Game recap, 8/9

DMZ · August 9, 2005 at 10:33 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Felix is our king.

That’s the only thing I’ve got on my scorecard under “scorer’s notes”. I’m not sure that there’s much else to be said.

Hernandez looked amazing, flat dominating. He came out throwing fastballs, changed up, then went back later, and all game the Twins batters would walk back to the dugout with expressions that read “I can’t believe I’m going to have to face this guy for the next five seasons. Maybe I should switch leagues.” His stuff is flat wicked, and there’s something about seeing it in person, too, that’s electric — a batter whiffs on something and I’d think “What the heck was that?” (and Jonah, out loud, would say “What the heck was that?”)

The crowd was the most excited I’ve been to a game with in a year, easily — and part of it goes beyond the hype. Because, honestly, a fair portion of the crowd doesn’t know who the kids are (fan to Snelling as he chased down one of the few well-hit balls: “Go get it, Raul!”). It was because after being beat down for two years, watching start after start after start of pitch-to-contact garbage outings, where a highlight would be a quality home Moyer start, we saw something entirely different. And it made us think of Randy Johnson and other pitchers from years back who could dominate a game like this, keeping the ball in the infield, striking hitters out, seeming to leave them no option but to go down in order.

We could stand up and cheer with two strikes, because two strikes didn’t mean an almost certain ball in play — it could be a crazy breaking pitch or some wicked inside heat for the strikeout. It was worth paying attention and becoming emotionally invested in the game and in the pitcher, because unlike Meche, or Pineiro, or Franklin, if Hernandez can stay healthy he’ll be leading the next Mariner charge for a pennant. It was more than a pleasant evening at the ballpark.

I haven’t been as involved and happy to be at a game in years, and I get too worked up about four hour 8-9 dirges. This was something else, and I’m glad I was there.


84 Responses to “Game recap, 8/9”

  1. Andrew on August 10th, 2005 8:26 am

    I’ve only lived in Seattle since July of 2002, so my experience at Safeco is limited to say the least, but that was the most fun I’ve exciting game I’ve seen there. It was also one of the most impressive pitching performances I’ve ever seen. I’ve finally found a game that surpases the Nolan Ryan/Robin Ventura game as the best baseball story I have to tell.

    I also want to take a moment to say how much I enjoyed meeting everyone at King Street before hand. Especially Derek, Brian, Deanna, and Jon.

    Adroit, I hope you don’t mind if I link to those photos from my site as well? I assume you aren’t paying for Flickr’s bandwidth 🙂


  2. Jon Tuck on August 10th, 2005 8:26 am

    Hey Rama and Joey,
    Do either of you know for sure yet when Felix pitches?
    Thanks! I might take Nate Thruelson to the game.

  3. argh on August 10th, 2005 8:27 am

    Amid all the excitement about Hernendez’ performance (well deserved), we should also keep in mind what else it took to win this game: back to back doubles by the two youngsters, Reed and Betancourt. So last night was all kids, all the time — a game that lets us peek into the future of the Mariners, we hope.

    I envy you guys who got to see the game in person — we had to settle for watching the game on TiVo, but for the first time in God knows how long, I wasn’t fast forwarding through the other team’s at bats — it was like watching Guardado for 8 innings, with Felix attacking the plate and just chewing up the Twins line-up. Maybe Hernendez can inspire the rest of the staff but I’m more afraid that he’s just going to make them look really, really sad in comparison.

  4. Revenant Edgar on August 10th, 2005 8:31 am

    He is staying on 5 days. Brian Price said just now on KJR. That means Monday night against KC.

    He also said Ryan Franklin is still starting.

  5. Joey Flackus on August 10th, 2005 8:38 am

    Rama and Jon,

    I’m going to the game Monday, and if you’re going to be there, I’m sure I’ll see you at Pyramid. You should definitely bring the Colonel.

  6. Jon Tuck on August 10th, 2005 8:42 am

    I can’t wait to see his next start…at the Safe this time instead of on TV.

  7. Xteve X on August 10th, 2005 8:54 am

    Watched the game on TV last night, and the player he most reminded me of last night was Pedro Martinez in his early Red Sox days. What an amazing breaking ball, and he was spotting his fastball on both sides of the plate as well. G/F something like 6:1 by my rough count … awesome.

    Now as long as BP doesn’t ruin him by filling his head with a bunch of pitch to contact BS I think we’ve got a player here …

  8. adroit on August 10th, 2005 8:57 am

    #51, feel free to link to the Flickr site. Anyone feel free to link to the Flickr site if you wish to do so!

  9. dw on August 10th, 2005 8:57 am

    On Flickr:

    It’s Flickr’s bandwidth, not the photographer’s. The photographer only gets “charged” for upload bandwidth. So, I don’t think it’s a problem, since it’s public.

