Mariners Game Recap: King Felix Reigns Supreme in Battle of Aces


2. 62. Final. 0. 40

The Seattle Mariners (30-36) won in the battle of the aces tonight, 2-0 at Safeco Field against the San Francisco Giants (35-32). In what has to be considered one of the best pitching match-ups in years, Felix Hernandez (10-3, 3.08 ERA) out-dueled Madison Bumgarner (7-4, 3.09 ERA) for his 10th win of the campaign. Carson Smith earned his 3rd save of the season after recording the final out on Wednesday night.

Watching Felix and Bumgarner pitch tonight was the highlight of the season thus far for me. It is a rare treat to see 2 of the greatest pitchers in the game square off against one another at the height of their careers. Thankfully, both King Felix and MadBum did not disappoint.

King Felix lived up to his name tonight, hurling 8 shutout innings against the defending World Series Champions. Hernandez was electric, striking out 5, walking 2 and scattering 4 hits on the night. It was obvious that the pitching matchup was fuel for the King tonight, as he came out firing. The 29-year-old right-hander went right after the Giants, pitching to contact and relying on the M’s quality defense. Felix appeared to re-injure his ankle in the 2nd inning while covering first base, but recovered beautifully to lead Seattle to victory.

Charlie Furbush and Carson Smith combined to pitch a perfect final frame to shut the door on the Giants. Furbush quickly dispatched of The Brandon Twins (Belt and Crawford) with ease before being replaced by Smitty. The 25-year-old right-hander did his thing, getting Matt Duffy swinging on his legendary slider to end the game.

Madison Bumgarner was nearly as dominant as the King tonight, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits across 8 innings of work. MadBum had the Mariners’ baffled all night, striking out 9 and walking 1. Apart from a 2-run 6th inning where nearly everything went wrong for Bumgarner and the Giants, the 25-year-old southpaw was unhittable. Bumgarner could literally do anything he wanted to on the mound tonight, and had a perfect game going though 5.1 innings. It was a pleasure to witness the majesty that was King Felix and MadBum tonight.

Not surprisingly, there was very little offense to go around tonight. The M’s tallied just 4 hits, but managed to scratch across a pair of runs in the 6th inning. Mike Zunino got that rally started for Seattle. The Mariners’ backstop worked the count like an All Star, hitting the 8th pitch he saw through the left side of the infield for a 1-out single. Austin Jackson drove a ball deep to right-center field that was just out of the reach of Angel Pagan for an RBI triple. Zunino needed an acrobatic slide, but he crossed the plate to give the M’s a 1-0 lead. With AJ on third base, Robinson Cano ripped a ground ball down the right field line for an RBI double. Cano literally doubled the Mariners’ lead tonight.

Matt Duffy was the only Giant who looked comfortable tonight in the box against Felix Hernandez. Duffy finished the game going 2 for 4, and raising his season average to .294. Joe Panik and Buster Posey were the only other San Francisco players to record a hit in tonight’s loss. The Giants went 0-2 with runners in scoring position, and stranded 7 runners on base.

I must admit, I am just about ready to change the channel on the Robinson Cano Show. Robby did come through with an RBI double tonight, but he proceeded to get picked off second base and commit an error that could have proven costly for Seattle. I do not mean to pile on Cano, but he has to start playing with more effort. His poor play this season is bad enough, but the mental miscues are simply unacceptable.

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The Mariners’ win tonight allows them to keep pace in the American League West. The M’s entered the day in 4th place in the west, 8.5 game back of the division leading Houston Astros, and that is exactly how they leave it.

The Seattle Mariners (30-36) will try to win the series tomorrow night at Safeco Field against the San Francisco Giants (35-32). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm from the corner of Edgar & Dave. Rookie sensation, Mike Montgomery (1-1, 1.89 ERA) will get the ball for Seattle in the series finale. Veteran right-hander, Ryan Vogelsong (4-5, 4.81 ERA) will be on the bump for SanFran on Thursday night. Root Sports Northwest will broadcast the game live locally, and subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

Next: Mariners Game Notes: Mark Trumbo Returns to M's Lineup

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