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Felix Hernandez “in shock” after recording zero strikeouts for the first time in 181 starts

May 8, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays Getty Images

Felix Hernandez struggled yesterday, allowing four runs on 11 hits in 6.1 innings against the A’s and the weird part is that he had zero strikeouts.

Hernandez faced 31 batters and whiffed none of them, which is especially odd because through his first seven starts this season he racked up 53 strikeouts in 46 innings.

Last time Hernandez failed to record a strikeout was way back on August 19, 2008, when he pitched five innings against the White Sox. He was 22 years old then and that was 181 starts ago, which is why King Felix seemed so confused afterward when asked about his performance by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune:

I’m in shock right now. It doesn’t bother me, but it shocks me. No strikeouts. Not a good breaking ball. Not a good change-up. That’s what happens when you don’t have good stuff.

Here’s the good news, potentially: Last time Hernandez failed to record a strikeout in that 2008 game against the White Sox he followed it up with back-to-back Quality Starts in which he struck out 14 batters in 12 innings.

  1. El Bravo - May 8, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    …and the King STILL got a quality start, albeit barely. So yeah, he still wears the crown. I’m sure this is a short-lived slump.

    • braddavery - May 8, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      I’m pretty sure 4 ERs doesn’t equate to a QS. I believe the minimum is 3 ERs and 6 IP.

      • El Bravo - May 8, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        I’m pretty sure you are right, but he received 3 earned. He allowed 4.

      • braddavery - May 8, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        Oh, no one mentioned that only 3 of the runs were earned. Sorry.

      • El Bravo - May 8, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        As Outkast once eloquently put it, it ain’t no thang but a chicken wang.

      • scatterbrian - May 8, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        I’m pretty sure quality starts aren’t very useful.

      • braddavery - May 8, 2014 at 2:35 PM

        I’m pretty sure mentioning that is as equally useful as the stat itself.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - May 8, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      Kinda begs the question on if we should re-evaluate what’s considered a Quality Start…

    • El Bravo - May 8, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      I’m a fan of the QS and believe it to be a really good stat on an outing-by-outing basis (i.e. one game sample). You have to draw the line somewhere. Usually a SP with 6 IP and 3 or fewer ERs did in fact have a quality outing. In this case, Felix was definitely not quality as far as his starts go or as far as any starts go. That said, usually I’d consider a 6IP outing with 3ER quality and his start last night was the aberration.

      No-hitters can be similar in that some of them are pretty trashy and filled with BBs and dumb luck, but most often they are a stat that represents a masterful pitching performance. Every now and again Eddy Jax or Ervin Santana pitch one with 200 pitches and 20 BBs (give or take).

      • scatterbrian - May 8, 2014 at 6:31 PM

        A complete game allowing 4 ER is not a quality start, so that means it’s worse than a 6 IP/3 ER start?

      • El Bravo - May 9, 2014 at 10:54 AM

        It’s not perfect by any means. Couldn’t agree more on that.

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 8, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Wouldn’t that be a kicker if Felix starts to decline right as Seattle starts fielding a respectable offense? Here’s hoping he keeps on keeping on for years to come.

    • cohnjusack - May 8, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      His 0 strikeout game dropped his K/9 ratio all the way down to 9.1
      That’s practically Bob Tewksbury territory.

    • scatterbrian - May 8, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      Seattle has a respectable offense? Park-adjusted or not, they’re just a little better than Houston.

      • El Bravo - May 8, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        Seattle is in 2nd place and Houston is in 5th. Seattle has 140 runs scored (above league average) and Houston has 120, which is 26th in the league.

      • El Bravo - May 8, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        no sorry, they are 27th

      • scatterbrian - May 8, 2014 at 6:27 PM

        Where they are in the standings doesn’t determine whether or not their offense is good. Seattle has a .662 OPS, which is second-worst behind Houston. I think you’re smart enough to understand that this will catch up to them and eventually limit their ability to score runs.

  3. thisdamnbox - May 8, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    Felix always struggles in May. For some reason, his May ERA is almost 2 runs higher than the rest of the season (not gonna look it up, too lazy). My guess is that May is Felix’s dead arm period. He’ll be back, true to form, in June.

  4. zdravit - May 8, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Some writer actually suggested that he might be hiding an injury because he didn’t get a K. Try to figure that one out.

  5. beastmode5150 - May 8, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    He had the flu last start, lost 9 pounds and then made this last start as a weakened king. He’ll be fine.

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