Jason Miller/Getty Images
When the likes of Felix Hernandez and Jesus Montero aren't producing, you know it's been a long trip.
Prior to Saturday in Colorado, when Montero put together a solid day at plate, helping the Mariners win 10-3 over the Rockies, the rookie had struggled during this road trip. To that point, the lone highlight for Montero was a solo home run against the Yankees during the opening game of the trip.
During the week between those two games, Montero saw his average drop by more than 20 points. It's got to be expected of a rookie, especially at catcher, to endure some ups and downs.
Manager Eric Wedge smartly took note of this and gave him a "rest" Thursday and Friday. Returning Saturday and Sunday with a sound mind and body, Montero once again began to hit with authority. The Mariners will need his bat to continue making contact against the Rangers and Angels in order to win this homestand.
While it's no surprise that Montero struggled a bit, watching Felix Hernandez look human, not once, but twice, on this trip served as an eye-opener.
In his first outing against the Yankees, he made a few bad pitches in what started out as a tight game, but against the Indians, he looked a bit lost from the start. Fortunately, Felix is a gamer and should rebound in short time. Fact is, he will need to with Yu Darvish set to face him Monday night to open the homestand.
This should certainly be an excellent, if not entertaining, matchup. It's also one that Felix will need to be in prime form from beginning to end in order to win and hopefully set the tone of the series.