It hasn’t been all roses and sunshine for the Seattle Mariners this season. However, they have one of the best pitchers on the planet in Felix Hernandez, and his greatness was on full display as he led the M’s to their 6th straight victory with a 12-5 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday.
Although the Mariners, as a team, allowed 5 runs in the win, Hernandez was nearly flawless. Felix threw 6 innings of shutout ball, allowing only 4 hits (and 1 walk) while striking out 7 Astros over is 99 pitch outing. It was the 11th win of the season for Hernandez, who is also sporting his trademark fantastic ratios including a 2.43 ERA and 9.15 strikeouts per 9 innings.
In addition to the big right arm of Hernandez, Seattle also experienced an offensive breakout on Sunday, headlined by a grand slam from rookie Nick Franklin. Franklin was one of the team’s best prospects before being called up a few weeks ago, and he hasn’t disappointed despite a minor slump. His 2nd-inning blast helped the Mariners score 7 in the frame, breaking the game wide open and allowing Seattle to cruise to victory.
Even with 6 consecutive wins (including the sweep over Houston), the Mariners are only 46-52 through 98 games. Because they trail Oakland by 11 games in the AL West, it is a minor pipe dream to consider them a playoff contender, but for the past week, they’ve been electric, and the “new era” in Seattle could be arriving shortly.