All Hail The King

Dave · April 2, 2007 at 5:54 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 12 K. 12 groundouts, 0 flyouts.

Felix’s performance was good for a game score of 86. Last year, there were exactly seven performances by AL starters that achieved a higher game score the entire season. On opening day, Felix just put up a start that will likely go down as one of the ten best games thrown in the American League this season.

Johan Who?

Comments

105 Responses to “All Hail The King”

  1. John L. Morgan on April 2nd, 2007 6:01 pm

    The A’s lineup is nothing special, but that has to be one of the most dominating pitching performances in years.

    The King’s talent is reason alone to be a Mariners fan.

  2. Mark Gurwell on April 2nd, 2007 6:02 pm

    I bow down in reverence. Also, Dave, your predicted line (8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K) was awesomely close to reality. Long live the King!

  3. katal on April 2nd, 2007 6:04 pm

    Johan “I’ve already given up 4R in 5 2/3 IP” Santana. That’s who.

    I prefer Felix “One ball left the infield” Hernandez.

  4. CSG on April 2nd, 2007 6:04 pm

    The King had no-hit caliber stuff today, absolutely sick. Last year early in the season it seemed like his velocity wasn’t always there, but he was cranking it up today. I sincerely hope management can build a championship-level team around him at some point.

  5. Steve T on April 2nd, 2007 6:06 pm

    If we bring our outfielders in so we’re using four shortstops, Felix won’t allow a run all year.

  6. bmanuw on April 2nd, 2007 6:09 pm

    Our offense still scares me. Those runs were because of the error and we couldnt hit anything outside of that inning. But ya, Felix was awesome. I am glad I moved him up in my Fantasy League

  7. Jeremy on April 2nd, 2007 6:11 pm

    You can count on 2 things in April: many hours lost filing taxes and Johan struggling. Great outing from The King.

  8. ccm on April 2nd, 2007 6:11 pm

    What was up with Putz? I didn’t see him top 90mph a single time, at least according to the FSN gun.

  9. JI on April 2nd, 2007 6:11 pm

    If Felix pitches like Roger Clemens, we’re gonna win the division.

  10. billT on April 2nd, 2007 6:17 pm

    #8 really? Putz topped 90 on everything but his changeup that came in at 88mph. The highest I saw was 97.

  11. Troy J on April 2nd, 2007 6:18 pm

    one error does not eliminate the offense’s runs. richie still went deep, raul still hit a warning track fly and the 6th inning had a ton of pitches.

    I that is going to be how our offense works. looks terrible then a pitcher gets in trouble and the depth of the order burries him.

  12. ccm on April 2nd, 2007 6:19 pm

    #10, perhaps i need a new prescription

  13. carcinogen on April 2nd, 2007 6:21 pm

    Felix = breath of fresh air after this stagnant winter.

    Thank you, King…you are a marvel to behold.

    To early to tell on the offense, obviously…but if #11′s theory is right, I just hope our guys starting employing more patience at the plate to put a pitcher in to a tough spot, because that’s what good teams do.

    Viva El Rey.

  14. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on April 2nd, 2007 6:22 pm

    #8 – he hit 97 at least once that I saw.

    Great “get pumped for the season” kind of game. I feel like I did when we had Randy Johnson – we should win at least every fifth game.

    Anybody notice Dave Sims was more “chatty” than normal? I liked Sims a lot during Spring Training. He was fine this afternoon, but was too “conversational” at times and less professional than he comes across on the radio during ST. Also, he sounded like the color man more than the play-by-play guy at times. He’s still light-years ahead of the past alternatives. But that tells you how much Felix rocked, if Sims is the only semi-complaint of the day!! LONG LIVE THE KING!

  15. okdan on April 2nd, 2007 6:25 pm

    It got me even more excited than I already was, to see Felix pumping his fists and yelling. Reminds me of Freddy, but hopefully wihout the same yelling when something goes mildly awry.

  16. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on April 2nd, 2007 6:25 pm

    #15 – With Freddy it was more like pouting when something goes wrong.

  17. Troy J on April 2nd, 2007 6:26 pm

    reminds me of the unit more than freddy. a guy ready to lead a team

  18. DoesntCompute on April 2nd, 2007 6:27 pm

    Eric Neel describing the outs Felix gets, “There are outs, and then there are outs. These were demoralizing, head-scratching, I-hope-nobody-saw-what-just-happened-to-me outs. They were take-your-medicine-and-shut-up outs.”

