|Hot Stove: Mariners discuss multi-year extension with Felix Hernandez||12.04.12 at 10:52 am ET|
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweeted Tuesday that the Mariners have discussed a multi-year deal with starting pitcher Felix Hernandez, with the team’s aim to make him a “Mariner for life.” Heyman notes that talks are still “very preliminary.”
Hernandez, 26, has two years remaining on his five-year, $78 million deal. Last season, Hernandez posted a 3.06 ERA and 223 strikeouts in 232 innings, marking his fifth consecutive season with 200 or more innings pitched.
|Thursday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Franklin Morales vs. Felix Hernandez||06.28.12 at 8:22 am ET|
Thursday night marks the beginning of a seven-game West Coast tour for the Red Sox. Boston hasn’t had a day off since June 18 and won’t get one until July 5, but the workload doesn’t appear to wearing the team down — so far, anyway. The Sox have won 11 of their last 14 games and, at 40-35, are five games over .500 for the first time this season.
This trip may be a long one, but once in Seattle the Sox have the good fortune of facing a Mariners club that is dead last in its division and ranks in the bottom half of the league in nearly every major offensive and pitching category.
After spending the bulk of his five-plus seasons as a reliever, Franklin Morales (1-1) will make his third straight start. The 26-year-old pitched well in his first two starts, going five innings and allowing two earned runs with nine strikeouts in a 7-4 Sox win over the Cubs on June 17, and giving up three runs (two earned) over six innings with eight strikeouts in an 8-4 win over the Braves on June 23. The latter earned Morales his first win of the year.
Granted, his total of 34 2/3 innings pitched isn’t a large enough sample to make a fair comparison, but it’s at least worth noting that Morales’ 3.12 ERA is best among Sox starters by more than a run. How he fares as his innings increase will be important to watch, as Morales has never pitched more than 46 innings in a season.
Having spent the majority of his career with Colorado before joining the Sox in May of last season, Morales has only faced the Mariners three times, all in relief appearances. The current Mariners lineup has a total of two hits and zero RBIs in just seven plate appearances against the lefty.
Facing off against Morales is fellow 26-year-old Venezuelan Felix Hernandez. After an up-and-down season, King Felix appears to be rounding into the form that earned him the 2010 Cy Young award, going seven innings and allowing just one earned run in each of his last two starts. He’s also been fantastic at home this season, with a 2.52 ERA and 51 strikeouts to just 13 walks in 50 innings.
Overall, Hernandez in 5-5 in 15 starts this season, with an ERA of 3.36, 11th best in the AL. He also ranks sixth in the AL with 101 2/3 innings pitched while his 101 strikeouts are good for fifth.
In his career, Hernandez is 5-2 against the Red Sox with an ERA of 3.55 and 63 strikeouts in 76 innings. The current Boston lineup is hitting a collective .269 off the righty, with 14 RBIs and 40 strikeouts in 162 plate appearances.
Adrian Gonzalez (11-for-36, 6 RBIs), Dustin Pedroia (10-for-28, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBIs) and Mike Aviles (5-for-11, 1 double, 1 RBI) have posted impressive numbers against Hernandez.
|Saturday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Josh Beckett vs. Felix Hernandez||08.13.11 at 11:07 am ET|
Undoubtedly the featured game in the series, both Boston and Seattle will send their respective aces to the mound in hopes of victory. Boston’s Josh Beckett enters the game 9-4 with a 2.17 ERA, good for second-best in the American League. He is 0-1 in his last three starts with a 2.84 ERA and 20 strikeouts, including a dominating performance against the Yankees Sunday.
Beckett threw six solid innings in that game, allowing one run on six hits. He earned a no-decision. One of the most consistent pitchers in baseball this season, Beckett has allowed three or less earned runs in 20 of his 22 starts in 2011. Additionally, the three-time All-Star has lasted at least six innings in all but two of his starts, one of which was due to a fifth inning rain delay. In addition to his near-best ERA Beckett ranks second in the AL in WHIP and hits per nine innings.
