The Opening Day Hangover: Felix Hernandez is a Bad Man


Well, the Seattle Mariners did make Felix Hernandez the highest paid pitcher ever (Until Justin Verlander overtook him a few days ago) when he signed the 7 year/ $175 Million deal that will keep him in the Pacific Northwest for the bulk of his career.  He reminded everyone last night just why he got a contract of that magnitude.  On Sunday our own Devin Pangaro illustrated the misfortune the Athletics have endured over the previous 8 seasons, losing Opening Day in each one of them.  I guess he can start planning his 2014 edition of that piece when he discusses the 9 game losing streak the A’s now have on Opening Day.  As for the game itself last night, there isn’t much to discuss really because it was a rather uneventful game.

April 1, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher

Felix Hernandez

(34) pitches the ball during the first inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

King Felix is atop the hierarchy of MLB pitchers for a reason, and he was at his best yesterday.  He did appear to be getting the benefit of a little “Verlander strike zone” help from the home plate umpire.  But nevertheless, he dominated the A’s lineup.  He was perfect once through the order, and it wasn’t until a John Jaso double in the 4th inning that the A’s were able to eliminate the chance of history taking place at the Coliseum.  They were unable to muster anything that amounted to a rally while Felix was on the mound until the 8th inning when it appeared he was finally tiring after eclipsing the 100 pitch mark.  But the Mariners bullpen would stoke the flames, and then eventually snuff them out en route to the 2-0 victory.  Seth Smith was the only A’s hitter who seemed to have any good fortune, flaring a broken bat single and lining a ringing double down the right field line in his 2 for 4 night.

Brett Anderson was shaky at times, but overall did nothing to embarrass himself in his first Opening Day start.  He dominated the 1st inning, pounding the strike zone while striking out the side.  His second inning was a bit different as he seemed to lose his feel for the zone.  He gave up a few hits here and there, but managed to limit the damage for the most part.  The Mariners got on the board in the 5th inning on a Franklin Gutierrez 2 run single, and that would close the book on scoring for game 1.  Chris Resop and Jerry Blevins each put up scoreless innings, with Blevins striking out the side in his frame.

The game was very reminiscent of the last game of the ALDS against Verlander, the A’s tried to get something going against Felix Hernandez like they did against Verlander but to no avail.  A game like this doesn’t worry me one bit since it’s just 1 of 162 (although they all count the same) and because it was against one of the game’s best who brought his “A” game.  Thankfully they won’t have to face him again until at least May when the A’s visit the Mariners in Seattle.

Jarrod Parker makes his 2013 debut against Hisashi Iwakuma for the M’s tonight.  I still have some left over ill feelings toward Iwakuma for the ridiculousness of the negotiations that took place between he and the Athletics 2 years ago.  It would be nice to see the A’s bats come to life against him just to fuel my personaly vendetta against him, and to get their first win of 2013 as well I suppose.