#2: Felix Hernandez: Innings Pitched: 2729.2, Earned Runs: 1037, 3.419099 ERA
Oh, Felix. Watching him in his prime was a thing of beauty. Mariners fans all over know just how underappreciated he was because of the lack of run support the team was able to provide for him. Just check out this stat from a Schoenfield article over on ESPN back in 2016.
"“It was the 45th start in which Hernandez allowed zero runs or one run and didn’t get credit for a win.”"
That was only in 2016. That number made up 13.4% of his starts up to that point. In fact, in those 45 starts, Felix had a record of 0-5. It gets worse. He had 118 games where he threw a quality start and didn’t get the win, going 0-42 with a 2.19 ERA in those starts. He even threw something called an “Ultra-Quality Start” (UQ) in a mind-boggling 43% of his starts.
Think about some of it for a minute. Felix had 418 starts. 258 Quality starts, 180 UQ starts, and his record was only 169-136. Teams win 68% of the time a pitcher has a quality start, so just in this quality starts Felix should’ve had 175 wins. Then you still have the other 160 starts. Give him wins in 40% of those games, and Felix gets to 239 wins. Maybe you think the numbers are skewed low or high, but we can all agree Felix had awful run support.
Felix through 199 games from 2009-2014, and only had 86 wins to go along with his ERA of 2.73. He should’ve won way more than that. Like 40+ games more. Yeah, on a normal team with run support, Felix would’ve won 20+ a year, especially throwing seven innings a night.
Does this have a ton to do with the ERA conversation for the Mariners? No, not really. Felix was dominant though, and he deserved better. With just 1.2 innings more, Felix could take over the best ERA in team history. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen, which leads us to the true career leader in ERA for the Mariners…