At last the Seattle Mariners ace, Felix Hernandez has recovered from his losses thanks to the sessions he has had in the bullpen. Prior to his recovery, the Mariners were worried about his dwindling performance as evidenced in the previous five games.
Back then, Hernandez had 8.48 ERA under his belt. That was despite the fact that he had won in 15 appearances of the big league. The ace had missed 10 hits in the last nine games of the regular season.
“He threw the ball extremely well,” said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon. “He was very determined to come out and have his typical type of game. He made a mistake in the first, elevated a fastball and they got a home run late. But other than that, he was outstanding.”
Hernandez decided to end his losing streak on Wednesday when he recorded three hits and two runs in eight innings which resulted in victory against the Athletics with 8-2.
“When I open up, the ball is flat and not moving and it’s in the middle of the plate,” the ace said. “This felt good. I’m happy with what I did today.”
The Mariners were more than thrilled to see the performance of their most reliable player turn around. “It was huge,” said Nelson Cruz, who helped out by slugging his 39th homer of the season and knocking in three more runs. “I think for everybody, not just for him. Everybody needs that, and the way he pitched today was the way we’re used to seeing.”
The ace was really desperate for a win. This is because he had squandered his 27 runs in just five games. He was actually headed towards a fall because he had initially missed 25 runs. But Hernandez new the solution to his woes was within himself.
And that is why he took time to watch the films of his previous starts to identify the faults that were hindering him from moving forward. Once he identified his flaws, the ace went straight into the bullpen.
“My location was way better,” Hernandez said. “I found some tweaks with my mechanics and I felt better. My fastball was there and I could locate it to both sides of the plate. I watched a couple films and I was opening up and was too fast to the plate. That was key.”
When everyone was on Hernandez case, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon defended him by stating that losing and winning is part of the game and hence the ace is not an exemption.
“Yeah, I tell people he’s human,” said the manager. “I think when you have a pitcher that’s great, people want to think there’s something wrong, and that’s not always the case. This game is hard to play, even for the great ones. Every now and then, they’re going to get hit.”