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Felix is bad, Lloyd is mad, and the M's fall to Cleveland

Felix Hernandez impersonates Eddie Felson as he attempts to lull all of baseball into a false sense of security in a long con that will (hopefully) culminate in King Felix winning the Cy Young award and the Mariners winning the World Series.

A sad king.
A sad king.
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

It took just three pitches for the Mariners to grab the lead in today's game (it seems like I've written that recently...). Rickie Weeks deposited a 1-1 pitch from Bruce Chen onto the berm in left center field for a lead-off dinger. Boom!

After an Austin Jackson fly out to right, the extra base hit parade continued with a ground rule double from Robinson Cano and a home run from Nelson Cruz. The Mariners were up 3-0 facing an old, inconsistent starter in Bruce Chen and Felix was on the mound. It seemed like this game was in the bag! But no...

Felix had a rough go of it today, giving up SEVEN runs on seven hits without getting out of the second inning. Yikes. This reminded me a little bit of this game. It wasn't the most fun to listen to. The Mariners did get to Chen for another run in second inning but wouldn't score again until the eighth inning, ultimately falling by a score of 8-6.

In the past, Felix has had good, bad, and mediocre springs, with ERAs ranging between 0.71 (in 2010) and 8.36 (in '09). Unsurprisingly, these spring performances have had next to no correlation with his regular season numbers. Since Felix became Felix (back in '09) he has been a model of consistency throughout the regular season.

Spring Training ERA GS IP H ER HR BB/9 K/9 BAA WHIP GO/AO Regular season fWAR
2006 3.86 4 14.0 16 6 1 1.93 10.93 0.281 1.36 2.57 3.2
2007 3.96 6 25.0 28 11 3 1.08 6.48 0.283 1.24 2.11 3.5
2008 4.43 5 20.1 22 10 6 0.90 8.51 0.282 1.18 2.15 3.3
2009 8.36 3 14.0 25 13 5 1.29 7.07 0.417 1.93 3.14 6.2
2010 0.71 3 12.2 9 1 0 5.16 8.85 0.196 1.26 3.33 6.0
2011 4.63 3 11.2 17 6 1 2.41 12.05 0.333 1.71 1.00 4.9
2012 3.68 5 22.0 17 9 0 0.82 9.41 0.207 0.86 1.87 6.2
2013 2.65 4 17.0 14 5 1 1.06 9.00 0.219 0.94 1.27 5.7
2014 4.73 4 13.1 13 7 0 2.06 8.93 0.250 1.20 1.89 6.1
2015 10.22 4 12.1 13 14 3 2.98 5.95 0.255 1.35 3.40 ???

As long as the cause for Felix's struggles in Spring Training aren't due to injury, it doesn't really matter what his numbers look like. However, when he was yanked from today's game after only recoding five outs, I admit that I did experience a moment of intense panic. NO, NO, NO. PLEASE BE OKAY. Thankfully, it doesn't seem as if The King is hurtin', so we (I) can relax a little.

It has been unseasonably warm in Phoenix this spring, with temperatures regularly reaching into the mid to upper 90s (which is ~15 degrees above average). As such, it wouldn't be terribly surprising for players to feel uncomfortable and have some trouble staying hydrated - especially pitchers. It was in the low 90s when today's game started; maybe this adversely affected Felix's performance... and maybe it didn't. (Lloyd also said that Felix had some particularly strenuous "leg days" earlier this week, which could've contributed to Felix's balance issues.)

The Mariners bullpen looked fairly solid today, combining to go 6.1 innings while giving up just six hits and one run. Tyler Olson pitched again, allowing just one hit in two innings of work. He's yet to give up an earned run in Spring Training in 12.2 innings. However, it should be noted that coming into today, baseball-reference has ranked Olson's average OppQual (opponent quality) as 7.3, which is fairly low (~AA quality player); he probably won't continue his scoreless streak for the entire season. Nonetheless, it's good that David Rollins wasn't the only lefty putting together quality numbers this spring; Olson may not have gotten the second lefty spot in the 'pen if Rollins hadn't been busted for PED use, but he at least seems like he would make a pretty solid option (assuming that's what Lloyd ultimately ends up deciding).

The only other really noteworthy event that occurred in today's game happened in the top of the fourth inning. Bruce Chen showed why he's never been particularly successful as a big-league starter, as he tried (and failed) to hit Rickie Weeks with two consecutive pitches. I guess this was in response to Felix hitting Michael Brantley earlier in the game? (Unless there's something else going on? I don't know.) After Chen launched a second pitch behind Weeks, home plate umpire Alan Porter warned both the Seattle and Cleveland dugouts. Lloyd didn't take too kindly to this and immediately stalked out onto the field, not even making it within ten feet of Porter before being tossed from the game. You can watch the whole exchange HERE (I know that lots of people fail to click on embedded links in articles, but you probably really do want to click on this and watch irate Lloyd do his best Dikembe Mutombo impersonation).

Only three more Spring Training games. We can make it!