Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Part of the fun in the last few days of the season is seeing players’ season statistics finalize. One player who is no longer going to be adding to his 2013 totals is Felix Hernandez, who pitched Friday and won’t pitch again until March. Felix got hung for his tenth loss yesterday, going six innings with three runs, six strikeouts, a walk, and five hits, including a homer. That’s not a terrible outing, but the Mariners scored two runs over nine innings, so it wasn’t not-terrible enough. The game was a bummer, so let’s just talk about 2013 Felix Hernandez, who could and should finish in the top five in Cy Young voting.
Felix did not post his lowest ERA ever this year. He posted his fourth-lowest ERA, at 3.04. He did post his lowest FIP and xFIP, at 2.61 and 2.66, respectively. He ran a 9.51 K/9, which beats his old high by almost a full strikeout. His 2.03 BB/9 was also a career best, and as a result, he was able to put up 6 WAR, his second-best effort behind his 250-inning Cy Young season. Felix also pitched his lowest innings total and started his fewest games since 2008. By just about any measure other than innings, this was Felix’s best season yet. This also represents Felix heading into his prime. Oh yeah, and it was his ninth season in MLB. Felix is just about to enter his expected “peak” years, and he’s accumulated 41.2 WAR. That’s unbelievable.
Hisashi Iwakuma may have won the Mariners Pitcher of the Year Award, but Felix is still the one and only Felix. This season seemed effortless for him, yet it also seemed toppable. The Mariners get to see if Felix can indeed best this campaign because he’s going to be a Mariner forever and ever. He isn’t going to get another Cy Young trophy for this campaign, but only because he missed two starts. This season is the new gold standard for Felix Hernandez. Congrats, King, on somehow managing to raise the bar.
So, uh, back to the game. After Felix, the bullpen pitched awful, and man, ugh, gross, the Mariners. Oliver Perez was terrible, Carter Capps was okay!, Lucas Luetge was bad and Tom Wilhelmsen was gross. The offense was held to three hits and a walk against Bartolo Colon, but two of those hits were solo homers, courteous of Franklin Gutierrez and Kendrys Morales. Athletics eight, Mariners two. Only two more of these things to go.