With Felix on the mound yesterday, I was really hoping the Mariners drought against the Padres would come to an end. I mean it’s the Padres… Well Felix pitched like the Felix we all know and love and the best part about it was that he got run support.
Felix got into some trouble in the first. He gave up back to back singles to start the inning, putting runners on first and third. Then Felix balked bringing in the runner. Not your usual way to score but Felix would get the final two outs of the inning. After that, Felix cruised as that was the only run he gave up all game.
Felix cruised through the second, striking out two and getting a fly out. In the third, he gave up a base hit but struck out three batters. The fourth and fifth inning were both harmless. In the sixth inning, Felix struck out two more. In the seventh, Felix got into a little bit of a jam but was able to get out of it. He gave up two singles, putting runners on first and second with one out. Mark Kotsay stepped up though and lined out and Yonder Alonso was doubled off at second. That would be it for Felix on the day and his final line was 7IP 6H 1ER 1BB and 10K. He brought his ERA down to 3.36 and he now has a 3.35 ERA. Not too often you see a pitcher with their FIP and ERA that close. Felix had 64 strikes on the day and 17 of them were swinging.
Lucas Luetge came in to pitch the 8th, and he got the lead off batter to ground out but then walked Chris Denorfia. That would be it for him on the day and Brandon League entered the game. League struck out Cameron Maybin and then gave up a single but was able to get out of the inning without giving up a run. Tom Wilhelmsen entered the game in the ninth and got into some trouble but was able to get out of it. He gave up a leadoff base hit to Yonder Alonso and after stricking out Logan Forsythe, Wilhelmsen gave up a double. With runners on second and third, Wilhelmsen struck out Jesus Guzman and got Jeff Baker to ground out for the final out of the game. I like Eric Wedge’s call to put Wilhelmsen in even though it was a non save situation. I think you have to put your best reliever in their regardless.
The pitching was great last night and the offense stepped up too. The Mariners struck first in the second, putting together a three run inning. With one out, Michael Saunders got a base hit and then stole second. Justin Smoak then walked and Dustin Ackley followed by reaching first after San Diego failed to get Smoak out at second on a ball in the infield. Brendan Ryan grounded out to short but was able to bring a run in and move each runner up. Felix Hernandez helped his own cause stepping up with a two run RBI double. It always fun to see Felix hit.
The Mariners would score again in the third and the fourth as well. Michael Saunders stepped up with two outs in the third and hit a solo shot to right, his 8th on the year. In the fourth, Ackley lead off the inning with a walk and was able to steal second. Ichiro stepped up with two outs and brought Ackley in on a single to right. That would be the fifth and final run for the Mariners today.
Ichiro had himself a nice day, going 2-4 with an RBI and a walk. Michael Saunders had continued to hit well, going 2-3 with an RBI and a walk. Though Dustin Ackley did not pick up a hit today, he drew two walks. Brendan Ryan, Franklin Gutierrez, and Felix picked up the other three hits for Seattle on the day. It was nice to see them draw six walks on the day.
The Mariners will look to take the series this Sunday afternoon as Hector Noesi takes the mound against Edison Volquez. It will be interesting to see which Noesi we see today but I sure hope he can put together a strong start today.