Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Just absolutely, positively FILTHY yesterday. If you haven't seen the video for whatever reason, check it out. Look at the biting slider, or the 98 MPH heat he freezes Piazza on that Johjima can't even catch. Look at the K of Kendall later in the clip, and look at how much that ball moves. It runs in under his armpits, at 97 MPH?? Unreal.

When you make an MLB club look that silly, you are simply amazing. 20 years old? How about this - he's the youngest since Doc Gooden to start on opening day back in 1985, we all know that....but did you know, back on opening day in 1985 when Gooden made that start? Felix WASN'T EVEN BORN YET. Yes, that even makes me feel old.

How good a performance was it? Only the most dominating opening day performance in, oh, 40 YEARS. Check this out, via Elias:

Seattle's Felix Hernandez struck out 12 batters in the Mariners' 4-0 win over the A's. He became the majors' first Opening Day pitcher to strike out at least 12 batters without allowing a run since Bob Gibson did it for the Cardinals in 1967. Gibson struck out 13 in a complete-game shutout over the Giants.

GULP. Fist-pumping after strikeouts, upper-90's gas with wicked stuff down in the zone. Just flat-out filthy. He's 25 lbs trimmer, he's starting to show a nasty edge to him, and the leash is pretty much off. They are cutting this monster loose. It feels good to know the M's officially have an ACE!


Anonymous said...

it was a nice move to make him #1 and put a little pressure on the kid..he needs that at this stage...

Lets just hope that he gets through the first third (with up and down weather and temperatures) without getting hurt.

I still see him as a 15 win guy with this team--that I still think is lower division....

Still it was nice to see and really nice to see us beat the A's in one series as many times as we did last year....

How about our lack of depth on the football side...

Arm and arm we go...

Sedihawk said...

I guess he's like any pitcher, one pitch away from having his career completely changed (read: Kerry Wood). But he's young and strong, so might as well ride this horse until he can't go anymore. One of the really good things you hear about him though are his mechanics, and some experts claim he's got a good shot at staying healthy in that he's the anti-Kerry Wood, with mechanics that aren't nearly as violent as Wood.

The best thing of all is that he's clearly discovered a work ethic and nutrition at a young age, transforming his body so quickly. He's the anti-Junior in that sense, if you remember all the stories were of how lazy Junior was, never working out, stretching, etc, and you have to wonder if all those years of not taking care of himself and playing on concrete 81 games a year are the reasons he's been a physical wreck the last 6 years.

Anyway, to think that he's this good at 20, 21, is pretty amazing. To think that Randy Johnson at the same age was throwing balls halfway up the backstop at USC makes it even more remarkable. The most dominating opening day performance since Bob Gibson in 1967, and he was just 20 years old?? Are you kidding me!!?!

For the Cougs, one thing I can't understand in reading comments at Glenn's blog - Where is all the optimism coming from? Some of these guys are saying this is a bowl team? Well, WHY? How can anyone look at the big picture, knowing that our youth and alarming lack of depth is one thing, and the hit we've taken due to graduation in terms of experience and leadership and talent, and then you look at the schedule and how strong the conference will be next year, and see anything more than 4 wins?? I can see beating Idaho, MAYBE San Diego St in Seattle and probably Stanford at home, but otherwise? Can you see us beating Wisconsin, Arizona, Cal, Oregon, USC or UW on the road? Oregon State, UCLA and ASU at home, each with a million starters back?? I hope to God I'm wrong, and that it's a fun, surprising year where we sneak out 7-8 wins and get back to the postseason, but I've never had this much of a sense of doom-n-gloom so early in the process. I guess all that optimism will blow up after the Wisconsin game, an 11-1 team that's returning like 18 starters?!?! Great way to start the year, huh?

Sedihawk said...

We're this thin now?


4 scholarship lineman? 2 running backs? The corners aren't very good right now, to the point they are hoping for an impact from players who aren't even on campus yet??? Good Lord, it gets worse by the day. It's almost getting comical, as much as I hate to say it.

Did you see Doba wants his weekends free?


Maybe I was a little harsh, but man. It's not like these guys are coming off a BCS bowl game. They've been having fun on the weekends since Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Its because of the injury factor....if we get a couple more guys hurt, we're a big sky team...

He's trying to maximize instruction and minimize injury..

Its a sign of how bad the season will be..

Sedihawk said...

HELP ME Gary Rogers!


You're my only hope for an interesting 2007 season. :)

Sedihawk said...

And we thought he was good on opening day? Amazing. To go in to Fenway, on that stage when the world was holding it's breath for Dice-K vs. Ichi, what does the just-turned 21-year old do? Oh, not much. Just takes a no-no into the 8th inning, and eventually finishes with a ONE-FREAKIN'-HITTER! And to whiff the last batter, Youkilis, with one of the worst, flailing, are-you-joking swings on strike 3 at yet another nasty breaking ball?!? Are you kidding me!?!

How about this from USSMariner? Opposing hitters vs. Felix in 2007? Try 4-FOR-52! Or how about 85% of all balls put into play by the opposing team this year are ground balls? Did you SEE the ESPN "K-ZONE" replays of some of his strikeouts? Did you see those 90-mph curve balls that were nintendo-esque, just devouring the bottom of the strike zone? There were two he threw, one to JD Drew and one to Varitek, well, let's just say they were pitches that are NOT OF THIS EARTH! How about Ortiz saying after the game that he's got the best stuff of anyone he's seen, maybe ever? It's not just the 98mph heat either, I mean that heat just jumps, but it's so much more than that. It's the whole array of pitches, and how silly he can make you look. And when he gets ahead in the count, well, forget it!

The thing I loved the most was watching Orel Hershiser and Steve Phillips just gush about Felix after the game on ESPN News, basically saying that every game out, Felix doesn't just have dominating ability, he has no-hit ability. I just hope we can appreciate what we are seeing and not poo-pooh it as "it's ah-right" and hem and haw that he's just going to end up injured like Kerry Wood or Mark Prior, or he'll never pan out and he'll just be another Doc Gooden, or the incompetence of the M's front office will lead to a trade or they'll low-ball him and he'll start counting the days that he can hit free agency and go pitch for the Yankees.

Who CARES about any of that. Just let yourself enjoy what you are witnessing, NOW. Enjoy the precious present. Don't look too far to tomorrow. Don't look back at his mediocre season last year. Because it's awfully, awfully rare to see something so fantastic at such an early age. And even more rare that he's a Mariner. They finally have the most precious commodity in baseball, something every other team in MLB would die to have, right now. A legit, monster, bring-the-noise #1 starter with absolutely dominating ability, a relaxed yet aggressive demeanor who isn't afraid of a challenge, and HE'S ONLY 21!!!!!!!!!!!!