Facing Cliff Lee wasn’t much fun for anyone other than Nick Swisher last night. Facing Felix Hernandez doesn’t seem likely to be much more pleasant. In his last three starts, King Felix has posted this line:
26 2/3 IP*, 14 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 26 K, 1 HR, 1.69 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 8.67 K/BB
*That’s one out shy of three complete games, in case you didn’t notice, but only one of those starts turned into a complete game as the Mariners lost his last 3-2 in 13 innings.
Four starts ago, Felix got lit up by the red-hot Rangers, but his two starts before that both saw him go eight innings and allow just one run (with 16 total Ks), and in his last nine starts he’s posted a 2.62 ERA and allowed just three home runs. Of course, the Mariners have gone 3-6 in those nine games thanks to either poor bullpen support, poor run support, or both.
Javier Vazquez wasn’t sharp his last time out against his old team in Arizona, but in his four starts prior to that he posted a 2.25 ERA and 0.79 WHIP, lasting exactly seven innings each time out, his only loss coming when the Yankee bats got shutout by Hisanori Takahashi and company. Dating back to May 12, he’s 5-3 with a 3.12 ERA, and 0.98 WHIP in eight starts and one relief appearance.
Brett Gardner remains out of the lineup but is available to pinch-run and play defense. Colin Curtis starts in left and bats eighth. The rest of the lineup is the same as last night’s.