Hernandez Looks for 3rd Win

Early into 2007, Felix Hernandez is being mentioned in the same breath with some of baseball's recent greats.

Hernandez will try to become the first pitcher to win his first three starts without giving up a run since 2003 as the Seattle Mariners continue their three-game series against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.

Oddsmakers have made Seattle -1.5 point spread favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 7.5un total runs (View MLB Sports Books). Our public betting information shows that 54% of bets for this game have been placed on Minnesota +1.5 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

After a lackluster 2006 season during which he was 12-14 with a 4.52 ERA, Hernandez came to spring training 20 pounds lighter and has been dominant. The right-hander scattered three hits and struck out 12 over eight innings en route to a 4-0 win over Oakland in his season debut on April 2, but was more impressive in his next start.

Pitching against rookie Daisuke Matsuzaka in the highly touted Japanese rookie's Fenway Park debut, Hernandez took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before Boston's J.D. Drew recorded the only hit against him in a 3-0 victory over the Red Sox on April 11.

"Felix came to the ballpark and was totally the underdog," Mariners pitching coach Rafael Chaves told the team's official Web site. "Everyone thought the other guy was going to win the ballgame. No one was talking about Felix. By the end of the night, everybody was talking about him."

Woody Williams, now with Houston, was the last pitcher to win his first three starts without giving up a run when he did so with St. Louis four years ago. Last season, Hernandez's third win didn't come until May 21, his ninth start.

Hernandez has thrown 145 of his 221 pitches for strikes this season, and opponents are hitting just .075 against him.

"He can have a career like Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan and Pedro Martinez," Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz said after going 0-for-3 last week against Hernandez. "If he behaves and takes care of himself, he can be somebody really big in this game."

In two career wins over the Twins (8-5) at Safeco Field, Hernandez has given up just one run and 11 hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts in 15 innings. In his last four home starts overall, he's 3-0 with an 0.61 ERA.

Carlos Silva (0-1, 0.77) has pitched very well for Minnesota, but hasn't gotten much support. In 11 2-3 innings, the right-hander has allowed one run and 12 hits with three walks and five strikeouts, but the Twins have scored just two runs while he's pitched.

Silva scattered seven hits and two walks while fanning four in 6 2-3 shutout innings Thursday against Tampa Bay, but didn't get a decision as the Twins won 3-2 on Justin Morneau's walk-off homer leading off the ninth.

In five starts versus Seattle (5-4), Silva is 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA. He's struck out 19 while walking just two.

With an 11-2 rout in Tuesday's series opener, the Twins have alternated wins and losses in their last five games. Torii Hunter capped a five-run fifth inning with a grand slam before leaving with a bruised shoulder after trying to catch a sinking liner in the sixth.

"If I've got to bunt, I'll play (Wednesday). I'll take my whipping like a man. He'll either get me or I'll get him," said Hunter, 2-for-6 with two strikeouts against Hernandez.

Jeff Weaver, a member of St. Louis' championship team last season, struggled again for Seattle. He gave up seven runs and 10 hits over six innings and fell to 0-2, though his ERA was halved from 31.50 to 15.75.

``Good things to take from it. Got some early outs and wasn't falling behind,'' Weaver said. ``Just one too many sliders.''

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

More MLB Baseball coverage from theSpread.com

 - MLB news wire
 - Current MLB Injuries
 - 2007 MLB standings
 - 2007 MLB schedule
 - 2007 MLB Umpire sheet
 - 2007 MLB stats
 - MLB scoreboard
 - Expert MLB picks
 - Accuscore predictions
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - MLB home

Recent MLB Discussions

dod 1st 5 thats it on Thu, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961
dod/cubs on Thu, Oct 2016 by Michael Cash
mlb early play on Wed, Oct 2016 by sharkey11

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail North Siders' bats rise as NCLS progresses Anthony Rizzo is still batting well below .200 in the playoffs. Yet the Chicago first baseman seems to be heating up at precisely...
Thumbnail Hosts ask Urias to give them 3-1 NLCS edge Tonight, Julio Urias will make history in Game 4 of the NLCS. The Dodgers simply hope that it’s for all the right reasons.
Thumbnail Francona needs relief corps to thrive again The Blue Jays suddenly have life in the NLCS. Now, though, can they truly put fear in the Indians and send the festivities back to northern...
Thumbnail Arrieta tries to lift visitors at Chavez Ravine After getting punched in the mouth in Game 1 of the NLCS, the Dodgers struck back on Sunday night. Can they keep running with the Cubs as the action...
Thumbnail Donaldson, Toronto on brink of elimination In a close-out situation, Cleveland manager Terry Francona wants to leave as little to chance as possible. Which is why Corey Kluber, on short rest and all,...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Headlines

More inMLB News  

MLB Team Pages