By John Boyle
What had all the makings of a big celebration at Safeco Field turned into something of a disaster Thursday night.
With Felix Hernandez making his first home start since signing a big contract extension in the offseason, the Mariners hosted a “Supreme Court” meaning everyone in attendance, not just fans in the “King’s Court” section in left field, was clad in yellow tee shirts and holding K cards.
But for the second straight start, Hernandez was not his usual dominant self, giving up 10 hits and four runs, three of them earned, meaning his 1,500th career strikeout, which came in the first inning, was overshadowed by his inability to earn career victory No. 100.
Hernandez gave up a home run to A.J. Pierzynski on a pitch he described as a fastball “right in the middle of the plate.” All in all, Hernandez didn’t feel bad, but he just missed on a few pitches, he said.
“I had pretty good stuff, just made a couple of mistakes,” Hernandez said, “… It was not a struggle, just missing a little bit. I was trying to make good pitches, and I was a little bit off.”
But wait, there’s more bad news for the Mariners. They also lost Michael Morse, one of their few productive hitters in the early part of the season.
Morse was hit on the hand by a pitch in the seventh inning, and had to leave the game. Mariners manager Eric Wedge described the injury as a “not too serious” small fracture on his right hand that will only keep Morse out three to seven days. As a result, Morse will not go on the disabled list according to Wedge.
Morse hopes to be back even faster than Wedge’s estimation, especially since the Mariners just put outfielder Michael Saunders on the disabled list with a shoulder injury Thursday.
“I’m hoping by Sunday,” Morse said. “I want to get in there. We’ve already got Saunders missing a while, so I’m going to rehab this as best as I can real quick and I might have to play through some pain.”