LA Angels 10, Seattle 9
When: 10:05 PM ET, Thursday, June 20, 2013
Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California
Umpires: Home – Bob Davidson, 1B – Jim Reynolds, 2B – John Hirschbeck, 3B – Kerwin Danley
It would be a lot easier to handle this if it was more of a surprise
The game could not have started any better as young studs Nick Franklin and Kyle Seager powered the M’s to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, accumulating more hits in the first inning of Thursday’s game (3), than they tallied Wednesday night in nine innings (2).
Then, Felix Hernandez started pitching. Although it has happened in his career, it seems a rarity that the King begins a game with a lead already on the scoreboard.
The M’s weren’t done with the bats just yet, forcing Angels pitcher Tommy Hanson to leave without recording an out in the third inning because the M’s had increased the lead to 7-0.
Hope is a cruel thing, and a 7-0 lead gave most fans a feel of excitement heading into the weekend home stand.
We all know what happened next, Felix came out, pitched abnormally poorly, and gave up 7 runs through 5 innings of work.
Yes, Felix had a golden opportunity to pad his stats against a defeated team with a 7-run deficit and he blew it, but isn’t the bigger problem that he never has to pitch in these situations?
It is infuriating to look at Felix’s numbers to identify what he does with a lead of 6 runs or higher. With 0-2 runs of support, Felix has a career 2.80 ERA, 3-5 runs of support, a 3.13 ERA, and with 6+ runs of support, his ERA climbs up to 3.82.
The man knows how to lock it down with a tight game on the line, but the King also relaxes with a huge lead. A 3.82 ERA is completely adequate for most MLB pitchers with a 6 run lead, but it is frustrating to see the ace of the M’s and top-5 pitcher in baseball allow so many runs so quickly.
The worst part is the Angels. That team kept chipping away, despite their poor record and failure to reach expectations, a 7-run deficit does not change their approach. It just made them more aggressive.
Congrats to the Angels for doing something I would never expect the Mariners to do, come back from down 7 to win a game. If the situation was reversed last night, it is hard to imagine the M’s scoring 10 runs after being down 7.