    However, if adroit says “no, please don’t show the world my marvelous pictures of our Once And Future King (God Save Him And His Labrum),” then you shouldn’t link to them.

    Kinda wish we’d all agreed on a Flickr tag first….

  10. Revenant Edgar on August 10th, 2005 8:59 am

    I picked up Felix in my two Yahoo leagues last night. Yippee!! It’s a benefit of competing against owners who have forgotten about their teams.

  11. dw on August 10th, 2005 9:02 am

    I picked up Felix in my two Yahoo leagues last night.

    Not to start fantasy league discussions lest this be delorted, but… I used my first waiver wire claim of the year on him last week.

    And since I’m in a modified keeper league (you can carry up to two guys over), I did it less for the pitching this year and more for the pitching next year.

  12. Nick on August 10th, 2005 9:06 am

    according to

    Aug. 10 The Seattle Times reports that Jamie Moyer (P) Sea has turned down a trade to the Yankees. Citing unnamed East Coast sources, the Yankees attempted to acquire Moyer in a waiver trade but could not get an agreement from him to switch teams. If the Mariners didn’t want to receive anything in return, they could have let the Yankees simply claim Moyer off waivers.

  13. Rusty on August 10th, 2005 9:27 am

    Letting the Yankees claim Moyer off of waivers would have been a low down dirty deal. Not the least reason of which is that it is the Yankees. Yuck. I can see exacting something from them in a trade, but giving any freebies to the Yankee Nation would be treasonous.

  14. lauren, token chick on August 10th, 2005 9:30 am

    Wow. Just had to chime in on how awesome those pictures are. Who’s a professional sports photographer in disguise? Who’s a little professional sports photographer in disguise? *pinches adroit’s cheek*

    The Harry Potter references made me very happy.

  15. Revenant Edgar on August 10th, 2005 9:36 am

    More than a thousand words…

    The way he falls off the mound reminds me of Bob Gibson.

    Thanks for posting your pix, adroit.

  16. Paul Molitor Cocktail on August 10th, 2005 9:38 am

    TANGENT: That Olivo trade will go down as one of the worst in M’s history. You can all kick me now, but that guy will be a better player than Ojeda, Wiki, Yorvit and Nate Mateo combined.

    Olivo sucked here. His career line is .221/.269/.383.

    Is it because of his line in San Diego? He’s had all of 20 ABs.

  17. Jon Wells on August 10th, 2005 9:38 am

    #63 they weren’t going to let the yankees claim Moyer off waivers without getting something in return. In order for the teams to make a deal after July 31, the player first has to clear waivers (or clear waivers up to the team that the M’s want to make a deal with). If Moyer had given his OK, the teams would have made a trade — and NY is so desperate for pitchig help right now I believe we would have gotten something good back for a 42 year old in the last year of his contract…

  18. Steve Thornton on August 10th, 2005 9:41 am

    In the PI they mentioned that that was the first win by a teenage starter since Jose Rijo in 1984. That’s incredible. If Felix turns out to be as good as Rijo — one of the most underrated pitchers of all time, better than half the guys in the Hall of Fame — I will be THRILLED.

    Every day will not be like this. Felix will get rocked occasionally. But the possibility, the promise, is so tantalizing. First time I’ve been excited in two years. In that time, the only riveting Mariner moments were watching Edgar LEAVE, which is depressing. This is uplifting!

    Tangent: David Locke accused Bud Selig of telling a “bold-faced lie”. The expression is “bald-faced”; bold face type, bald-faced lie. Locke is an illiterate boob.

  19. Kelly M on August 10th, 2005 9:42 am

    I heard Price on KJR this morning. The interview can be summed up by Mitch asking Price a question about who are the pitchers between now and Monday. The tone of the question was, ‘How many guys do we have to wade through between now and Felix’s next start.’

    Price sounded like a guy who was relieved to be dealing with a real pitcher with real stuff, instead of the schlock that problem children Piniero and Meche run out there every fifth day.

    Seeing Felix last night really brings into sharp focus the deficiencies of the rest of the staff. I had very high hopes for Joel and Gil starting the year – still do. But I can only imagine the frustration that Price must feel with those two guys.

  20. Rusty on August 10th, 2005 9:44 am

    Jonah Keri over on BP makes mention of Felix being 2 years shy of the legal drinking age. This misses the point. The important thing is for the opposing hitters to be of legal drinking age, because they’re going to need a few drinks after games like these.

  21. Jeff Nye on August 10th, 2005 9:48 am

    I was so amped up after last night, that I forgot to set my alarm and woke up about an hour late this morning….

    Great game. Hope is always a good thing.

  22. dw on August 10th, 2005 9:51 am

    If Felix turns out to be as good as Rijo — one of the most underrated pitchers of all time, better than half the guys in the Hall of Fame — I will be THRILLED.

