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9/3: Open game thread

Felix Hernandez vs. Jon Lester.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Felix Day!

On the heels of one great pitching match-up comes another. This afternoon, Jon Lester will face off against the Mariners for the first time since July 2013, when he was bested by the inexplicable force of Raul Ibanez and one Felix Hernandez. Although the Mariners pulled off an 11-4 win against the first-place Red Sox, today’s contest might prove a little more difficult.

Lester is 13-9 on the year and 3-2 in an Oakland uniform, buoyed by 186 strikeouts, a 3.05 xFIP, and 5.5 fWAR. In August, he made six quality starts in six appearances, but has not won a game since August 12 due to an average of 1.6 runs of support in his last three outings. The 30-year-old southpaw last met the Angels on the road for his ninth loss of the year, going six innings with six hits, three runs, a walk, and five strikeouts.

Felix, meanwhile, is maintaining his bid for a second Cy Young award, despite a few rough starts last month. He’s on par with Lester in fWAR, also valued at 5.5 wins above replacement, but is keeping a league-best 2.53 xFIP and 205 strikeouts in 198 innings pitched. Like Lester, he also hasn’t won a game since mid-August, and had two abbreviated starts while on the road, allowing an average of 3.3 runs per outing and receiving an average of 3.3 runs of support in his last three appearances.

Game info

  • Mariners @ Athletics, 12:35 p.m.
  • Today's game will be televised on ROOT Sports, broadcast at 710 ESPN, and available to out-of-market fans at MLB TV here.
  • Second wild card status: Both the Tigers and the Mariners won yesterday, keeping the Mariners 1.5 games back from the second wild card. Today, Detroit takes on Cleveland at 4:05 p.m. PST.

Today's Lineups

Austin Jackson - CF Sam Fuld - CF
Chris Denorfia - LF Josh Reddick - RF
Robinson Cano - 2B Josh Donaldson - 3B
Kendrys Morales - 1B Adam Dunn - DH
Kyle Seager - 3B Brandon Moss - LF
Corey Hart - DH Jed Lowrie - SS
Mike Zunino - C Stephen Vogt - 1B
Stefen Romero - RF Derek Norris - C
Chris Taylor - SS Eric Sogard - 2B