  19. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on April 2nd, 2007 6:32 pm

    #18 – I read that article before the game too. It’s funny because FSN showed the faces of a couple of players after striking out looking or getting burned way ahead of a pitch. It was the very grin of futility that Neel was talking about right there before my eyes. I am glad the M’s can cause those looks to opposing line-ups this year (though last year we made complete scrubs look like Cy Young at times, great stuff or not).

  20. okdan on April 2nd, 2007 6:33 pm

    17: Most definitely, I agree.

  21. Dylan on April 2nd, 2007 6:35 pm

    Dave, I enjoy most of what you write but that prediction had me shivering anticipation. Then Felix came out and did it. All Hail the King.

  22. CSG on April 2nd, 2007 6:42 pm

    Sims seemed today like he was just really happy to be watching a baseball game. It was actually kind of endearing how excited he sounded.

  23. DZ on April 2nd, 2007 6:42 pm

    Great game for Felix! We need him to be in top form if we want to have any chance this year. One more win and we will match our win total against last year for Oakland.

  24. Hooligan on April 2nd, 2007 6:46 pm

    Felix’s performance was a thing of beauty for any baseball fan to watch. Being a Mariners fan was just icing on the cake.

  25. CSG on April 2nd, 2007 6:52 pm

    Just saw this on ESPN’s news ticker: Felix was the first pitcher on opening day to strike out 12+ with no runs allowed since Bob Gibson did it in 1967.

  26. terry on April 2nd, 2007 6:59 pm

    wow is all i have to say….so thats what pitching looks like…huh…

  27. zzyzx on April 2nd, 2007 7:00 pm

    He reminded me of Randy today. Runner on 3rd, less than two outs, and everyone around me was just assuming he’d get the K. If this is the Felix we’re going to see this season, every 5th day has just become must see tv.

  28. argh on April 2nd, 2007 7:00 pm

    Even without my Ichiro! cap, I was privileged to watch one fine game of baseball this afteroon. Crowd was subdued coming back to West Seattle though — I think we were all somewhat stunned to see the Ms dominate the As after last year. It was awesome.While the offense didn’t look very good, unless my eyes deceived me I saw signs of some plate discipline out there today while the A’s just didn’t look like they did last year: waiting out our pitchers until we finally hung something for them to hammer. Today they were the ones doing most of the slashing.

    Tomorrow, however, we go back to reality I’m afraid.

  29. David J. Corcoran I on April 2nd, 2007 7:05 pm

    I promised myself that if the M’s won today I’d ask a girl on a date. Given Felix’s performance, I feel like I should ask 1 girls on adtess.

  30. DZ on April 2nd, 2007 7:05 pm

    My bold prediction: We win at least three against Oakland this year.

  31. David J. Corcoran I on April 2nd, 2007 7:06 pm

    thats “12 girls on dates” I don’t know what happened.

  32. Jonathan on April 2nd, 2007 7:10 pm

    Awesome performance from King Felix today, in the literal sense of awe inspiring. I was up in nosebleed land (freezing my NW fanny off), and even we could feel the heat from his stuff. Was anyone else nervous about him coming in for the 8th with that high a pitch count? I know the count isn’t everything, but that seemed like a lot of pitches for game the first. Here’s hoping for many many more.

  33. David J. Corcoran I on April 2nd, 2007 7:11 pm

    If Ohio State decided to, you know, channel some of Felix’s energy right now, I’d be happy.

  34. DZ on April 2nd, 2007 7:13 pm

    Maybe they can channel some of the Indians and Reds energy too, as they both had good openers as well.

  35. Troy J on April 2nd, 2007 7:15 pm

    pitch count meant nothing and i was glad to see him come out. the team made a statement about how tough innings mean more than high pitch count easy innings. i agree, he never looked flustered or in trouble out there today.

  36. zzyzx on April 2nd, 2007 7:16 pm

    I didn’t want him back in and I was not happy with the error extending the inning, but no harm, no foul.

  37. Tom on April 2nd, 2007 7:23 pm

    lol, this performance was so good I think the USSMariner server bowed down too. What a great start to the season, although you do have to admit, we kind of stumbled into this victory thanks to Bobby Crosby’s error in the 6th. But hey, any game where we don’t have to rely on Mike Hargrove’s crappy managing is a good game. And that’s fine with me.

