J.A. Happ turned in another gem in his fourth start of the season. Entering the game with a 3.9K/9 average, Happ dominated the first six innings, struck out ten and left after 6.2 innings. Manager Lloyd McLendon ran through his bullpen Rolodex to close out the final 2.1 innings. The Mariners hung on to beat the Texas Rangers 2-1.
The Mariners dinged the Rangers early for a couple of runs. After a leadoff triple, Nelson Cruz scored in the fourth on a Kyle Seager out. Rickie Weeks followed Seager with a solo home run. That was it for Mariners scoring. The Mariners only had seven hits in the game, following a pattern in the M’s offense. Score a little early, and then hold on tight, because there’s not likely going to be more later. Of the Mariners last ten games, since April 18th, the M’s have scored after the fifth inning only three times.
Last night was no different. Facing the hapless Ross Detwiler, whom they pounded mercilessly April 19th in Seattle, the Mariners managed just five hits in 5.1 innings, and only two more against the Rangers bullpen. What’s more only three Mariners had hits. Cruz, Weeks, and Justin Ruggiano had multi-hit games. It’s hard to go fast when only a few of your cylinders are firing.
Today is Happy Felix Day. We celebrate every fifth day. But it would be nice to find him a little run support and get the beast firing on all cylinders. They may be able to get by a miserable Texas team scoring two runs a game, but on Friday they sail in to Houston for a weekend series against the division leaders. The ‘Stro’s can hit, run, and this year they can pitch too. As Dave Niehaus used to say, the Mariners “need to put on their hitting shoes.”