Bronx, NY: Felix Hernandez has been the “King” in the Bronx when pitching against the Yankees. And with success over the years at Yankee Stadium the 33-year old right-hander from Valencia, Venezuela had not lost a game in New York since May 11, 2012.
His start Monday night for the Seattle Mariners is one he would like to forget. The Yankees got to Hernandez in the first two innings. The six runs allowed included three home runs. Luke Voit, Brett Gardner, and Thario Estrada hit an ineffective fastball and curve off off Hernandez and that was more than enough leading the Yankees to a 7-3 win in the opening of a four-game series.
But his first two innings Monday night are what Hernandez wants to forget. After winning his season debut, Hernandez has not won a game. The three home runs in 5.0 innings and season high 7-runs allowed were the most for the first time since August 7 of last year against the Texas Rangers.
Basically, and Hernandez will admit, this was not one of his best.The pitching match up with Yankees veteran CC Sabathia would have been considered a classic years ago when these two premiere starters arrived on the scene. Ragardless, Sabathia, 2-1, was that much better in 5.0 innings and got the run support and win.
“They went after the fastball,” said Hernandez, 1-3, with a 5.20 ERA said about the first two innings. “That was the key.”
He went to the curve. That did not work. Estrada, the rookie and country mate from Venezuela, hit a first pitch sinker in the second inning that went over the fence in right-center for his first career home run.
“I did throw it,” Hernandez said about the curve.”Wasn’t as sharp.” And this is not the Felix Hernandez who has always been in control with the command of his fastball and the curve.
Hernandez tried to adjust and settle in a bit after the third inning. But it was too late.
“They were aggressive against his fastball,” manager Scott Servais said. “He really didn’t get into what he’s used to. He did do a good job going through five innings.”
Overall, yes a good job if it was a six round-fight of two different pitchers from the first few innings. Then from the fourth on, Felix Hernandez seemed to get his command back in form.
And because those first two innings were not “King” like in the Bronx. and when the location and command are not going your way, and at Yankee Stadium, the ball will fly out of the ballpark.
“Often said the first inning is the feeling for a pitcher,” Servais said.
NOTES: Domingo Santana,(Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) snapped an 0-for-12 stretch with a fourth inning home run for the Mariners. It was his 32 RBI second most in the American League.
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