    1 down, 161 to go.

  38. Phoenician Todd on April 2nd, 2007 7:24 pm

    My first Mariner opening day and what a treat to behold. Nosebleed seats or no, that ball was jumping out of his hand and he made them look sick. I too was a bit nervous with him coming back out in the 8th, but I have to agree with Troy, he never looked anything like nervous or like he was struggling.

    Wow.

  39. zzyzx on April 2nd, 2007 7:28 pm

    What was up with the scoreboards btw?

  40. msb on April 2nd, 2007 7:29 pm

    hey Corco, were you up in sec. 335 today? just wondering.

    I was pleased to see Arthur bring back the tradition of showing the Moose with crap.

    a KOMO postgame caller said his tickets are in front of the family section, and that he realized he was sitting in front of Felix’ mom, a tiny woman who apparently was seeing Felix pitch in person for the first time since Felix was about 15. According to the caller, he snuck a peek as Felix’ name was announced, and she had tears rolling down her face.

    and a note from Drayer’s blog:

    Saw something today that shot me back a few years. Was in the dugout about 40 minutes before game time to interview Alvin Davis. Looked down on the bench and saw two tongue depressors taped to the bench with the name George Sisler written on the tape. Ichiro in his first few years would fashion the make shift bat rack every day to protect his bats. When Ichiro started to heat up and be Ichiro his rookie year, John McLaren started writing George Sisler on the bat rack. Mac’s back and apparently Sisler is too.

  41. msb on April 2nd, 2007 7:30 pm

    that would be ‘showering’ the Moose, not ‘showing’ him.

  42. argh on April 2nd, 2007 7:46 pm

    It was darned cold out there today, it was the first game of a long season and allowing Felix to go 109 seemed to be tempting fate to me. And we don’t know whether Hargrove and company got away with it yet or not — pushing the envelope on pitch counts doesn’t necessarily first manifest itself with the pitcher screaming in pain and collapsing in the middle of an inning. That all said, he looked stronger in the 8th that he usually did in the 6th last year.

  43. David J. Corcoran I on April 2nd, 2007 7:55 pm

    40: Why yes, yes I was. That’s where my seat was, you know.

  44. dw on April 2nd, 2007 8:05 pm

    Why yes, yes I was. That’s where my seat was, you know.

    You were in 335, Corco? Did you happen to drive the little Subaru or Honda mini-SUV that was parking across TWO SPACES in the Qwest Field garage? I wanted to break their windows I did.

    (We were in 334, BTW.)

  45. dw on April 2nd, 2007 8:14 pm

    BTW, to me this game brought back two memories:
    – the dominating Felix of his first home start in 2005
    – Randy Johnson in his prime

    I think it also reminded me of watching Tom Seaver or Steve Carlton on NBC Saturday afternoons in my youth.

    If he can stay healthy, if he can keep his head screwed on straight, if he can stay off the sugar and on the weights, if he doesn’t get overworked or has a stroke or shoots a man in Reno just to watch him die… he’ll be a HoFer.

    I really want to say “inner-circle HoFer,” but that’s just too much hype. But I know in 34 years on this Earth. I’ve only seen ten guys stand out there and make it look like the hitters should count their blessings they got a hit off of him. Gooden. Carlton. Johnson. Pedro. Clemens. Maddux. Seaver. Mariano Rivera. Santana. And Felix.

  46. louder on April 2nd, 2007 8:16 pm

    Pitch count of 109 was kind of high. Watching on tv, it just looked like Hernandez was laboring toward the end of the 8th. inning. What was great to see is that he came up big when needed. Lead off double, he shut them down. M’s take the lead, comes out and shuts down the A’s in the next inning. A very mature pitching performance by the King.

  47. David J. Corcoran I on April 2nd, 2007 8:17 pm

    44: Ew, no. I only drive american cars. My Jeep Wrangler was parked about a mile south of Starbucks on 1st Ave on the street.

  48. David J. Corcoran I on April 2nd, 2007 8:19 pm

    Actually, that’s a lie. In my drawers I have the title to a 1976 Subaru I owned strictly for driving fast through puddles and jumping. The car currently rests in a salvage yard.

