OK, so he was facing a Brewers lineup comprised strictly of Triple-A players, but Felix Hernandez was like a hot knife through butter on Friday, allowing one hit in six innings of work.
He became the first pitcher to complete six innings this spring.
Hernandez struck out six, walked one and hit a batter. Overall, he’s allowed two runs in 13 innings and posted a 13/1 K/BB ratio this spring.
The Mariners have to be feeling very good about their pitching thus far. All told, Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Hisashi Iwakuma, Kevin Millwood, Hector Noesi, Blake Beavan and Charlie Furbush have a 2.67 ERA in 57 1/3 innings, which is terrific for Cactus League play. Only five of those guys will be in the rotation — my guess is that Beavan and Furbush get left out — but the depth should pay dividends later.
Johan Santana thinks there’s no reason for concern after he gave up five runs — four earned — in 2 2/3 innings Friday in a loss to the Tigers.
ESPN’s Adam Rubin has the quotes:
I was able to throw some fastballs with more intensity this time. And I’m feeling good. It’s a process. And I’m building up.
I feel fine. It was a tough day. It was a challenge out there. These guys were swinging. I tried to locate some pitches that I wasn’t able to. But that’s what we’re here for. … I wasn’t consistent throwing my fastball for strikes. That’s something you work on.
Santana, who is coming off shoulder surgery, showed his best velocity of the spring, hitting 90 and 91 mph on the gun more frequently than he had in his previous two starts. That didn’t lead to any strikeouts today, but it’s still a good sign. He’s still penciled in for Opening Day.
Two years ago, when we first learned that the Marlins were installing fish tanks in the new ballpark, PETA got mad. It’s gotten to the point, however, that people tend to tune out PETA when they get mad. Oh well.
But that doesn’t mean animal activists aren’t still concerned about the state of the fish in those tanks in that ballpark. Because they are:
“I can tell you even if the glass doesn’t shatter, [stadium noise is] going to cause a tremendous vibration and disturb and upset the fish,” Animal Rights Foundation of Florida spokesman Don Anthony told the local press.
To minimize vibrations from a stadium full of rowdy fans, the temperature-controlled aquariums are suspended on a flexible material called neoprene, but activists think that isn’t sufficient. “No matter how many shock absorbers they build into the system, if there are thousands of fans screaming and jumping during a sporting event it’s going to affect the fish in there,” Anthony said.
Not that anyone seems all that interested in heeding the warnings. But I suppose if a bunch of fish go belly-up from shock, those fish tanks are going to turn into planters pretty darn quick.
David Lennon of Newsday reports that the Mets are “mulling over medicals” on lefty reliever C.J. Nitkowski.
Which kind of freaks me out. Because unless I’m missing something or unless Baseball-Reference.com is lying to me, Nitkowski hasn’t pitched in the majors for seven years and has been out of organized baseball since 2008. And that was playing in Japan. Indeed, the last we heard from him was when he talked about PEDs and surgery and stuff in a rather provocative and interesting fashion.
So is this a real thing? If so, it’s way more amazing to me than the Andy Pettitte comeback.