Giving up five-run lead a rarity for Felix

Giving up five-run lead a rarity for Felix

Giving up five-run lead a rarity for Felix
ANAHEIM -- Provided a little offensive support, Felix Hernandez rarely loses. How rare was Friday's 6-5 defeat when the Mariners' ace was given a five-run lead?

The Mariners hadn't lost a game Hernandez started when they scored five or more runs since May 18, 2010, when they dropped a 6-5 decision to the A's.

And when Hernandez is spotted a five-run cushion in a game? Seattle is now 33-2 in that scenario, the only previous such loss coming on Sept. 23, 2006, at the White Sox.

Hernandez didn't take the loss Friday but wound up with a no-decision when the Angels tied the game at 5-5 and then won it on Josh Kinney's wild pitch in the ninth. Admittedly, there was a little shock after this one.

"It was tough, especially jumping out by five runs real quick," said catcher John Jaso. "And with Felix on the mound, you think we've got this in the bag. But it goes to show you, it's not over until it's over in this game of baseball. It's weird how it all works."

Seattle's defense didn't help matters as one of Hernandez's runs was unearned following a Brendan Ryan error, and the tying run scored when right fielder Eric Thames overthrew the cutoff man and turned a bases-loaded drive down the line by Mike Trout into a game-tying two-run sacrifice fly.

But Hernandez said he didn't have his normal stuff either, particularly with his potent changeup not working. And Jaso, who has caught most of Hernandez's recent dominant run, acknowledged the same.

"He wasn't as sharp as he'd been," Jaso said. "His velocity was down a little. It was just one of those games. You can't jump on his back the whole season, right? And there were a couple tough breaks out in the field, too.

"It happens in a season. We've been pretty good defensively as a team, so it's hard to get mad over a couple of days of things going wrong. You don't want to be complacent about it. We've got to improve it. But this is a good defensive club."

And Hernandez is a pretty fair pitcher. He currently leads the AL in innings pitched (171.0), is third in strikeouts (162) and fifth in ERA (2.74), WHIP (1.10) and opponent's batting average (.229).