    There are two teenagers he’s being compared to:
    Jose Rijo
    Dwight Gooden

    By the end of his career, Rijo’s arm was more torn up than the Dallas freeway system. Gooden had problems with, to use an old literary phrase, Colombian Marching Soldiers.

    There are a lot of temptations at this age, not just with the night life but with a team pushing him too far too fast.

    His potential is massive. Let us hope and pray he’s able to fulfill it.

  23. firova on August 10th, 2005 9:56 am

    Even before yesterday’s start, Dave called Felix one of the best pitchers in the American League. If Felix has anything close to this kind of success next year, at what point do the Mariners begin to think about pre-empting free agency? How long should a long-term deal with a kid pitcher be, given all the risks? If he turns out to be a viable all-star pitcher, how many years do you keep paying him on club-control contracts? I think the whole “service-time” argument is going to be put to rest by his performance, which will force a contract long before free agency enters the picture. When would or should that be?

  24. msb on August 10th, 2005 9:57 am

    and FWIW, the two sources on the Moyer to Yankees are Finnigan and the NY Post….

  25. Steve Thornton on August 10th, 2005 10:04 am

    Yes, Rijo was abused, and had his career shortened by it. That’s why he’s not in the Hall. But he was a hell of a pitcher for a pretty long time. If Felix turns out to be a shade short of Maddux or Pedro, I’ll still be well satisfied.

    I do wonder if he’s going to turn out to be, uh, a bit fat. There’s a hint of a gut there, and he’s only 19. I hope he can stay away from the Fernando Valenzuela training program.

    Note: Felix is now the 11th-ranked rookie pitcher in the AL, by VORP. After two starts. Next up: Fernando Rodney, with 24 innings of stupid relief, and Chris Young, with more than 11 times as many starts as Felix. If Felix gets nine or ten more like this, he’ll be challenging Blanton, Street, and Chacin for the top. Probably too late for RoY, but DAMN.

  26. dw on August 10th, 2005 10:31 am

    Yes, Rijo was abused, and had his career shortened by it. That’s why he’s not in the Hall. But he was a hell of a pitcher for a pretty long time.

    I’m not arguing against that. He was lights-out from 1990-94. It’s just too bad he was so abused so young and lost those six years.

  27. adam on August 10th, 2005 10:50 am

    I really hope this kid has a work ethic….Don’t turn into Bartolo on us…

    The only thing that can hold this kid back is himself or an injury.


  28. msb on August 10th, 2005 10:57 am

    David Andriesen had a nice piece about him last year, talking about the competitiveness, confidence, maturity…

  29. Ralph Malph on August 10th, 2005 11:49 am

    Tangent: David Locke accused Bud Selig of telling a “bold-faced lie”. The expression is “bald-faced”; bold face type, bald-faced lie. Locke is an illiterate boob.

    Wrong. Both are acceptable alternative usages. Actually bold-faced is the older term and bald-faced is a more recent variation.

    “Illiterate boob” is a very strong term and you ought not use it without having your facts right.

  30. adam on August 10th, 2005 11:50 am

    Nice article…

    This part is what it comes down to it seems:

    [deleted, see comment guidelines, needs a link or cite]

  31. Mords on August 10th, 2005 1:53 pm

    “Tangent: David Locke accused Bud Selig of telling a “bold-faced lie”. The expression is “bald-faced”; bold face type, bald-faced lie. Locke is an illiterate boob.”

    Harsh. Maybe it was in writing.

    Also, re: edit in 80, it looks like he was referring to the article cited two posts previously

  32. RLaw on August 10th, 2005 3:22 pm

    Adam in #12 said, “I think he may be the best pitcher in the American League right now.

    He’s like a mix of Freddy Garcia and Pedro Martinez. ”

    Re: #15 – “That is to say, he might become that, easily, but as of this moment, I don’t know if you can say that. ”

    A small nit to pick here with the response. If he is the best in the AL right now, he is that whether or not we net-rats have it “proven” to us over 10 starts or two years or whatever. He will not have become that *after* he proves it. He will have proven something that has already been true. I would say that Adam may not be far off in his comment. I think he can say that.

    Having watched him pitch a couple of times both in the minors and again last night, my intuition tells me that he is not there yet, but after maybe two more years of development, he will be. I would certainly say, though, that Adam’s position is a reasonable one.

  33. Bela Txadux on August 10th, 2005 8:00 pm

    Laurie, if that was your seat, thanks mucho for the ‘pass through.’ A great place to be on a great night. You were there, weren’r you??

  34. Laurie on August 10th, 2005 9:00 pm

    No!!! A last minute conflict – I was so bummed I seriously almost cried, but I’m just glad someone who truly appreciated it got to use the ticket.