It might not feel like it in light of yesterday's loss -- and the one before that, and the one before that -- but this game is important. This season, however fleeting it may be, is still important.
Felix is on the mound for his next-to-last start against Toronto, dragging a string of no-decisions behind him and looking for his 15th win of the season. Against the Angels last week, he blew through 11 batters for his second-highest strikeout total of the year, allowing only five baserunners in seven innings. Despite a 1-0 record in September -- due to an average of 2.75 runs of support per start -- Felix has only given up three runs in 28 innings pitched this month, tied for lowest number of runs allowed by an American League starter and third-best among major league starters.
Opposite Felix is Blue Jays' right-hander R.A. Dickey, who has just crossed the threshold for 200 innings in 2014. It marks the 39-year-old's fourth season with 200+ innings pitched, his career high coming in 2012, with 233 2/3 frames. Four other MLB pitchers have managed the same feat, including Felix, who has racked up 896 innings since 2011. Dickey is currently toting 2.0 fWAR and 4.12 xFIP through 32 starts and is 13-12 despite a season average of 4.81 runs of support by his teammates.
Although it didn't look like it last night, Toronto has dropped seven of their last 10 games. Excepting the atrocious blowout against Seattle, the Jays have scored just 2.9 runs per game. If the M's can get out of their own way, they have a good shot at taking the series and -- dare we say it -- perhaps even the wild card.
Happy Felix Day. Let's go, Mariners.
- Mariners @ Blue Jays, 4:07 p.m. PST
- Today's game will be televised on ROOT Sports, broadcast on 710 ESPN, and available to out-of-market fans at MLB TV here.
- Wild card status update: The M's sit two full games behind the Royals for the second wild card. Kansas City shut out Cleveland 2-0 yesterday and will face the Indians again today at 4:05 p.m. PST for the second of a three-game set.
|SEATTLE MARINERS||TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|Austin Jackson - CF||Jose Reyes - SS|
|Dustin Ackley - LF||Jose Bautista - RF|
|Robinson Cano - 2B||Edwin Encarnacion - DH|
|Kendrys Morales - DH||Adam Lind - 1B|
|Kyle Seager - 3B||Munenori Kawasaki - 3B|
|Logan Morrison - 1B||Dalton Pompey - LF|
|Michael Saunders - RF||Anthony Gose - CF|
|Mike Zunino - C||Josh Thole - C|
|Brad Miller - SS||Ryan Goins - 2B|
|Felix Hernandez - RHP||R.A. Dickey - RHP|