Félix Hernández
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Félix Hernández may have been on his way to a comeback season

5 Comments

Everyone has been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and precautions taken to combat it: stadium workers, grounds crew, fans, coaches, and of course, the players. Minor league players won’t get paid for a while longer. Coaches have no one to coach. Fans have nothing to watch. It’s a tough time for us all.

On the lighter side of things, it is interesting to think what might have been — and, technically, what still could be — for certain players. Félix Hernández is one of those players who stands out to me. A Mariners legend, the soon-to-be 34-year-old has had it rough over the last three years, battling injuries and ineffectiveness. Since the start of the 2017 season, Hernández went 15-27 with a 5.42 ERA and a 260/110 K/BB ratio over 314 innings. He was a shadow of who he used to be: the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner with three other runner-up finishes.

Hernández, who inked a minor league deal with the Braves in January, was looking good in four Grapefruit League appearances before the league suspended operations. Over 13 2/3 innings, the right-hander held the opposition to three runs on 13 hits and five walks with 14 strikeouts. Yes, it’s only spring training and it’s a small sample size, but that’s all we have to go off of right now.

It would have been fun if Hernández was able to stay healthy and pitch effectively once again. He still can, but if what Jon Heyman has been hearing is accurate, we may not be seeing regular season games until late May or June. The comeback attempts for Hernández and others — Baltimore’s Chris Davis comes to mind — will be even tougher.

Giants beat Mariners again in road game playing at home

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports Images
Leave a comment

SAN FRANCISCO — The nomadic Mariners are taking their bats from the Bay Area to Southern California for three more “home games” on the road.

Wilmer Flores hit a go-ahead, two-run triple in the seventh inning of the Giants’ 6-4 win Thursday that sent Seattle to a second home defeat played in San Francisco’s ballpark because of dangerous air quality in Western Washington.

The series was moved because of smoke from all the West Coast wildfires. Now, the Mariners are altering their air travel reservations once more and headed to San Diego for a weekend series at Petco Park.

“It’s disappointing, but its the world we’re living in in 2020,” Mariners starter Nick Margevicius said. “There’s a lot of things we can’t control, a lot of things in the season, a lot of things in the world right now.”

Darin Ruf homered in the second inning to back Giants starter Tyler Anderson, who hurt his own cause when he was ejected in the bottom of the third by plate umpire Edwin Moscoso for emphatically expressing his displeasure with a walk to Kyle Lewis.

“Tyler knows that that just can’t happen,” mangaer Gabe Kapler said. “It puts us in a really tough spot.”

Wandy Peralta followed Anderson and threw 49 pitches over a career-high three innings, and Rico Garcia (1-1) worked one inning for his first major league win. Sam Selman finished for his first career save, stranding two runners when Lewis lined out and Kyle Seager flied out.

“Peralta came up huge for us,” Kapler said. “As tough as that was it was equally rewarding and in some ways inspiring to see him come out and give us the length that he did and battle. It gave us a chance to climb back into the game. I thought our guys continued to be resilient.”

JP Crawford hit a two-run single in the second following RBI singles by Tim Lopes and Phillip Ervin, but Seattle’s bullpen couldn’t hold a three-run lead.

Margevicius was staked to an early lead but Kendall Graveman (0-3) couldn’t hold it. The Mariners capitalized in the second after Anderson hit Seager in the backside.

Seattle has fared better against San Diego this season after losing all four to San Francisco. Manager Scott Servais had prepared himself for the possibility his club might have to stay on the road a little longer.

“I think with our players and everybody else it was going to be a two-day trip. That’s what we were led to believe that everything was going to clear up in Seattle,” Servais said. “We can’t control the weather it’s bigger than all of us and with what’s going on there with the smoke. Certainly understand why we have to go but I don’t think anybody was really prepared for it.”

Brandon Crawford contributed a sacrifice fly and Evan Longoria and Alex Dickerson RBI singles for the Giants.

Austin Slater returned at designated hitter for San Francisco and went 0 for 2 with a walk as he works back from a painful right elbow. Luis Basabe singled in the sixth for his first career hit and also stole his first base.

“I didn’t think about it,” said Basabe, who will gift the special souvenir ball to his mother. “I was just happy to get the opportunity.”

Justin Smoak made his Giants home debut as a pinch hitter in the sixth facing his former club after he signed a minor league deal earlier this month following his release by the Brewers.

Anderson, who was trying to win consecutive starts for the first time this season, received his second career ejection. The other was Aug. 13, 2016, while with Colorado.