M's Notes: Despite shutout, Felix won't top 200 innings
Seattle Times staff reporter
Felix Hernandez pitched the first shutout of his career Monday night, bringing his total innings this season to two outs beyond 160. This makes King Felix the second pitcher in the past 15 years — Kerry Wood is the other — to record a shutout before turning old enough to drink, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
In the wake of that performance, it's tempting to consider allowing Hernandez to pitch more innings than planned this season. His ceiling is 200. But despite the shutout, don't expect him to do more than bump it.
"To be proactive is something we're going to do," manager Mike Hargrove said. "Down the road, we'll all be glad we did this."
Hargrove expects to meet soon with pitching coach Rafael Chaves to discuss when, where and how much to use Hernandez in the last month of this season. Part of that could depend on who the Mariners call up in September. Just don't plan on the usage exceeding 40 innings.
The day after Hernandez posted his best outing as a Mariner, most of Hargrove's pregame news conference centered on that game. The difference, Hargrove said, was that Hernandez worked more quickly and confidently than usual. He also didn't try to overthrow his way out of the limited amount of jams he encountered.
"He had a good up-tempo, but he also projected an image of confidence," Hargrove said. "He needs to continue to do that. That can't appear just once every 10 starts. It's got to be every time he takes the mound."
Julio Mateo walked into the clubhouse Tuesday with a soft cast on his left hand and a bandage all the way up his left forearm. The Mariners lost their nine-win reliever on Monday after he broke a bone in his hand during a weightlifting accident.
In his first public comments since the injury, Mateo tried explaining to reporters how it happened, but the details remain sketchy. His explanation included a 35-pound weight, shoulder exercises and the admission that he's "not a good workout guy."
"I knew there was something wrong," Mateo said. "Because I tried to move my finger, and I [could] barely move it. I knew right away."
Mateo is on the 60-day disabled list and won't pitch again this season. He said doctors told him the injury would take four to six weeks to heal. He plans to pitch in the winter leagues, though, because he logged only 53-2/3 innings this season after exceeding 80 innings in 2003 and 2005.
"I feel like I haven't pitched this year," Mateo said. "I don't think that's enough [innings]."
On the opposite side of the clubhouse, Jon Huber took in his new surroundings. He split time this year between Class AA San Antonio and Class AAA Tacoma, eventually closing for both teams before taking Mateo's spot in the bullpen Monday.
Acquired in a deadline deal with San Diego for Dave Hansen in 2004, Huber said the Mariners told him near the end of spring training that he was moving to the bullpen. He embraced the role immediately.
"Just took to it right away," Huber said. "I fell in love with the job."
Huber has two plus breaking balls, his slider and curveball, and locates his fastball between 90 mph and 94 mph. He will get some of Mateo's innings, along with Sean Green and Joel Pineiro, who Hargrove said might throw more than just long appearances after Mateo's injury.
"We don't have Julio, who was a fairly reliable guy, to come in the sixth inning and get us to the eighth," Hargrove said.
Nobody shut down
Other than Mateo, the Mariners have not yet shelved any injured players for the season, although Hargrove said CF Jeremy Reed and RHP Mark Lowe are likely possibilities. Both are currently on the disabled list, although Reed comes off on Thursday. He's not expected to start a rehab stint then.
The Mariners would like Reed to get 20 to 30 at-bats in a rehab stint, but the problem is the Rainiers' season ends Monday.
How the runs scored
Angels first: Figgins struck out. Izturis grounded out, first baseman Sexson unassisted. Cabrera doubled to center. Guerrero singled to right, Cabrera scored. On Johjima's error, Guerrero to second. Rivera struck out. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 1 left on. Angels 1, M's 0.
Mariners first: Ichiro homered to center on a 1-0 count. Snelling homered to right on a 1-1 count. Beltre doubled to left. On Weaver's wild pitch, Beltre to third. Ibanez doubled to center, Beltre scored. Sexson grounded out, pitcher Weaver to first baseman Quinlan, Ibanez to third. Broussard struck out. Johjima fouled out to catcher Napoli. 3 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. M's 3, Angels 1.
Mariners third: Ibanez homered to right on a 1-1 count. Sexson flied out to left fielder Rivera. Broussard singled to center. Johjima safe at second on Izturis' error, Broussard to third. Lopez grounded into fielder's choice, second baseman Kendrick to catcher Napoli, Broussard out, Johjima to third. Betancourt flied out to right fielder Guerrero. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 left on. M's 4, Angels 1.
Mariners fourth: Ichiro popped out to second baseman Kendrick. Snelling homered to right on a 0-1 count. Beltre lined out to left fielder Rivera. Ibanez walked on four pitches. Sexson struck out. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left on. M's 5, Angels 1.
Mariners sixth: Carrasco pitching. Beltre singled to left. Ibanez grounded into fielder's choice, pitcher Carrasco to shortstop Cabrera, Beltre out. Sexson singled to left, Ibanez to second. Broussard flied out to center fielder Figgins. Johjima safe on Izturis' error, Ibanez scored, Sexson to third. Lopez grounded into fielder's choice, shortstop Cabrera to second baseman Kendrick, Johjima out. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 left on. M's 6, Angels 1.
Angels seventh: Anderson homered to right on a 2-1 count. Quinlan homered to left on a 0-2 count. Kendrick flied out to center fielder Ichiro. Napoli walked on a full count. Figgins flied out to center fielder Ichiro. Izturis grounded into fielder's choice, shortstop Betancourt to second baseman Lopez, Napoli out. 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. M's 6, Angels 3.
Angels eighth: Soriano pitching. Cabrera struck out. Guerrero infield single to short. Green pitching. Rivera singled to left, Guerrero to third. Sherrill pitching. Anderson doubled to right, Guerrero scored, Rivera to third. Putz pitching. Quinlan struck out. Kendrick flied out to center fielder Ichiro. 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 left on. M's 6, Angels 4.
For the record
W/L streak: W-6
At home: 38-30
On road: 25-39
vs. AL West: 12-32
vs. Angels: 9-9
vs. Oakland: 1-15
vs. Texas: 2-8
vs. AL East: 23-15
vs. AL Cen.: 14-18
vs. NL: 14-4
vs. LHP: 18-19
vs. RHP: 45-50
Extra innings: 4-7
Tuesday's crowd: 29,059
Overall attendance: 2,129,798
Season avg. (68 games): 31,321
Biggest crowd: 46,325
Smallest crowd: 16,102
2005 avg. (68 games): 34,665The week ahead
7:05 p.m., FSN
@ Tampa Bay
4:15 p.m., FSN
@ Tampa Bay
4:15 p.m., Ch. 11
RH Cha Seung Baek (1-0)
LH J.P Howell
@ Tampa Bay
10:15 a.m., FSN
LH Casey Fossum (6-6)
10:05 a.m., no TV
LH Wil Ledezma (2-1)
4:05 p.m., FSN
Greg Bishop: 206-464-3191 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company