This was not your average Felix Day loss. This was both particularly painful and particularly explainable. Felix Hernandez, you see, just had a start in which he threw seven or more innings and allowed two or fewer runs. He’d done that in all thirteen of his previous starts, too, and that makes him unlike any other pitcher who’s ever come before him. Felix broke a record tonight. The Seattle Mariners rewarded him with a loss.
Corey Kluber is an important part of this equation, of course. Who are the five best starting pitchers in the American League? Felix, of course. Yu Darvish is right there as well. Then there’s Masahiro Tanaka, assuming he’s ever the same again, and Chris Sale. Maybe you like Jon Lester, or David Price, or any of the Detroit Tigers for the number five spot. Personally, I’ll take Corey Kluber. He’s a true ace, and maybe now more people are going to note that fact.
Today against the Mariners Kluber spun a three-hit complete game shutout, striking out eight while only throwing 85 pitches. That’s a bonkers-low number. That’s like, four innings of Hector Noesi. Felix, for what it’s worth, threw 103 pitches in seven innings. Kluber wasn’t just good-against-the-Mariners today: he was otherworldly, and just so happened to be facing the Mariners. So yeah, this loss has a good explanation.
Felix didn’t have his best stuff, but since when does Felix need his best stuff to be successful? Against the Tribe today he struck out five and walked two, getting ten outs on the ground to five in the sky. The Indians only managed four base hits off the King, though that included two doubles. The doubles both came in the fifth frame, as did both runs. 2-0 is a bummer of a score, and it’s easy to think that if Cleveland hadn’t been lucky enough to cluster their hits that this game would still be going on. But Cleveland clustered their hits, and Kluber was impeccable. Oh well. It happens.
Chris Young vs. Zach McAllister tomorrow at 4:05pm. There’s a chance, however so slight, that McAllister gets beat around so bad that after the game his ERA will be Young’s ERA plus Young’s ERA. Chris Young, 3.04 ERA in 124.1 innings. Never not amazing.