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Seattle's pathetic lineup shut out as Felix Hernandez takes a "loss" in 1-0 game

Sep 23, 2010, 3:19 PM EDT

I really hope some of the Baseball Writers Association of America members and Cy Young award voters who still focus on a pitcher’s win total watched this afternoon’s Mariners-Blue Jays game.
Felix Hernandez tossed a complete game, allowing one run on two hits in eight innings, and got saddled with a “loss” because Seattle’s historically inept offense was shut out by five Toronto pitchers.
Hernandez is now 12-12 despite a league-best 2.31 ERA in a league-high 242 innings. Clearly he just doesn’t “know how to win.”
After all, if Mariners catcher Adam Moore had hit a double with two runners on base in the eighth inning instead of taking a called third strike right down the middle of the plate, clearly that would make Felix Hernandez a better pitcher and more deserving of the Cy Young award. Or something
Or if the Mariners’ hitters could have rallied in the ninth inning off Blue Jays closer Kevin Gregg, that would have turned Hernandez’s “loss” into a “no-decision” or even a “win.” You know, because things that happen after a pitcher throws his final pitch are crucial to evaluating his performance. Or something.
How pathetic, both for the Mariners’ offense and for anyone who still relies on wins and losses to evaluate a pitcher. When eight innings of one-run ball equals a loss, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider how much weight you place on the concept of a “loss.” And when 242 innings of a 2.31 ERA equals 12 wins, maybe it’s time to do the same with the notion of a “win.”
Today marked the fifth time this season Hernandez has failed to get a “win” while allowing zero or one run in seven-plus innings and the 14th time this season he’s failed to get a “win” while throwing a Quality Start. And he’s still yet to get a “win” when allowing more than two runs, because his teammates rarely score more than two runs. For comparison, CC Sabathia has seven wins while allowing more than two runs. In totally unrelated news, the Yankees’ lineup leads the league in scoring.

  1. MN Boise Fan - Sep 23, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    Preach it brother Aaron!

  2. Trevor B - Sep 23, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    See, if he knew how to win he’d have not allowed that one run-or any runs for that matter-while pitching 15 or 16 or even more innings that game waiting for his offense to put up some points. But he doesn’t know how to win.

  3. Jason @ IIATMS - Sep 23, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Murray Chass agrees, it’s about runs and wins. Clearly Felix can’t do either.

  4. BCTF - Sep 23, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    How many RBI’s did Felix have?

  5. Mr. Heyward - Sep 23, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    You make a good point here, whether you intended to or not. That is, if there were pitchers hitting in the AL, he’d probably have won a few games all by his lonesome. I mean, he’d be batting in front of Ichiro in the nine spot so all he has to do is just get on base once and BAM; a run!

  6. Steve C - Sep 23, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    Last time a team finished with fewer than 600 runs was the 03 Dodgers. Who knows the last time a team finished with less than 500 runs, which is within the Mariners “reach”, currently at 481.

  7. IdahoMariner - Sep 23, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    the man hit a grand-slam off of J. Santana, so apparently, in the NL he would “know how to win”.

  8. Route36West - Sep 23, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    Yea sucks to play for a team with a horrible lineup like Felix Hernandez and Tommie Hanson you would think if you go 7 innings with out giving up more then 1 run you should win.

  9. Schlom - Sep 23, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    Pfft, CC would have figured out a way to hold the Blue Jays to -1 runs

  10. Largebill - Sep 23, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    Maybe Felix can see Jack Morris in the off season for instruction on ensuring your teammates score more than you give up. Media clowns (Not naming Heyman by name or anything mean like that) have asserted that Morris is a better pitcher than Blylevin because he toughed out the 7 – 5 wins whereas Blylevin foolishly took a bunch of 2-1 losses.

  11. Ace2000 - Sep 23, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    In a full season, it was the 1971 Padres (486 runs)! A couple of teams did it in the strike-shortened ’72 campaign, which was the last year before the DH was instituted.
    Of course I only know this because of Posnanski’s wonderful story on the subject a few days ago. But yeah, this is a historically dreadful offense.

  12. klbader - Sep 23, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Part of being a winner is picking the right team. Felix should have known when he signed with the Mariners as an international free agent (I assume that is how he got to the Mariners org.) that they would have a terrible lineup. And didn’t he sign an extension to stay with the team? A real winner would have hit the free agent market and signed with a team that can score runs. At least CC had the sense to sign with a team like the Yankees that can score him a few runs. [/sarcasm]

  13. Kevin S. - Sep 23, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    But be careful you don’t sign with too good a team, lest you be criticized for being a coward.

  14. ThatGuy - Sep 23, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    Felix signed in 2002. in 2001 Mariners won 116 games, in 2002 they won 93 Games. He did sign with a good team as a international free agent, they just didn’t stay that way. Also how is a team supposed to get good, if their good players always free? Nothing wrong with a little loyalty(espiecially when said loyalty pays you 17 million a year).

  15. avg joe - Sep 23, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    I think the BBWA is getting more and more savvy concerning advanced statistics. Curmudgeons are vocal, but (hopefully) in the minority.
    King Felix will win the Cy Young.

  16. Md23Rewls - Sep 23, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    We get it, Felix Hernandez is good, has no run support, blah blah blah. It’s gone beyond beating a dead horse at this point. If a writer wants to reward Sabathia or Price for being on a good team, whatever, I don’t really care. Sabathia and Price pitch in games that matter, Hernandez doesn’t. Is that Hernandez’s fault? No. But it’s still true. Hernandez, much like Jose Bautista, is actually pretty irrelevant. I personally would give him the Cy Young, but I completely understand if somebody thinks that pitching in meaningful games actually, you know, means more. lol

  17. sportsdrenched - Sep 23, 2010 at 5:41 PM

    If Planet Zack can win the Cy Young, so can Felix.
    I’ve seen Greinke lose more than his share of game 1-0. One of them I remember against the Angels, the one run was un-earned and he had double digit K’s. No wonder he has no faith in the front office.

  18. Kevin S. - Sep 23, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    Except he does pitch in games that matter – for the other team. He still shuts them down.

  19. Proudly Canadian - Sep 23, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    I can think of something much more pathetic than the Mariners. Specifically, I am thinking of all the reporters and so called experts who were high on the Mariners during the off season. Many of the so called experts who are now dumping on the team, pathetically predicted that the Mariners would make the playoffs.

  20. jimbo1seattle - Sep 23, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    Put in context, if the Mariners were to score 100 runs tomorrow, they would still be tied for last in AL in runs scored. That’s how far they are behind a pitiful Baltimore team. This is not just a bad offensive team, it is a once-in-a-lifetime truly dreadful, never seen before bad offensive team.
    As for meaningful games, ask the Yankees about that this year. King Felix has killed the Yankees in the biggest games the Mariners play. Award or not, he’s the best pitcher in the American League.

  21. quint - Sep 23, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    And the writers probably won’t hold today’s game against CC – no matter what happens, he gave up a good lead he shouldn’t have.
    Or is that what winners do?

  22. Proudly Canadian - Sep 23, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    Based on tonight’s games, I think that David Price and John Lester should be the top 2 Cy Young candidates. 12 & 12 is just not good enough. and C. C. couldn’t handle Tampa Bay.

  23. BC - Sep 24, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    From “The California Angels of 1972, who scored 454 runs while playing in 155 games. An average of 2.93 runs per game.”
    Had they played the 7 missed games (strike) they almost certainly would have been under 500.

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