    And I guess I’ve borrowed my friend’s Toyota a couple times. And my parents Volvo

    But my primary car will always be American

  49. argh on April 2nd, 2007 8:24 pm

    But my primary car will always be American

    Bless you, young man. Auto mechanics need work too.

  50. Boss! Boss! LaHair! LaHair! on April 2nd, 2007 8:27 pm

    Hmm, I was in 335 too.

    I boo’ed Vidro his first time at the plate. A friendly fan across the way said that it was opening day, and that I should give him at least one bat before booing him.

  51. David J. Corcoran I on April 2nd, 2007 8:28 pm

    [deleted, horrible comment]

  52. Jonathan on April 2nd, 2007 8:38 pm

    No question that Felix looked like he felt fine in the 8th, but the pitcher is rarely the best judge of when it’s time for him to come out. Color me over-protective and nervous, but we’ve seen enough young arms go wrong.

  53. argh on April 2nd, 2007 8:52 pm

    Watching the game on TV now and things you don’t see when you’re at the game (or at least I didn’t): top of the 7th, Felix walks the lead off man, gets an out, and then the next batter hits a sharp little chopper over the mound that Felix leaps high in the air trying to snag with his bare throwing hand….shudder. Fortunately he missed, the guy got on base and he promptly shuts the next two batters down to get out of Trouble City.

  54. MedicineHat on April 2nd, 2007 9:01 pm

    [deleted, off topic]

  55. TaylorD7 on April 2nd, 2007 9:02 pm

    Ugh…..Washburn is going to look like puke in comparison. At least we get to face Blanton.

  56. dw on April 2nd, 2007 9:05 pm

    Felix looked fine in the 8th, and would have thrown less if Yuni hadn’t booted that ball.

    A 109 pitch game is not going to turn Felix into Liriano. Calm down, people.

  57. Tom on April 2nd, 2007 9:15 pm

    #55: Blanton owned us last year, facing him would be a BAD thing.

  58. MedicineHat on April 2nd, 2007 9:15 pm

    #54 was in response to # 48.

  59. Dave on April 2nd, 2007 9:17 pm

    I would have been fine with Felix pitching the 9th, and I certainly wasn’t worried about him during the 8th.

    Very few of his 111 pitches came in high stress situations. He threw almost exclusively from the windup. His mechanics were solid, and he hadn’t lost velocity or movement late in the game. He didn’t slow his pace or stall for time. He took the ball, threw the ball, and got people out. All night long.

    Felix’s two-seam fastball is a 10 pitch inning waiting to happen. If the coaching staff had sensed that the CG shutout was important to him, telling him to go throw a bunch of groundball inducing sinkers and getting out of there under 125 wouldn’t have been a big deal.

    All pitches aren’t created equal. Felix threw a very easy 111 pitches tonight, and there’s no reason to be concerned about his workload.

  60. msb on April 2nd, 2007 9:25 pm

    dang, who know 335 was such a happening place?

    I think we move along another couple of sections for our next game …

  61. B_Con on April 2nd, 2007 9:42 pm

    Who doesn’t own American cars only?! I mean come on! “Thiiiissss is OUR COUNTRY!”

  62. B_Con on April 2nd, 2007 9:45 pm

    Also 45: It’d be sweet if the Steve Carlton comparison played out, only without the part about Carlton’s team sucking so bad that billboard’s listed “Chicago Cubs vs. Steve Carlton” instead of “Chicago Cubs vs. Philladelphia Phillies”.

    Stolen from wikipedia: “He led the league in wins (27), complete games (30), strikeouts (310) and ERA (1.97) despite playing for a team whose final record was 59-97… His having won 46% of his team’s victories is a record in modern major league history.”

    Maybe Felix breaks that record this year.

  63. Troy J on April 2nd, 2007 10:07 pm

    Wow, let the hype train begin. baseball tonight leading their show with felix talking about how he can keep this team in the division race.

  64. DZ on April 2nd, 2007 10:07 pm

    We’ll win at least 60.

  65. DZ on April 2nd, 2007 10:08 pm

    Well IF we are to have any chance in the race Felix needs to be a legit ace.

  66. David J. Corcoran I on April 2nd, 2007 10:12 pm

    Yes

  67. David J. Corcoran I on April 2nd, 2007 10:12 pm

    Which is to say, 335 are great seats. Best seats I’ve ever sat in. I was really glad I spent the extra money. I enjoyed sitting on the third base line, and it was a good position. I was really happy with them and will attempt to sit there in the future.

