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King Felix spins another beaut

May 4, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays Getty Images

Clay Buchholz is, without question, the early leader for the Cy Young Award. But there are a lot of good pitchers in the AL who stand to take the lead if Buchholz falters. One of ‘em is a usual suspect: Felix Hernandez. And last night he was his typical dominant self.

Hernandez threw eight shutout innings in the Mariners’ 4-0 win over the Blue Jays, striking out seven, walking no one and allowing only five hits while only needing 95 pitches. In his last four starts he has struck out 35 batters while walking only two and allowing 20 hits and two earned runs — just two! — in thirty innings. Of course he got a no decision in one of ‘em, where he struck out 12 and allowed a single run.  The Mariners are gonna Mariner.

Most of us miss so many of his starts because he’s usually on west coast time. When he does get a start on eastern time like last night — and like it appears he will against the Yankees on May 16 — we easties should tune in and see a real doctor at work.

  1. jaylaw01 - May 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Thank you for that last paragraph! Watching Felix dominate over the years has been a real treat for us on the west coast. Welcome to the party and for acknowledging your EC bias.

  2. cur68 - May 4, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Gotta hand it to Larry Bernandez, here. He dealt a beauty. The BeaverMen had nothing to offer, really. The fast ball was sharp and moved, the breaking stuff even sharper and moved even more, and the off speed stuff incredibly deceiving. The Beav Hitters were either out in front and totally whiffing, or feeling their knees buckle as stuff cut back across the plate. Classic Bernandez. Its true he was the recipient of some outstanding play in the infield, but this doesn’t tell the tale, fully. When the good defence was unfortunately followed up by some not so outstanding stuff, Larry had the remedy for that: pour it down the middle, and watch the batter miss.

    Ricky Romero was not too bad in his return to the rotation. He ran into trouble as the skin on his pitching hand broke down in the 4th, but up till then, he was working in the lower half of the strike zone consistently, had mid 90’s velocity, and sharp breaking pitches. Even threw a change up for a strike once. Once he had to release sooner to relieve stress on his injury, his pitches were up in the zone and he was getting hammered. Then that comebacker caught him on the pitching arm and there was no way he was going back out. But up till then: not bad, Ricky.

    Both pitchers got Umpire Jim Joyce’s steady work behind the plate. There were a few moments where you could see that Joyce was miss calling the strikes and balls BUT it was almost always pretty close. Pitch Track and Joyce were mostly on the same page all night.

    I think it’s time to put to words what we’ve all been thinking since mid last season: its time to demote Colby Rasmus. He’s a strike out machine with bad facial hair. Moises Sierra can do that job in CF AND probably have better luck at the plate. He can certainly do no worse than Colby.

    Whatever happens, The Beav had better do something real quick here, or BOTH AA & Gibbons are done.

    • Mark - May 4, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      ‘I think it’s time to put to words what we’ve all been thinking since mid last season: its time to demote Colby Rasmus.”

      I think you’re the only one who’s thinking that. Rasmus is Toronto’s best position player right now. He’s hitting at an above average clip (104 wRC+) and his fielding has been fantastic. Demoting Rasmus would be the dumbest move they can make, especially given that he leads the position players in WAR.

      “He’s a strike out machine with bad facial hair. Moises Sierra can do that job in CF AND probably have better luck at the plate. He can certainly do no worse than Colby.”

      His approach is incredibly frustrating, but he’s not the only one. JPA is nearly as bad (37% K rate), but I don’t hear you calling for his demotion either. Keep in mind that Rasmus has outhit JPA this season, and is contributing on D (unlike JPA).

      Moises Sierra is only capable of playing left field against LHP. The only reason to promote him over Rasmus is if you want the Jays to do even worse.

      If the Jays want to fix the team, they need to get elite defenders at SS/2B (regardless of how poor they are offensively). Ideally Thole would get promoted to give JPA some days off vs RHP, and to add another lefty bat in the lineup. A left handed power hitter to replace LInd would be nice.

      And even that might only make them respectable, which would still be an upgrade over their current status of unwatchable.

      • Mark - May 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        To be clear, I meant Rasmus leading the Jays in WAR, not the league.

      • cur68 - May 4, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        Glad you cleared THAT up about Rasmus’s WAR. Jeez, I was getting to rip you one for it. Rasmus and his 42K/94 AB’s is ridiculously bad. So screw his WAR. He’s an out machine.

        Sierra has VERY good range so I have no idea where you get you “playing left field against LHP”.

        Anyhow, you got names for these “elite SS/2B defenders”? If any of those were available you don’t think they’d be on the team?

      • abaird2012 - May 4, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        Yeah, but there’s still the problem of the bad facial hair.

      • dondada10 - May 4, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        Mets fan here. Josh Thole is the worst defensive catcher in organized baseball and hit like Rey Ordonez.

      • cur68 - May 4, 2013 at 12:41 PM

        Oh, and hitting with RISP? Quite possibly the most luck-based stat in baseball. If it isn’t, then you got a real problem with Justin Upton.

      • Mark - May 4, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        If Rasmus is an out machine at a 314 OBP, then so is EE (296), Cabrera (281), Lawrie (261) and Arencibia (252). Yes, Rasmus has an awful K:BB, but he’s still one of Toronto’s most productive hitters this year. That’s why I’m not sure why you’re singling him out. Arencibia’s is much worse, at 42:2.

        My comment about Sierra’s lack of range was because he was a negative defender during his time in RF. Small sample size, but he basically was horrendous in the field (-3.5 UZR in 300 innings). But like I said, SSS. Good arm, below average range.

        Brendan Ryan, Cliff Pennington and Clint Barmes would have been the first 3 guys I thought of, depending on the price and availability (which I assume would be too high and not very available at this time). All 3 of them are struggling, and unfortunately it’s unlikely they’ll be moved. So you’d have to look at various back ups.

    • historiophiliac - May 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      I think your monocle is fogging up or something.

      Ahem. They call him King Felix for a reason, you know.

      /pats shoulder awkwardly

      • cur68 - May 4, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        Larry Bernandez, is a STUD.

      • historiophiliac - May 4, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        Oooh, I love your new portrait.

      • cur68 - May 4, 2013 at 12:42 PM

        That is Winona, The Galloping Green Beaver.

      • historiophiliac - May 4, 2013 at 2:06 PM

        You should write a song about that.

  3. historiophiliac - May 4, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    How was that not “The Mariners are gonna Marinate”?

    • dondada10 - May 4, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      Brilliant.

  4. Old Gator - May 4, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Felix had better be careful. A few more wins too many and he’ll disqualify himself from the Cy Young voting.

    Incidentally, for all you sunrisesiders, here’s a tip: despite the temporal disjunction about which Craig whines, it is possible to stay up late and watch King Felix on the cajon de tantos without necessarily waking up with a hangover the following afternoon. I have done it. I am living proof.

    But you need to develop an affinity for diet ginger ale.

  5. proudlycanadian - May 4, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Great game by Hernandez. He got a nice assist from Seager who started all 3 double plays.

    • dirtyharry1971 - May 4, 2013 at 8:02 PM

      another great loss by the bluejays, oh they lost again today as dickey gave up 3HRs also!!

  6. tycobbfromfangraphs - May 4, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    At least Felix is doing it without doctoring the ball

  7. El Bravo - May 4, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Yankees usually play Felix pretty well if memory serves correctly. Should be a good one.

    • tycobbfromfangraphs - May 4, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      If you mean the Yanks usually play well into Felix hands then yes, Felix has thrown gems vs the Yanks and the M’s win more often than the Yankees when Felix is on the mound.

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