The Mariners will counter by sending “King Felix“ Hernandez to the hill Saturday. Hernandez (10-10, 3.31 ERA) has been given little run support throughout the season and has had many quality outings result in either losses or no-decision. He picked up a loss on Sunday against the Angels despite throwing a complete game, four-hitter with no walks and 12 strikeouts. Incredibly, it was his third outing this year with double-digit strikeouts and no walks this season. No other hurler has accomplished the feat more than once.
Hernandez has however struggled at times in his career against Red Sox hitters. Four Boston batters enter Saturday’s game with a batting average of at least .300 against the hard-throwing right-hander including Adrian Gonzalez who has team-highs of three extra-base hits and six RBIs. As a whole, current Red Sox batters are hitting .263 against Hernandez, with a .315 on-base percentage, .339 slugging percentage, three home runs and eight doubles, in 224 at-bats.
Beckett, on the other hand, has dominated against current Mariners batters. Excluding Jamey Wright and Mike Carp who are a combined 2-for-5 against the 2003 ALCS MVP, Jack Wilson leads Seattle with a .250 batting average. Ichiro Suzuki is next with a .222 average. His on-base percentage is only slightly better, at .250. Overall, current Mariners batters are hitting .181 with a .209 on-base percentage, .265 slugging percentage, two home runs and one double in 83 at-bats. Read the rest of this entry »
|Jerry Remy on D&C: ‘You have to go for the production’ from Josh Reddick||07.22.11 at 9:44 am ET|
NESN color commentator Jerry Remy checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to talk Red Sox. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Remy called Felix Hernandez, the Mariners’ starting pitcher Friday night, “one of the top pitchers in all of baseball.”
“If he’s on his game, it could be a very tough night for Red Sox hitters,” Remy said.
Remy said that John Lackey, Hernandez’s opponent, is trying to pitch with consistency and string together multiple quality starts.
“He’s facing a club tonight in Seattle that’s a poor offensive ball club, so hopefully that works in the Red Sox’ favor,” Remy said.
Remy also said that, based on his recent play, Josh Reddick should continue to play every day.
“You hate to sit veterans like [J.D.] Drew, but there comes a time when you have to go for the production,” Remy said. “The production right now is with Reddick, and I don’t see any reason why [Terry Francona] won’t put him in the lineup tonight against Hernandez.”
Remy credited Reddick’s success to his increased plate discipline and ability to hit the ball to all areas of the field. He added that Reddick’s performance might decrease the Red Sox’ interest in Carlos Beltran.
Said Remy: “I don’t think they’re going to give up the house to get Beltran. … If the team is healthy, they’ve got enough as it is to do what they want to do.”
The Red Sox aren’t in Baltimore anymore.
Under literally any scenario, that would mean that they would face tougher pitching than the Baltimore staff that ranks dead last in the majors in ERA. But when the Sox face the Mariners for a three-game set starting Friday night, they’ll find themselves facing a staff that’s at the other end of the spectrum. Seattle ranks second in the AL and seventh in the majors with a 3.39 team ERA, thanks to All-Star performances by Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda, who will take the hill Friday and Sunday, respectively. The Red Sox will counter the M’s 2010 Cy Young winner with John Lackey to start the series.
Lackey’s struggles (7-8, 6.70 ERA) are well-known to anyone who has listened to sports radio, picked up a newspaper or watched TV in the Boston area over the last three months. But there are some encouraging signs heading into Friday night’s start. The big right-hander shook off a difficult first inning (three runs allowed on four hits and an error by Marco Scutaro) in his outing last Saturday against the Rays to eventually last 5 2/3 innings of the 9-5 win. For the second start in a row, he had a season-best strikeout-to-walk ratio of 7:1 and now has only allowed three free passes over his last four starts after walking four on June 22.
