Tradition Upheld: M’s Blow It On Felix Day


May 2, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) is unable to field a fly ball during the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Felix Hernandez was okay. Not great, but good, over five long innings. His six strikeouts were, of course, awesome, but he walked three and scattered five hits against the forever-lowly Houston Astros. It was his second straight not-great outing against Houston, except this time the offense bailed him out, scoring two in the fifth and two in the sixth. But then the Lastros tied it, Charlie Furbush gave up a walk-off single in extras, and the Seattle Mariners upheld one of their longest, ugliest traditions: a loss on Felix Day.

The King was oft wild, switching between inaccurate and violently precise from pitch to pitch. Some of this has to be chalked up to Bob Davidson‘s strike zone, but ultimately it was Felix and not the home plate ump who failed to make the Astros flail at pitches low and away. One run was unearned because Abraham Almonte just straight up missed a catch in the outfield, a ball he should have had regardless of the fact that he was running for it. Brad Miller missed one at short earlier that inning, and when it was done the ‘Stros had two runs. They tacked on another in the fifth, and holy hell, whoever Marc Krauss is had two RBI singles off Felix? What even are the Astros?

Mike Zunino led the Mariners offense with a long home run, and actually put together some nice at-bats on the day. He struck out twice, but each time he worked a seven-pitch at bat. He homered in a 2-2 count, and singled at 0-2. Cool, he’s waiting. Not cool, he’s never going to walk. Kyle Seager doubled in a pair in the sixth, seemingly giving Felix an elusive win. As little as wins tell us about pitchers, pitchers like them, and thus it’s always extra nice to see the team not lose when Felix pitches. Felix wants wins, which is why it’s baffling that he plays for the Mariners on purpose.

Charlie Furbush pitched the 11th. How’d it go? Single, single, sac bunt, single. Furbush was supposed to be one of the better relievers in the game. This is what he’s been for the last month. Throw in that Danny Farquhar is somehow way down on the depth chart right now, and very little about this current bullpen arrangement makes sense. Lloyd McClendon may have weaknesses, and this may be a big one.

Another Felix start, another team effort loss. Great stuff. Real original. Today’s game is an afternoon affair featuring Hisashi Iwakuma and Dallas Keuchel. Kuma’s back! He’s really actually back! A stupid finger injury cost the M’s second best arm a month of regular season action, and there’s no telling how much he was missed. Keuchel isn’t very good and will probably dominate the Mariners. Didn’t he already do that once this season? I feel like he already did that once this season. It’s the Mariners, it’s the Astros, and it’s a 1:10 start time. Don’t forget your embarrassingly low expectations!

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