August 16, 2010 in Sports

Indians pound hard-luck Felix, Mariners

Wheels come off after error
Geoff Baker Seattle Times
 
Associated Press photo

The Indians scored six unearned runs in the seventh against Felix Hernandez.
(Full-size photo)

CLEVELAND – A visibly peeved Felix Hernandez sat by his locker for several minutes after this loss, a 9-1 Mariners defeat Sunday against the Cleveland Indians.

He rattled off a series of words in Spanish to Mariners teammates Jose Lopez and Franklin Gutierrez.

Hernandez said later he was most upset at himself for the gopher-ball sinker he threw Travis Hafner in the seventh inning, which was golfed over the center-field wall for a grand slam. The blast keyed a seven-run seventh by the Indians that sent Hernandez and company reeling.

For Hernandez, the frustration has to be mounting in a season that’s seen him post a 2.62 earned-run average while compiling just an 8-10 record. Any mistake, it seems, costs him the game. This time, the gaffe came well before the slam, when second baseman Chone Figgins bobbled a two-out grounder to keep the inning alive.

“Errors are a part of the game,” Hernandez said in what’s become an almost automatic response to setbacks that derail his games. “They’re a part of baseball. I was like, ‘Just make good pitches.’ ”

Hernandez had been doing that all day, silencing the crowd of 14,888 at Progressive Field as he engaged in a scoreless duel with mound counterpart Justin Masterson. He’d shown no-hit stuff through four innings, a two-hitter through six and was nearly through a perfect seventh until the Figgins error.

Figgins recovered after bobbling the grounder by Luis Valbuena and threw high to the bag. Valbuena beat the throw in any event and the umpire ruled Casey Kotchman took his foot off the bag stretching for the throw.

Two singles, a double, an intentional walk, the slam and 21 pitches later, Hernandez was trudging to the showers down 6-0 and wearing the look of a guy who didn’t know what hit him.

Hernandez insisted he kept his focus after the error. But things came apart so quickly he barely knew what happened.

“It was weird, huh?” Hernandez said. “I mean, I felt good today. I felt strong, I was making good pitches. But in that inning, my fastball stayed a little bit up.”

Seattle ABRHBIBBSOAvg.
I.Suzuki rf 300010.311
Langerhans rf 000000.219
Figgins 2b 300011.251
Branyan dh 110031.244
Jo.Lopez 3b 401000.240
F.Gutierrez cf 401101.249
Kotchman 1b 401001.215
A.Moore c 300011.159
M.Saunders lf 400002.226
Woodward ss 200011.000
b-Tuiasosopo ph 100000.155
Totals 2913178
Cleveland ABRHBIBBSOAvg.
Brantley cf 422310.203
A.Cabrera ss 512101.279
Choo rf 411013.290
Hafner dh 411402.266
a-Duncan ph-dh 100000.241
J.Nix 2b 311111.238
Crowe lf 401000.254
LaPorta 1b 300010.242
Valbuena 3b 410002.163
Marson c 423000.192
Totals 36911949
Seattle 000000010 – 131
Cleveland 00000072x – 9110

b-lined out for Woodward in the 9th. E – Figgins (13). LOB – Seattle 8, Cleveland 7. 2B – Kotchman (14), A.Cabrera (11), Marson (8). HR – Hafner (10), off F.Hernandez; J.Nix (10), off White; Brantley (3), off Seddon. RBIs – F.Gutierrez (49), Brantley 3 (13), A.Cabrera (14), Hafner 4 (37), J.Nix (22). RLSP – Seattle 4 (F.Gutierrez, Figgins 2, Kotchman); Cleveland 3 (Valbuena, Choo, Brantley). RMU – A.Cabrera. DP – Cleveland 1 (Choo, LaPorta).

Seattle IPHRERBBSONPERA
F.Hernandez L, 8-10 62/3660471102.62
White 1/321100155.34
Seddon 132202254.61
Cleveland IPHRERBBSONPERA
Masterson 6100631005.23
Sipp W, 2-2 100001104.96
R.Perez 2/311111153.40
J.Smith 1/310001114.78
C.Perez 10000282.28

IR-S – J.Smith 2-1. IBB – off F.Hernandez (Choo). T – 2:48. A – 14,888 (45,569).

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