Sunday August 13, 2023
Happy Felix Day
August 2012: The Mariners managed one more run that day than they did for Felix Hernandez Day last night.
Could it have gone any other way? On the night the Seattle Mariners induct into their Hall of Fame Felix Hernandez, King Felix, the six-time All Star and 2010 Cy Young Award winner for whom they could never score any runs, who gave them the best years of his career without even tasting the postseason once, that very night—which was last night—our young starting pitcher and first-time All Star George Kirby, over nine innings, gives up exactly three hits, all scattered singles, and zero runs ... and we still lose. Of course. Of course.
In the top of the 10th, with that stupid ghost runner on and Ms closer Andres Munoz in, the visiting Baltimore Orioles go:
- SB (to third)
- 6-3 (no run)
- single (run)
- E4 (1st and 3rd)
- 3 (foul out)
- SB (2nd and 3rd)
So we were lucky to just give up the one run. And against their ace closer Felix (!!) Bautista, we went:
And thus endeth the win streak. Happy Felix Day, everyone! I guess a Felix did win after all.
Before last night, the Mariners had won eight in a row, starting with that afternoon game against Boston that my wife and I saw last week, and with a Blue Jays loss in the afternoon we'd moved into a tie with them for that final wild card spot. A victory would've put us in the lead.
Before the game, I'd told my seatmate Tim that, for the honorarium, rather than trotting out the usual crew of Mariners HOFers they should just intro players from those shitty 2009-2013 teams. “Felix, remember Chone Figgins, who over three years slashed a .227/.302/.283 line? How about a hand for Eric Byrnes, who brought his blonde-haired swagger to the Emerald City for 38 plate appearances and 3 hits! And when your games needed saving, who wasn't there for you? That's right, it's Josh Leuke, Blake Beaven and Aaron Laffey!” Instead, it was Junior, Edgar, Ichiro, Jamie, Dan, Alvin. “Besides Jamie, what do those guys have in common?” I asked Tim, and then answered my own question. “None of them saw a World Series.”
Last night was a game we really should've won, too. We were trotting out our No. 2 (maybe No. 1?) guy against what I assume is their No. 5 guy—and maybe not even that. Cole Irvin is a spot starter. He came in with a 5.44 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP and proceeded to mow us down. We got our first hit in the third, a leadoff double by Dylan Moore, who moved to third on a groundout and was stranded. I love the win streak but our best guys are all between .240 and .260 and strike out a ton. What was our best shot? I think in the sixth. Ty France drew a two-out walk against reliever Mike Baumann before Cal Raleigh doubled to right. A speedier guy might've scored but we didn't have speed on the basepaths. Then Teoscar Hernandez lined a shot to left (drop! drop! drop!) that didn't drop. Or it dropped into Austin Hayes' glove.
But it was nice to be there for Felix Day. These on-field honorariums are a little odd but particularly for him you want to show up. It's like that line from “Death of a Salesman”: Attention must be paid.