When you think of Felix Hernandez, you probably don’t think of a guy who follows an intentional walk with a three-run home run. When you think of Koji Uehara, you probably don’t think of five-run blown saves. On a night that Lloyd McClendon declared to be the official beginning of the stretch run, some things happened that you probably never thought could happen.
Felix, for the second straight start, was less-than-stellar, if only by his standards. This is one of those things where we’re going to be disappointed by the result, even though Felix’s final line would look perfectly alright on most anyone else. 5.2 innings is the big sore thumb, and indeed, Felix threw 116 pitches without so much as completing the sixth. But he struck out seven, of course. And we’re trying to say this was a “bad” start.
In that sixth inning, Felix allowed a Daniel Nava double before intentionally walking David Ortiz. Yoenis Cespedes hit a big ol’ home run, scoring three and pushing the King to the edge. Maybe you saw that dinger and thought to yourself “yup, the Mariners are definitely not going to make the playoffs.” Lots of people probably had that reaction, especially with Joe Kelly and co. holding the M’s scoreless. But the Mariners had another plan: sell playoff tickets.
The ninth inning began with Uehara, one of the top relievers in all of baseball, getting Kyle Seager to pop out and Mike Zunino to strike out swinging. In between those two was a singling Logan Morrison, who then stole second. What on earth is up with you and stealing bases, Logan?! Endy Chavez walked, Chris Denorfia punched a pinch-hit single to load the bases, and up came Austin Jackson. The center fielder doubled to score a pair, and then Dustin Ackley singled in two more for the lead. Robinson Cano was next, and his single scored Ack from first. With two outs in the ninth, the Mariners turned a three-run deficit into a two-run lead. They even held on to win the game, which is it’s own kind of important.
Chris Young vs. Brandon Workman starts this morning at 10:35am. But here, go learn about how to buy Seattle Mariners playoff tickets. In case the Mariners make the playoffs, which, you know, they would if the season ended today.