Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Mariners Gain Momentum With A’s Sweep

On Saturday, Felix Hernandez went seven innings and collected his 2,000th career strikeout, becoming one of the youngest players in the history to reach that milestone.

King Felix joined Bert Blyleven, Sam McDowell and Walter Johnson as the youngest members of the esteemed status. Both Blyleven and Johnson are in the Hall of Fame. Not bad company to keep.

Felix had a crisp breaking ball and his usual dirt nasty changeup working against a beleagured A’s lineup.

“He can throw any pitch at any count,” A’s catcher Stephen Vogt told reporters for Root Sports. “His breaking ball was really sharp today. That’s as sharp as I’ve seen his breaking ball … He changes your eye level. He gets you to chase. He’s a competitor, too. You can just see it.”

Hernandez would go seven innings, allowing five hits and just one walk while striking out six.

King Felix’s stellar start and some timely hitting propelled the slow starting M’s over the Athletics to a three game series sweep of the A’s at sunny Safeco field. The sweep edged the club closer to .500, a much-needed shot in the arm following a frustrating road trip that involved being swept by the streaking Astros and formidable Angels. The only bright spot in those six games was a 5-0 romp against the Angels—another Hernandez start.

The Mariners success has surged at home at the start of the season, and while it’s a bit too soon to make assumptions about a team’s chemistry, Seattle’s swagger  seems to amplify at Safeco. The team is 8-7 at home, versus 7-9 on the road, and while these numbers also reflect the adjustments being made within the ball club with regard to player roles, etc., it would be nice to bump up those road numbers.

The state of the Mariners’ bullpen has also been cause for concern, especially on the road, having allowed a series of late inning losses on the road, most recently in Anaheim when the Angels walked off on a double laced off of Mariners phenom reliever, Carson Smith.

The Mariners have been able to correct themselves since the trip down South, having swept the division rival A’s in three games. They first managed to keep themselves poised for an extra inning comeback against A’s ace, Sonny Gray, then powered themselves to a 7-3 win in game two and, as mentioned earlier, won on Sunday with another brilliant start from Hernandez.

As they look forward to another set of home games, the Mariners will be looking for their offense to maintain its steady power output, and quality starts from the rest of the rotation to put them in line to strike early and play complete ballgames.  

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