Catastrophe: Mariners lose opener and possibly Felix.

Felix Opening day 2017

It’s hard enough to lose, but it’s tougher still to lose your ace. Mariner Nation will have its eyes fixed on reports regarding Felix Hernandez’s apparent groin injury during the team’s 3–0 loss to the Astros in the season opener.  The King clearly injured himself covering a close play at first on a groundout by Josh Reddick.  Hernandez hit the bag hard and came off the play limping. He remained in the game through the fifth inning, retiring all three Astros batters, but was removed for Nick Vincent in the sixth.

Note: The Mariners announced last night it was unlikely Felix would have to miss his next start. 

The Mariners began the game with promise, with Jean Segura singling to lead off the first inning, but his run died at second.  The M’s were not so lucky when George Springer led off the Astros half of the inning with a home run.  Felix pitched well through the fifth, allowing only another solo homer to Carlos Correa.  It was a 449 foot bomb that exited Minute Maid Park. Mariners down 2-0. Scoring for the game concluded when Nick Vincent relieved Felix in the sixth.  He allowed Alex Bregman to walk in a 12-pitch at-bat.  Jose Altuve followed with a single, driving Bregman to third, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Correa.

Unfortunately, the M’s had no such luck against Houston starter Dallas Keuchel. Segura’s hit was one of only three the M’s amassed against Astros pitching. Segura followed up with an infield hit in the eighth.  Robinson Cano singled in the fourth inning.

The Mariners had scoring opportunities when they loaded the bases in fourth, but Leonys Martin grounded out to end the inning. In the eighth, Segura got his second hit and he was followed by Mitch Haniger who walked. A passed ball moved the runners up to 2nd and 3rd, but Cano lined out to right fielder George Springer.

Not a lot to cheer in this game.  Keuchel looks to have regained his 2015 Cy Award winning form.  The M’s were mostly baffled by his assortment of high 80’s fastballs, a great changeup and breaking pitches that were very well located.

if there were any bright spots for the Mariners, it was the performance of left-hander James Pazos and right hander Casey Fien.  They retired all seven of the Houston batters they faced.

But it doesn’t diminish the fact the M’s lost their opening game of the season, and may be losing their ace and spiritual leader to the disabled list.  This is not the opener anyone envisioned.

 

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