Welcome to the Morning After.
It's Thursday morning, and nothing substantively new to report on the Felix front, but we do have some post-game thoughts from the team on the situation. Clearly, Felix's departure deflated the Mariners as much as it did us fans (a point underscored by the great lead on Darrin Beene's gamer for The News Tribune).
Manager Mike Hargrove (courtesy of The Seattle Times): "Any time you lose a pitcher with the talent that Felix has, it's not a good time. It's scary for him and for the club. And it takes a little bit of time to recover."
DH Jose Vidro (The News Tribune): “We lost the game, but everyone is praying that everything is OK with Felix. He’s our ace and we need to have him here. Hopefully, everything is OK. It’s tough.”
Catcher Kenji Johjima (The Seatte Times): "I'm very worried. I was worried during the game."
For lack of a solid medical opinion, Hargrove did say that his "gut feeling" was that Felix is going to be OK. But as Times writer Geoff Baker correctly points out, Hargrove felt like Arthur Rhodes' elbow tightness was no big deal, either ... and we all know how that turned out.
And just to quickly revisit my assertion that Carlos Garcia should absolutely be fired for sending tying run Adrian Beltre to the plate in the ninth with two outs? Hargrove admirably -- albeit stupidly -- defends his coach.
"A third base coach is not doing his job unless he gets people thrown out at the plate,'' Hargrove told The Seattle Times. "I don't think anybody in baseball wants a third base coach who is going to be safety first. ... Was it disappointing? Yeah. Hindsight being 20-20, I wish he'd stayed there. But when he sent him, I was glad to see him send him because that's the play to make.''
That would be all fine and dandy if Beltre had made the final out of the game by a few inches, or even a couple of feet. But it's not fine when the guy gets thrown out after only being about 85 percent of the way home when the catcher receives the ball. That's just stupidity -- and poor coaching.
I guess it's early in the year for coaches, too -- let's not forget, Hargrove had speedy players Willie Bloomquist and Jason Ellison on the bench, and elected not to put either in to pinch run -- but, man, when a team scraps back into a game in which they lost their ace 20 pitches in, you hate to see it get tanked by botched moves from the people who are supposed to know what they're doing.
There's supposed to be more official word on Hernandez today. I'll pass along any news on that front.
In the meantime, if you're interested in watching the M's get swept away by two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, today's game is an early 3:35 p.m. start that will be televised on FSN. You can only catch it in HD, though, if you have FSN HD on DirecTV.