Less than 21 hours after Josh Tomlin limited the Seattle Mariners to one hit over nine innings of work, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez did almost the same thing to the Indians. The man the Mariners fans call King Felix allowed only one hit over eight innings of work. True, he walked three batters, while Tomlin walked none, but Hernandez’s performance was more than enough to win the game for the Mariners, who prevailed by a score of 3-0.
Just as Seattle’s lone hit on Saturday came as a fifth-inning single, so too was the only hit the Indians were able to get off Hernandez. Lonnie Chisenhall led off the frame with a single to center. He didn’t remain on base for long, though, as he was doubled off the bag when David Murphy hit a sharp liner to Kyle Seager at third, who threw to first to pick off Chiz before he could return to the base.
Mariners closer Fernando Rodney retired the Indians in order in the ninth to pick up his 23rd save. Hernandez is now 10-2 on the season. He lowered his ERA to a stellar 2.10, which ties him for the league lead in that category for starting pitchers, along with Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees.
Although he did not pitch poorly, Indians starter T. J. House was tagged with the loss, and is now 0-2. House allowed only two runs over six innings, those coming when he gave up a two-run homer to Robinson Cano in the sixth. Although he did give up seven hits, House struck out five while walking only one. It was his misfortune to pitch against Hernandez today. John Axford retired the side in order in the seventh, while Marc Rzepczynski allowd a run on three hits in the eighth.
The loss dropped the Indians’ record to 39-42. The Detroit Tigers also lost today, so the Tribe remains 6.5 games out of first place in the AL Central.
At 81 games played, the season is officially half over. Is the glass half empty or half full? It’s obvious the Indians will need to step up their game in all facets if they hope to make the postseason. I’d like to think they can do so, but I sure wouldn’t feel confident betting that way.