In his lone start against Seattle this season on April 30, Lackey allowed just two runs in six innings but racked up his third loss when the Red Sox offense put up a goose egg on the Fenway Park scoreboard. Friday night, he will face Ichiro Suzuki for the 101st time, the most he’s seen any major leaguer.
Hernandez (8-8, 3.26 ERA) hasn’t faced any big leaguer that much, never mind anyone on the Red Sox, but he does have some experience against this Boston squad. On May 1, he held the powerful Sox offense to just two runs over seven innings and retired as many as 12 consecutive hitters at one point. But like Lackey, Hernandez’s win total was not a beneficiary of that performance as the M’s totaled just two runs before Carl Crawford hit a walk-off single up the middle to give the Sox a 3-2 victory. The hard-throwing All-Star would seemingly be used to such a scenario, however. The Seattle offense averages just 3.61 runs in Hernandez starts, and believe it or not, that number is actually higher than its MLB-worst average of 3.24 runs per game regardless of who is on the mound.
The Red Sox offense itself may have its own struggles though with Hernandez pitching. Every Red Sox hitter with substantial experience against the righty has struck out multiple times with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and J.D. Drew leading the way with 7 K’s each. However, expect Drew to be playing in right field Friday because his .360 average, 1.067 OPS and two home runs against Hernandez are team-highs. Read the rest of this entry »
|Trade Deadline: Felix Hernandez isn’t going anywhere||07.19.11 at 12:19 pm ET|
Another year. Another strong season from Felix Hernandez. Another not-so strong season from the Mariners. Another July with teams that are looking for starting pitching calling Seattle to see if they can pry “King Felix” from the Pacific Northwest.
And another time that the answer is again, “No.” That’s what Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal he’s telling potential suitors.
“Right now, there is no motivation to move him. We’re happy as well with him. We hope he’s here for a long time. It’s nice to know that every fifth day we’ve got Felix Hernandez pitching. That has been my stance all along.”
Hernandez is 8-8 with a 3.26 ERA in a league-high 21 starts this season after winning the Cy Young award in 2010 with a MLB-low 2.27 ERA and AL-high 249 2/3 innings pitched.
Rosenthal reports that the Yankees “occasionally call to see if the Mariners will reconsider their position on Hernandez,” but the answer continues to remain the same.
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Tim Wakefield vs. Felix Hernandez||04.30.11 at 10:04 pm ET|
After Clay Buchholz was scratched from his start Sunday with a stomach illness, it will be Tim Wakefield who toes the rubber against Seattle for his first start of the season. Wakefield has made seven appearances out of the bullpen so far, notching a 5.56 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and no record in 11 1/3 innings.
Wakefield has struggled with the Mariners in his career. He is 4-10 with a 4.18 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 27 career outings, including 17 starts. Wakefield lost his only start against Seattle last season, giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Current Mariners are hitting .272 against Wakefield. Jack Cust has done the most damage, as he is hitting .440 with four extra-base hits and five RBIs in 25 at-bats. Adam Kennedy, Miguel Olivo and Milton Bradley all have a home run and three RBIs off Wakefield.
If Wakefield’s poor record against Seattle wasn’t enough of a reason for Sox fans to be concerned, there’s also the fact that Felix Hernandez will be on the mound for the Mariners. The reigning American League Cy Young winner is 3-2 with a 3.32 ERA this season. He has won each of his last two starts against Oakland and Detroit, respectively, allowing just two earned runs on eight hits and five walks over 13 2/3 innings.
Moreover, Hernandez is 4-1 with a 2.91 ERA in eight career starts against Boston. He won his only start against the Sox last season, allowing just one earned run on four hits and a walk while striking out nine over 7 1/3 innings.
Current Red Sox are hitting .259 against Hernandez. J.D. Drew leads the way with a .391 average and two home runs in 23 at-bats. Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz and Mike Cameron all have a homer off Hernandez, too. Read the rest of this entry »
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