Felix Hernandez Felix Hernandez

Felix Hernandez Will Never Be A 20 Game Winner

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Right now if someone were to ask me who the best pitcher in baseball was, I would say Felix Hernandez. I would then get the whole “What about Clayton Kershaw? He’s a 20 game winner”.

That one thing, is all that is overshadowing Felix from being truly the best pitcher in baseball…..the 20 win season. Felix should have had 20 wins this season but thanks to poor run support he wasn’t able to, nor will he ever in my opinion. We know the Mariners hardly ever give Felix run support but I’ll say it again…..Felix should have won 20 games at least 2 or 3 times in his career by now.

Kershaw is just as good as Felix, but he’s managed to hit the 20-win plateau twice in his career. The only time Felix even came close to winning 20 games was in 2009 when he went 19-5.  Kershaw though nearly gets the same poor run support as Felix does. So why is it that Kershaw can manage getting 20 wins more easily than Felix?

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For one thing, Kershaw doesn’t pitch for the Mariners. But seriously, Kershaw has just thrown more nasty stuff and his team has come up when he has needed it. Where as Felix has had to pitch in games where he has only gotten 1-3 runs and in games where he HAS it and doesn’t even give up a run his team will wait until he gets a no decision to score a run.

In the game where Felix struck out 15 Tampa Bay Rays batters, the Mariners knocked 6 hits and had their best chance to score in the top of the 5th, when they loaded the bases with only one out and couldn’t pound across 1 run. After Felix went 7 strong amazing innings, the M’s still hadn’t pushed across a run. But in the 9th, they pushed across 5 runs!

Now even I know that Felix gets pissed but he never shows it, but that probably pissed him off royally.

Its the same thing the day after Felix starts! Here is the number of runs in order of Felix’s starts that the Mariners have given him along with the runs the M’s put up after he left the game (+) and the decision he took in that game as well; 4 (+6) W, 3 W, 6 W, 2 ND, 2 L, 3 ND, 2 (+2) ND, 3 (+3) ND, 9 (+3) W, 5 (+1) W, 6 W, 3 W, 6 (+4) W, 0 (+5) ND, 0 L, 1 (+1) ND, 12 W, 3 W, 0 (+3) ND, 3 W, 1 (+2) ND, 1 (+1) ND, 0 L, 4 W, 9 (+2) W, 1 (+1) L, 0 (+5) ND, 2 (+1) L, 2 W, 1 (+3) ND, 2 ND, 0 (+3) ND, 2 L.

So now lets see how many runs the M’s scored the day after each of Felix’s starts shall we? 8, 3, 1, 6, 2, 6, 9, 0, 1, 6, 4, 5, 7, 3, 3, 1, 8, 10, 0, 6, 5, 4, 6, 7, 6, 8, 7, 1, 10, 1, 0, 10, 0.

So, lets go ahead and average out Felix’s starts and the day after and then lets just see the average number of runs scored after he left a game?

The Mariners better add some offense this offseason if Felix has a chance of winning 20 games in a season, like this guy. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Felix received an average of 2.96 runs when he starts. The Mariners average 4.66 runs the day after a Felix start. Not good. Now lets look at wins and losses shall we? In games Felix wins the Mariners give him an average of 5.21 runs while they average 1.16 runs in his loses! The M’s give Felix an average of 1.23 runs in his no decisions!

Look, an average of 2-3 runs per start is not going to give your starter a guaranteed win or help him win 20 or more games! Now when Felix wins, the Mariners do give him terrific run support by scoring a little over 5 runs a game, so if the Mariners were to do that every game for Felix he would have a better shot at winning 20 games in a season.

Kershaw on the other hand, gets an average of 4.59 runs a start! In Kershaw’s 21 wins, the Dodgers have given him 5.28 runs and in his three losses the Dodgers have only managed 1.33 runs. In his three no decisions he was given an average of 3 runs.

Kershaw has the better numbers win wise and run support wise in win, lose, and no decisions! If Felix would like to reach the 20 game win plateau then general manager Jack Z needs to focus on going out and getting both hitters that can hit in big situations and also get a couple more bullpen guys that can help maintain and keep a lead if the M’s lead by only 1-3 runs.

It’s not a matter of how Felix pitches, its a matter of the Mariners helping out their ace and score runs and lots of them.

There’s only so much Felix can do just with his pitching abilities, if you cant score runs he wont win many games. The reason Kershaw has won so many games and has lost so few is because the Dodgers have a lineup that backs up each hitter and that are consistent as well.

That’s what the Mariners need to get Felix if he ever wants to win 20 games. Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager isn’t enough for Felix, Kershaw has guys like Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Dee Gordon, Hanely Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford in his lineup……I think Felix maybe a little outmatched in the lineup area.

Jack Z is really going to need to out-do himself this off-season. He cant sign old has-beens like Corey Hart or Kendrys Morales. He’s gotta go after the young talent that IS out there. Do that and the Mariners will be a big powerhouse next season to contend for the American League West title. Do this and again, you wont just see Felix win 20 games, you’ll see a powerhouse Mariners team make a try for the AL West crown and maybe even an American League pennant.