It's Opening Day and that means one thing: Felix Hernandez is out to rain on the Oakland Athletics' parade. Later today, Felix will make his fifth Opening Day start against Oakland.
|Date||Location||Innings||Runs||BB / K||Result|
|April 2, 2007||Safeco Field||8||0||2 / 12||M's win 4-0|
|April 5, 2010||The Coliseum||6.2||3||6 / 4||M's win 5-3|
|April 1, 2011||The Coliseum||9||2||0 / 5||M's win 6-2|
|March 28, 2012||Tokyo Dome||8||1||0 / 6||M's win 3-1|
Felix was just 20 years old in his first Opening Day start, his 2007 masterpiece. It was a coming out party of sorts for the King, or at very least a pre-funk for the coming out extravaganza that was his near no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park a few days later.
The Mariners' opened their next two seasons against the Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins, but our memories black those games out and convince us that if it was Opening Day, it was a Felix beat down of the A's. This is certainly true of the last two seasons, and 2010 was at least memorable as a gutsy performance from a guy without his best stuff.
Felix will make it his fifth Opening Day start against the A's against his fifth different opposing pitcher. Dan Haren, Ben Sheets, Trevor Cahill and Brandon McCarthy failed to lead their teams to victory in previous matchups; oft-injured ace Brett Anderson is the latest challenger to try and break the Mariners' streak.
Jed Lowrie (acquired from Houston), John Jaso (acquired from Seattle), Brandon Moss (called up in June), and Josh Donaldson (DNP-CD) are expected to start, meaning nearly half of the lineup has turned over since Felix and the Mariners kicked off the 2012 season in Japan. Out are Cliff Pennington, Kurt Suzuki, Brandon Allen and Jemile Weeks.
On the Mariners' side of things, this is our first opportunity to see the Mariners' new look offense in a regular season setting and in a ballpark that discourages home runs. Michael Morse and Kendrys Morales will do their best to give Felix some breathing room (if he needs it) while Justin Smoak will try to take the first steps to proving that he is indeed a significantly better hitter now than he was a year ago.
It's Opening Day!
Time: 7:05 pm PDT
Location: The Coliseum, Oakland, California
Television: ROOT Sports
A's coverage: Athletics Nation