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The parade starts
08-14-2018, 09:54 AM
Post: #1
The parade starts
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The good King or the bad King?

That is the question for the Seattle Mariners and those in attendance Thursday night at Safeco Field for the opener of a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox.

Will they get to see the Felix Hernandez who went a season-high eight innings in his last home start against Tampa Bay Connor Williams Jersey , giving up just one run on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts?

Or will it be the King Felix who lasted just three innings on the road Saturday against those same Rays, getting tagged for six runs (five earned) on seven hits to a team that had lost eight straight games?

“He threw the ball very well and got very good results the last time out (at home),” Mariners manager Scott Servais said after Saturday’s 7-3 loss. “But the key in this league is being consistent and going out there every start and giving your team a chance to win. And we were behind the eight ball after the third inning. I just want to see consistency and giving us a chance to win. And he does, too.

“Felix’s stuff wasn’t as good (Sunday). It was evident right from the get-go. The life on the fastball really wasn’t there. It’s not all about velocity. It’s about locating it. And that wasn’t really on either.”

Hardly a ringing endorsement for a six-time All-Star and the American League’s 2010 Cy Young Award winner.

King Felix is 6-5 this season with a career-worst 5.70 ERA. He has given up four or more runs in five of his past seven starts.

“I was making some good pitches and they had some hits that found some holes and there’s nothing I could do about that,” Hernandez said in his own defense Saturday. “I think I had pretty good stuff, they just put a lot of balls in play, just a little bit of tough luck. I was a little bit up, but I think I was making good pitches.”

Maybe catcher Mike Zunino put it best, telling The Seattle Times: “There’s been games where his velocity may not have been that high, but if he locates he can get away with stuff.”

Opposing pitchers haven’t gotten away with much against the Red Sox, who lead the American League East.

Outfielder Mookie Betts Billy Price Bengals Jersey , who returned Monday from a stint on the 10-day disabled list with a left abdominal strain, leads the league with a .352 batting average and an on-base plus slugging percentage of 1.171. Teammate J.D. Martinez is second to the Los Angeles Angels‘ Mike Trout with 22 homers and is third in the league, behind Betts and Trout, with a 1.033 OPS.

Betts hit his first home run since coming off the disabled list Wednesday in a 5-1 victory that gave the Red Sox a sweep of Baltimore.

“I’ve done everything that I pretty much do, and I passed the test,” said Betts, who didn’t have the benefit of a minor league rehabilitation assignment. “Just trying to ride this wave.”

Hernandez is 8-4 with a 4.01 ERA in 19 career starts against Boston.

The Red Sox will counter with left-hander David Price (7-4, 4.00 ERA), who is 5-0 in his past six starts overall.

Price is 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA in seven career starts against Seattle.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals eliminated the Houston Astros in the 2015 postseason while on their way to winning the World Series.

The two clubs have taken different paths since.

The Astros, who are the 2017 World Series champions Vontaze Burfict Jersey , bring an eight-game winning streak Friday to Kansas City for the opener of a three-game series.

On the other hand, the Royals have lost nine of 10 and are in last place in the American League Central. Only the Baltimore Orioles have a worse record than the Royals (22-46). And nobody has a worse home record than the Royals, who have lost 23 of 33 at Kauffman Stadium.

“This losing is getting old,” Royals starting pitcher Jason Hammel said.

Kansas City manager Ned Yost is trying to keep the spirits of the players uplifted during trying times.

“It’s easier when you’ve got guys where winning and competitiveness is ingrained in their character,” Yost said. “You just don’t take a loser and make him a winner. Our scouting department, our player development people have drafted winners, and when things are going rough they continue to battle, they continue to fight, they continue to compete.”

There are a few leftovers from the 2015 championship club. That includes Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez Sam Darnold Youth Jersey , Kelvin Herrera and Alcides Escobar.

“It’s been fun to watch our veteran guys to continue to push and support and compete their tail off every single day,” Yost said. “Dayton (Moore, general manager) says draft winners. Get the most talented kids, but draft winners. That’s number one.

“We want kids that compete, love to play. We want guys that long to get better and understand the process of getting better. That’s what we look for. These kids, 95 out of 100, have that ingrained character trait or else they probably wouldn’t be here.”

The Astros are built for repeating. They are in a dogfight with the Seattle Mariners for first place in the AL West. The Royals are looking to 2021-22 as when they could be legitimate contenders.

In a 3-2 loss on Sunday at Oakland, Brad Keller made his third big league start. Yost used Scott Barlow, Tim Hill and Jason Adam in relief that afternoon. None of the four had ever thrown a pitch in the majors before this season.

“It’s what we have,” Yost said. “We like our young pitching.”

It is more about tomorrow than today.

“Part of this process every single day is we’re evaluating which guys are we going to move forward with,” Yost said. “We’re looking at which guys have that ability to continue to grow and get better and be part of a championship club.

“When it is all said and done Uchenna Nwosu Jersey , that’s what you’re looking for. You’re trying to build a championship club again. A lot of players that are going to be on the next championship club aren’t here. They’re working their way up the farm system right now.

“But we do have a pretty good little group of guys that are going to be here when that time comes. They need to continue to develop, seek consistency in their game and their command. We like what we see out of them so far.”

The Astros will start right-hander Charlie Morton, who is 7-1 with a 2.82 ERA, in the opener. He will try to become the fourth Houston starter with at least eight victories.

Morton is coming off one of the strangest no-decision lines. In his previous start against the Texas Rangers, Morton walked six and hit four batters in 3 2/3 innings but allowed only two runs (one earned).

Morton is 0-2 with a 6.17 ERA in two starts against Kansas City.

Right-hander Jakob Junis will start for the Royals. He is 5-6 with a 4.05 ERA in 13 starts. No other Kansas City starter has more than three wins. Junis has lost his last three decisions. All five of his wins have come after a Royals loss.

This will be his second career start against Houston. He got a no-decision against the Astros on June 6, 2017, although he allowed seven runs (three unearned) in 3 2/3 innings.

He is 3-4 with a 4.19 ERA in seven home starts this season.

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