  68. hub on April 2nd, 2007 10:15 pm

    Tonight made you almost forget about the recent ‘Offseason of Horrors’.

  69. DZ on April 2nd, 2007 10:20 pm

    No need to bring that up till we lose which should be less than 24 hours from now with Washedup on the mound.

  70. David J. Corcoran I on April 2nd, 2007 10:35 pm

    C’mon man. I’m optimistic for once. Don’t squish that bug!

  71. Lifelong_Fan on April 2nd, 2007 10:36 pm

    a KOMO postgame caller said his tickets are in front of the family section, and that he realized he was sitting in front of Felix’ mom, a tiny woman who apparently was seeing Felix pitch in person for the first time since Felix was about 15. According to the caller, he snuck a peek as Felix’ name was announced, and she had tears rolling down her face.

    I heard that on the radio too… and actually believed the guy until the last thing he said. He had to go on and say that Felix’s mom mouthed, “Thats my baby”. Hmm, unless the caller knows Spanish, I doubt that she would say that clearly enough for him to read her lips.

    Sounded pretty fake to me.

  72. edpellon on April 2nd, 2007 10:43 pm

    great outing by Felix. The pitch selection was great – no frozen ropes in frustration. Now all we need is .500 from of the rest of the starters and Grover to keel over…

  73. LB on April 2nd, 2007 11:29 pm

    Yes, it was a wonderful game, but if you watched it on FSNW with the benefit of their K-Zone rip-off, you know that Felix was pitching to a plate 25 inches wide today. That probably had a bit to do with why he was dominant. Compare that to his start in Texas last year when he had to pitch to a plate the size of a postage stamp and you get an intuitive feel for how the umpire’s calls should discount the game score.

    So call it a Canadian 86.

    Yes, Haren and the A’s pitchers were getting the calls too. Froemming was consistent. Neither offense could be expected to fire on all cylinders when balls way off the plate are being called strikes.

  74. PositivePaul on April 2nd, 2007 11:40 pm

    Yes, all hail this guy. I hadn’t quite bought into the “King Felix” hype, and was very skeptical.

    No. Longer.

  75. DZ on April 2nd, 2007 11:45 pm

    73: the batters should have caught on.

  76. LB on April 2nd, 2007 11:56 pm

    75: Like the M’s batters did? 4H 1BB 0ER was what they managed.

  77. DZ on April 2nd, 2007 11:57 pm

    No our offense sucks just like last year.

  78. CSG on April 3rd, 2007 12:07 am

    #73

    Do you really trust the K-Zone rip off that much? I didn’t think the strike zone looked that large, and actually thought Felix was getting squeezed on the high strike.

  79. LB on April 3rd, 2007 12:13 am

    77: I see. The M’s scored 756 runs last year, the A’s just 15 more.

    But the offensive juggernaut out of Oakland should adjust to pitches way off the plate being called strikes.

    Froemming was behind the plate on Opening Day because he’s older than mud from the Delaware River. Seniority doesn’t mean he’s good, just that he’s been doing the job a long time. Over the course of 162 games, it’s a wash. His wide zone affected both teams, and it made Felix look like Cy Young. Why is that so hard to accept?

    When Tim McClelland is behind the plate and Felix throws up an 86, everyone will believe it.

  80. LB on April 3rd, 2007 12:15 am

    #78: The K-Zone rip-off just confirmed what they showed in the live shot from centerfield.

  81. DZ on April 3rd, 2007 12:19 am

    I never said Oakland had a good offence, but they usually do a hell of a lot better against the Mariners.

  82. DZ on April 3rd, 2007 12:20 am

    Bottom line is both pitchers had a great game, but when runers got on Felix was better.

  83. CSG on April 3rd, 2007 12:25 am

    I don’t think it’s that hard to accept. I don’t think Felix (or Haren, for that matter) benefited that much from an egregiously large strike zone. Felix was making people look foolish in and out of the strike zone, and it didn’t seem like hitters on either team were complaining much about the zone, which I think is a pretty good way to assess the ball and strike calling.

  84. joser on April 3rd, 2007 12:25 am

    Don’t look now, but Ben Sheets had a heck of an opening day performance too. Still, I find it amazing that Felix wasn’t even born when Gooden pitched his Opening Day.

