Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is coming off of two straight outings where his performance was quite un-king like. In both games he allowed five earned runs and was gone before the sixth inning had come to a close. His season earned run average jumped almost a full run because of those two bad outings.
On Thursday Hernandez returned to his usual form as he limited the San Diego Padres offense to just three hits on the day. He lasted eight innings and allowed one earned run while walking three and striking out six. He improved his record to 6-4 on the season.
This performance was just what the Mariners needed as they have struggled mightily the last couple of weeks. They are now 3-10 in their last 13 ballgames, and during that time they have dropped from second place in the American League West to fourth. Management has taken this bad stretch lying down as they have sent two of the team’s top young players, second baseman Dustin Ackley and catcher Jesus Montero, to the minors because they were struggling. It sends a message to the whole team that no one is safe, except maybe for Hernandez, if the team continues to lay an egg.
Another question hanging out there like a candy stuffed pinata is how long do the Mariners stick with manager Eric Wedge? He is in his third season at the helm, and the team is not taking the necessary next step. It may be time to look for another captain for this ship.