the internal resources to turn it around, or do they swoon? It’s only one game in the loss column but potentially a huge blow to team confidence. If Felix is seen to be crumbling, what is left?

    • Lodowick

      Indeed. One wonders. Complicating things is a schedule anomaly that has just 4 games against a team with a losing record (A’s) between now and July 27. Oy!

    • art thiel

      As today’s game proved, the loss meant nothing.

      • woofer

        Actually the ugly loss did mean something. The team had a meeting before Saturday’s game to renew confidence and commitment. Looks like Lomo is emerging as a leader.

  • Larry Gahlhoff

    On a positive note, even after tonight they’re not the worst team in baseball. It just feels like it sometimes.

  • jafabian

    An overall bad game. Felix’s performance seemed to affect the team though who could blame them. I’m not sure this can be taken at face value as “one of those games.” Not to say that he tanked the game, Felix is not that kind of person, but for the best pitcher in the game to not be able to get out of the first inning against a team that is typically a doormat for the league and is on a 7 game skid? People question if Randy Johnson tanked the season before he was traded to (wait for it) the Astros in 1998. His teammates and coaches say he didn’t but he was certainly unable to find his focus until he left.

    IMO, the team is tired of Jack and the rumors of him trying to acquire Ben Revere is yet another straw. He makes criticisms of players thru the press, suggests that if they can’t perform they’ll be gone yet gets rid of players who are contributing. Their body language was poor in this game. Did not like the players laughing and smiling when Sucre went in and then high fiving him. They should be mad that they were in this situation. You don’t see the Giants or Yankees using position players to pitch. With Jack doing desperate moves and making comments thru the media being critical of players and not being accountable himself of his own mistakes (He knew the holes on the roster, i.e. Ackley, Zunino among others) has to have an effect. Despite their ineffectiveness against the Astros the past couple seasons I’m not sure if there’s more than what meets the eye here. How the team performs on Saturday, as well as Felix himself in his next start, will be very telling.

    • art thiel

      The team doesn’t pay as much attention to Jack and rumors as we do. As today’s game proves. There’s often very little “telling” from one game to the next for the Mariners and every other team.

  • MacPhisto92

    It all started with Bloomquist’s absolutely HORRIBLE fielding of that first ground ball…….how he is on a major league roster, I’ll never know.

    • RadioGuy

      Look at the rest of the roster.

  • Rj Smith

    So the M’s “ace” gets crushed again……. big surprise. When is the last time the M’s destroyed a legit number 1 starter? It’s a been a VERY long time & happens far less frequently than it does to them. That’s twice in the last 3 starts. The mound excuses were made, even though Pineda unsurprisingly had no problems mowing down these pathetic hitters. So if he REALLY is hurt, why are these clowns still running him out there to get bombed? These idiots have no idea how to develop and/or manage players. And of course in typical M’s fashion, these clowns can’t even scratch across ONE stinking run! They had an opportunity in the 2nd to get a couple back, but of course they failed. Anybody who thinks this team has any chance at even the second wild card are completely delusional. Their offense is terrible all around: nobody gets on baee, no team speed, Mr. Single Cano will not hit until they are at least 10 back, terrible base running, don’t put the ball in play & they have no heart. They get down a few runs early & the other team continues to pile it on. It happens EVERY SINGLE time. That Felix meltdown was totally not surprising, but it made my blood boil. These guys are done.

    • art thiel

      Sure looked done today at 8-1.

      • Rj Smith

        Didn’t the M’s just finish being shutout TWICE in 2 days? Didn’t they just set a record streak for offensive futility? So they scored a few runs…. will not happen consistently & we all know this. They are bad on offense & defense, which means they will continue to struggle to string wins together. This next homestead is likely to be a repeat of the last. Do you seriously think they will win the series against SF? Absolutely not & their ace Bumgartner will most definitely shut down the M’s & severely out pitch Felix in their matchup. This roster is seriously flawed. Z needs to go, needed to be replaced in year 3.

      • Rj Smith

        So the garbage Seattle Mariners are down TEN runs AGAIN to the Astros….. still think these guys aren’t done yet? What more evidence do you need? The M’s will be lucky to get 1 lousy run today. This is the worst team in baseball, it does does not matter what the record is. These guys are beyond terrible. This team is so awful when the other team grabs an early 2 run lead, which is often, the game is over. It’s amazing how many times 7, 8, 9 hitters burn the M’s with big hits but jokes like Sucre, Miller, Ackley, Zunino, Taylor are easy automatic outs…… just like the rest of the lineup. This team is a pile of garbage & on the way to 90 losses.

  • Trygvesture

    “…a chicken coop in a Texas tornado.”
    Alliteration and imagery to delight the most embittered.

    • art thiel

      Gotta laugh somehow, yes?