    The M’s got their runs in the bottom of the 6th, but it was really Felix’s performance in the top of that inning that blew me away. When Buck opened with a double and then the A’s bunted him to 3rd (the A’s? Bunting? Could you smell the desperation?) you had to wonder if this was going to be difference in the game. But then Felix went to his back pocket and dug out the really nasty stuff. He struck out Kendall on a pitch that broke across the strike zone with so much horizontal movement Kenji appeared to catch it behind the batter. Then he struck out Stewart with a breaking pitch that had so much vertical motion it actually bounced off the plate (or maybe even in front of it) but it suckered Stewart into swinging at it anyway.

    If Felix’ mom being there had anything to do with his performance, by all means let’s park her in those seats every start.

    If you want to really enjoy the moment, go have a look at some of the comments at Athleticsnation.com. They’re calling for Crosby to be replaced at shortstop (or just killed), they’re worried that key hitters like Chavez and Piazza look so overmatched against good pitching, they’re lamenting being in last place in the AL West, they’re already jumping under the bus. They’re (mostly) kidding, but it’s like a Mariners thread, or something.

    (And as an amusing aside apropos nothing, other than opening day, can somebody tell me what the hell ARod is doing here? (And while you’re at it, tell him the ball is way over on the other side of the picture).

  85. DZ on April 3rd, 2007 12:29 am

    I love reading oponents blogs when we beat them.

  86. Mr. Egaas on April 3rd, 2007 1:19 am

    Felix looked good today.

    Not only the line looked good, but he looked good. He showed enthusiasm and poise on the mound. He was amped and confident. I hadn’t seen him pitch at all this spring, and he looks a lot better with the dropping of 20 pounds.

    Any of his misses around the plate made me cringe… “Oooohhh that pitched looked good.” He was right there. Even better were A’s reactions. They looked horrible.

    All hail the king.

  87. Jonathan on April 3rd, 2007 5:55 am

    Dave, thanks for your pitch count response (#59). I knew count wasn’t necessarily the be-all and end-all, but a guy gets nervous when his/our still 20 year old treasure is out there on day 1 and goes over the century mark. I’ll try to calm down.

    Corco, I was in Sec. 321. Happy as I am to see it, it still looks weird to have Ichiro anywhere but RF. Don’t get me wrong, he belongs in CF, it just doesn’t look right yet. Guess I need to keep going. Here’s hoping I have a long time to get used to it! Do you hear me, front office?!?!?!

  88. louder on April 3rd, 2007 6:33 am

    Reflecting on Opening Day, that was probably Felix’s greatest game in his career, and most important. The atmosphere around the Mariner’s is so much better; everyone got psyched over that win. The players must feel now, that at least when Hernandez is out there, anything is possible. Here is a golden opportunity for this club to set the tone for the season, I just hope Grover doesn’t blow it.

  89. pumpkinhead on April 3rd, 2007 7:41 am

    I think the M’s this year have already matched the number of wins against the AL West last year.

  90. Arkinese on April 3rd, 2007 7:58 am

    I didn’t see it mentioned but did anyone else notice that Crosby committed both of his errors after being burned on a three-pitch strikeout? It was pretty funny to watch him storm away from the plate, throw down his helmet and then pout his way out to shortstop…only to have the humiliated mentality appear to haunt him throughout the next inning. If Felix’s pitching can affect another team’s defense that way, he could singlehandedly win the entire season for the M’s. :)

    I also liked the decision to bring J.J. in for the 9th even though it wasn’t a save situation. I think Hargrove et al. were trying to send a message to the fans and the A’s/AL West saying, “This is what you’ll be seeing all year: great pitching shutting our opponents down.” Whether that will be true as the spring continues…

    P.S. I was also in Section 335 but wasn’t the jackass who took up two parking spots in the garage. We were parked next to Pioneer Square. Funny that a bunch of USSM groupies were pretty close together.

  91. DKJ on April 3rd, 2007 8:21 am

    Declaring our offense to be terrible based on a four-hit, four unearned run performance against an opening day pitcher for a team predicted to take the division strikes me as premature.

    Ask yourself how hard your are straining to find something to be unhappy about.

    If you really need to be unhappy, just be patient. I guarantee you the opportunities will arise. (Oh, look! I just did it, too.)

