Felix Hernandez has been a Seattle Mariner baseball player for over a decade now. He has seen the bottom of the barrel, earned a slew of individual accomplishments and been the benefactor of whole lot of tough luck. He won a Cy Young with 13 wins and has pitched a Perfect Game (with a whole lot of nearly perfect ones too). As I’ve written before, I will never be able to fully articulate how much Felix Hernandez means to me as fan of the Seattle Mariners. My views on the Mariners would be entirely different, had I not had not had the opportunity to watch a player like Felix Hernandez. He is the epitome of the emotion that encapsulates my personal baseball experience.
Today, the King gave us one more wonderful memory to cherish. With a swinging strike in the first inning to Angels’ batter Rafael Ortega, Felix Hernandez became the Mariners all-time strikeout leader:
Today’s game was uneventful and failed to live up to the excitment of Felix’s historical milestone. Leonys Martin scored the first run on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the first. No other runs would score. Angels would tie it up in the third on a home run to Cliff Pennington, just like we planned it (???). Nelson Cruz temporarily got the lead back with a solo shot to left-field in the top of the 6th inning, making the score 2-1 Mariners. In the bottom half of the inning with Rafael Orgeta aboard, Mike Trout in all his very good baseball player glory would hit a 2-run home run to center field. This would give the Angels all the runs they needed to ultimately win the game, but they tacked on a run in the bottom of the 8th on a Kole Calhoun single. Final score: Angels 4, Mariners 2.
The lack of run support that Felix endures, will always be one of baseball’s biggest unsolved mysteries. I know from the bottom of my heart that the boys want to reciprocate every ounce of the 110% Felix Hernandez puts forth every start, but it does not make the loses any easier. A lack of constant run support will make it hard for Felix Hernandez to truly be appreciated for all he has done, because it is not reflected in his W/L record.
However instead of focusing on yet another low-scoring loss, I want everyone to do what Mariners fans do best: find a silver lining in the dark cloud that is BABIP, Mike Trout home runs and general baseball frustration. Felix Hernandez is special. There is no doubt about that. When you start to get discouraged over another Adam Lind base-running mistake, just remember that Felix Hernandez is ours for the long haul. We’ll stand by him through every last electric strikeout and every devastating changeup. We will watch him and know that he chose to stay in Seattle when he could have has his pick at most other teams. Even when the years start to decline, we will defend him fiercely because he would do the same. Every last roar off the mound, every last tear of appreciation, we’ll be there.
Thank you for everything you do Felix.
Congrats on #2,163, King. Here is to 1,000 more. Let’s get this win tomorrow, boys.