So today's game represents 5% of the remaining schedule, barring a Game 163 scenario. A win in April is as important as a win in September, it's true. But now? April-August are long gone and the only games equally weighted are the ones remaining and once you shrink a baseball season down to almost an NFL-length schedule DAMN if these games don't take on a heightened importance.
Here is a statement: If Felix Hernandez were his own franchise he would rank 28th in baseball in fWAR, ahead of the Pirates and Mets. Please note that there are still 30 teams in this fantasy world because it's a fantasy and in this fantasy Felix had to pay an exorbitant expansion fee which he did by taking over and then dissolving the New York Yankees.
The takeaway: Felix is good.
The Mariners' opponent tonight is Houston Astros who have split a dichotomous 2014 between being a front office of concentrated Billy Beane DNA and the worst of what everyone assumes about the Mariners. As noted earlier this game welcomes Michael Saunders back into the starting lineup, playing RF and batting 8th while Endy Chavez slides over to LF while Dustin Ackley recovers from an ankle injury.
The last time Felix pitched at Safeco field the Nationals took batting practice off of him. This led to some concern. Then Felix went out against the A's and scythed right through them. This led to some relief. Against a team like the Astros, who lead the AL in K%, Felix should be fine provided he doesn't spend another game giving up dingers like 2000 Jose Lima. Look for fastball command, and, if you want to go deeper, maybe take a look and see if the umpire is giving Felix the ever dropping strike zone.
We're in the golden days of baseball right now my friends. The Mariners are fighting for the postseason, one of their best players is back from injury and their Paragon is on the hill. You got through a decade of misery telling yourself days like today would be worth it. Do yourself a favor and head out to Safeco if you can. If not I hope you're able to enjoy the game somewhere. This is your, our and the Mariners time.
- Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners, 7:10 PM PST
- TV: ROOT, Radio: ESPN 710, Online: Mlb.tv
|HOUSTON ASTROS||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Robbie Grossman - LF||Austin Jackson - CF|
|Jose Altuve - 2B||Endy Chavez - LF|
|Dexter Fowler - CF||Robinson Cano - 2B|
|Chris Carter - DH||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|Jason Castro - C||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Marwin Gonzalez - SS||Logan Morrison - 1B|
|Jonathan Singleton - 1B||Mike Zunino - C|
|Matt Dominguez - 3B||Michael Saunders - RF|
|Alex Presley - RF||Brad Miller - SS|
|Brad Peacock - RHP||Felix Hernandez - RHP|