Felix Hernandez continued to force the question of who is the best pitcher in the American League in 2010 with another dominant performance today, as the Mariners beat the Cleveland Indians 3-0 on a perfect September day in Seattle.
The King actually received some run support today as well, thanks primarily to Russell “The Muscle” Branyan who is on a roll himself, driving in a pair of runs including a homer in the sixth.
Branyan knows his return next year as the Mariners DH depends on how he finishes out the season and has homered in three of the last four games, making his bat hard to ignore as well.
Hernandez had command of all three of his pitches today and was able to fan nine Indians giving him the AL lead with 209 on the year. It seems as if Hernandez is in the zone so to speak, showing more confidence and savvy as the season moves on.
Of course for Felix to win the Cy Young award he will need to continue to pitch this way and receive run support if he has any hopes of getting the votes needed to win this coveted award, due to the East Coast bias in the press and the fact that Hernandez is only 11-10.
It is nice for the fans to have something to follow as the fall air creeps into the Puget Sound. Both Felix and Ichiro are in the hunt for something special as Ichiro shoots for his 11th year in a row with 200 hits (got two today) and Hernandez chases the prestigious Cy Young award.
Wanted to note that I attended the event put on by the blogs: USS Mariner and Lookout Landing on Saturday night and though the game kind of sucked, it was great to talk to fellow bloggers as well as get to hear Jack Zduriencik address the group of a hundred or so before the game.
Jack Z. was fairly candid and did admit that this year has been a big disappointment, but he emphasized that we have a lot of talent developing in the minors that could help the big club in years to come.
He chose to avoid answering a question about the whole Griffey fiasco, and gave the same stock responses that a media savvy guy like him would give around the whole Josh Lueke situation.
The event was certainly no love fest but the questions were civil and it is a testament to the power of the internet that a GM would even take the time to talk to a group of bloggers and their readers.
So after salvaging a split with the Indians, our boys head down the coast for a visit to the Oakland Coliseum for a series with our division rivals, the Athletics, to see if we can play the role of spoiler and dash any lingering hopes the feisty A’s have of catching the Rangers.
The pennant races around the majors are still very interesting to follow and I look forward to reporting on an exciting postseason. Alas it would be much sweeter for us all if our sailors were in the race, but I guess we will have to focus on the consolation prizes of the Ichiro and Hernandez runs for glory.