  92. msb on April 3rd, 2007 8:22 am

    and we would have known it, had Doyle been in the line-up :)

  93. Slippery Elmer on April 3rd, 2007 8:35 am

    From ESPN’s recap: “Hernandez yelled again and thrust both arms into his sides after his 11th strikeout.”

    I’d yell too. That’s gotta hurt!

  94. Gomez on April 3rd, 2007 9:22 am

    88. Something tells me that, as long as the team’s winning and feeling good, that Grover will stay out of the way as much as possible.

  95. Steven Stadnicki on April 3rd, 2007 9:33 am

    93: I was going to comment on that myself. I splurged on a good seat for opening day, and got damn lucky (hooray for singles): 138, row 11, right on top of the A’s dugout and almost close enough to spit on 3rd base. The most impressive thing I saw in the game was Felix walking off the mound after those two Ks to end the seventh with a roar of triumph, an incredibly energetic fist-pumping ‘YES!’ moment. Not only is he good, he knows he’s good — he expects to be able to do that when he needs to. This is going to be something to watch…

  96. Ed on April 3rd, 2007 9:46 am

    I got to watch FSNW’s replay of the game, and while the ump was calling a lot of strikes that looked off their K-Zone of the plate, the calls themselves didn’t exactly look out of line. At least a handful of close ones didn’t go Felix’s way, either.

    No doubt he benefited somewhat from the strike zone, but with the movement and command he had yesterday, I hardly think that’s the major factor in why he K’d 12 and induced 12 groundouts.

  97. Mustard on April 3rd, 2007 10:09 am

    Does anyone have Sheets game score from yesterday? Another gem from the NL.

  98. Gomez on April 3rd, 2007 10:36 am

    I was at the game and, while the zone was erratic, the zone didn’t really favor either pitcher. Felix, by my count, got screwed on about 5 or 6 obvious strikes.

    And it still didn’t matter. That speaks volumes.

  99. Steve T on April 3rd, 2007 10:46 am

    Sheets’s game score was 82. Felix 86. Sheets didn’t strike out as many, but he went nine, and gave up fewer walks and hits.

  100. BLYKMYK44 on April 3rd, 2007 11:15 am

    Jason (NYC): Any thoughts on the M’s 2007 plan for Felix Hernandez? Have they given up on managing his arm? Are they going to ride him until he breaks down?

    Rob Neyer: They apparently are not interested in limiting his innings, though I suspect he’ll rarely (if ever) throw more than 115-120 pitches in a game (last night he was pulled after 109). I’ll be honest: I’m worried about him. I’m worried that he’ll get hurt like Gooden did. But Gooden threw 277 innings in 1985, and Hernandez won’t do that.

    - So at what point is Felix old enough to pitch 100 pitches? I find it odd that people act as if the Mariners are killing him when it seems to me that he has been held with kiddie gloves since he came up.

  101. DMZ on April 3rd, 2007 11:20 am

    You find it odd that people hold contrary opinions to your own?

    Also, he is a kiddie.

  102. BLYKMYK44 on April 3rd, 2007 11:24 am

    No I find it odd that he had one game where he threw a reasonable amount of pitches (low stress pitches as noted above) and yet you still seem to see people claiming that they are riding him into the ground as if they were Kerry Wood’s High School coach

  103. DMZ on April 3rd, 2007 11:40 am

    Ahhhhhhhhh.

    I don’t. Felix is entirely the future of the franchise. If he’s healthy, the team can put together a contending squad. If he’s not, they’re pretty much screwed.

    So everyone’s super-sensitive about it. I understand that.

  104. LB on April 3rd, 2007 12:59 pm

    I hardly think that’s the major factor in why he K’d 12 and induced 12 groundouts.

    So let’s see: it’s the guy’s career high in strikeouts and you don’t think he benefited from getting pitches that were not over the plate called for strikes?

    That’s a tough proposition to defend.

    Maybe they should just dig the plate out of the ground on days that Felix pitches. The umpires don’t use it, and the opposition’s baserunners won’t be getting any farther than third anyway.

  105. Ed on April 3rd, 2007 4:19 pm

    I said “the main reason” Felix did so well, and that’s what I meant. He was throwing the same 97 MPH 2-seamer he had when he came up and an 89 MPH slider he wasn’t using back then. Meanwhile, his curve and change were as good as they’ve looked, and he was mixing them up more than when he was getting hammered last season. That all may have been a factor in his success yesterday.

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