King Felix Leads M’s With Brilliant Outing


Felix Hernandez might not be the best starting pitcher in the universe. As dazzling as he is at times, there are others who one could argue are perhaps more dazzling, or are the same level of dazzling but more frequently. There also exists a similarly strong possibility that Felix Hernandez is the best starting pitcher in the universe. That’s who starts on opening day for the Seattle Mariners every year: a guy who very well might be the very best. Tonight against the Houston Astros, Felix reminded us why he’s so great.

Over eight innings, King Felix allowed a run on five hits and a walk while striking out nine batters. He threw 74 of 102 pitches for strikes while getting eleven outs on the ground to only two in the air. This was Felix with his stuff working, and there’s no better kind of Felix to watch. Jose Altuve continued to have him figured out, somehow, hitting a double that stood as the only extra base hit allowed by the King. Altuve added an RBI single for Houston’s only run. Of course there was only one. Felix was on tonight.

Normally when the M’s face an unheralded rookie they roll over and die. Not tonight, though – Rudy Owens allowed five runs on nine hits and two walks, striking out one batter over five and two thirds and serving up a home run to Willie Freakin’ Bloomquist. Robinson Cano had two hits, and is now tied with Miguel Cabrera for the best batting average in the American League at .326.

Justin Smoak and Mike Zunino each had two hits, including a double apiece. Kyle Seager had a two-hit night and three RBI, with Willie Bloomquist – seriously, Wee Willie – adding the other three. Brad Miller and Nick Franklin both rode the bench, with Cole Gillespie and Stefen Romero getting starts alongside Bloomquist. No matter – Seattle still won handily. This is what the Astros are for. Finally, the Mariners are doing the whole Astros thing right.

Game three is tomorrow at 7:10. Bad starting pitcher Brandon Maurer goes against the equally not-at-all-good Brett Oberholtzer. Go fishing. Do you fish? If not, maybe tomorrow at 7:10 would be a good time to start. Or you could watch James Jones inevitably keep his awesome hitting streak alive, because that thing will never end it now appears. Or watch Cano finally get that three-homer game everyone knows is coming. Watch baseball! Or don’t.

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