Sunday, October 03, 2010
Hey Mariners... let's compromise on Felix Hernandez starting
So the Mariners are at home for the last day of the season... and I guess it is fitting for a year where many people picked them to win the AL West and instead lost 100 games that they are giving their fans nothing to cheer for on the last day.
Felix Hernandez, looking to cement a Cy Young resume that has everything except the eye popping win total (although winning 13 games on a 100 loss team isn't easy) has been shut down for the year.
You see, the young man has thrown too many innings. In fact he has more innings pitched than anyone in the American League.
He's thrown 249 2/3 innings... and evidently his arm will explode if he throws 250.
I get it... innings limits. It works. Just ask Joba Chamberlain and Stephen Strasburg.
But do you really want the final moment of the 2010 Mariners season a start by Ryan Rowland Smith?
The guy let up 11 earned runs in one start in July. I know I am supposed to ignore win totals, but 1-10 just sucks... and the 6.90 ERA doesn't help.
So here's what I propose, Mariners... for the fans.
Have Felix Hernandez start and throw two innings. Inevitably he will strike out 2 batters in those 2 innings.
Then remove him to a thunderous ovation.
Why 2 innings and 2 strikeouts?
2 innings will give him 251 2/3 innings... 1 more inning than Roy Halladay who leads the majors in that category.
He is also 1 strikeout behind big league leader Jared Weaver.
So those 2 innings will give him the most innings pitched in the bigs, the most strikeouts in the bigs, the lowest qualifying ERA in the bigs, and tied for the most starts in the bigs.
Those 2 innings and 2 strikeouts could make a compelling argument to even the old school voters that he pitched better than anyone in baseball this year.
And hey! That would mean people would be talking about the Mariners in the off season.
How nice would that be?
I would say nicer than a Ryan Rowland Smith start.