Game #72 at Seattle

Safeco Field | 10:05 | Van Benschoten vs. Felix Hernandez | Box

You call yourself a Pirates fan, and you didn’t see this one coming from a mile away?
The Mariners won Thursday night, 3-0.
John Van Benschoten pitched a solid game, but he wasn’t able to match zeros with Felix Hernandez. A night after Jeff Weaver threw a four-hit shutout, King Felix blanked the Pirates over eight innings.
J.J. Putz closed out the whitewashing, and Pittsburgh has now failed to score in 20 consecutive innings.
Astutely, Jim Tracy allowed that “When you don’t get any runs, you’re not going to win.”
Are you getting tired of it all?
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pre-game Thoughts
There’s a reason they call him King, folks. Despite his pedestrian statistics—he has a 3-4 record to go along with a 4.58 ERA—Felix Hernandez possesses one of the most electrifying young arms in the game.
He began the 2007 campaign by throwing 17 scoreless innings against Oakland and Boston before suffering from a strained flexor-pronator muscle in his right forearm. Hernandez hit the disabled list on April 23, was activated on May 15 and hasn’t yet returned to form.
Something tells me the Pirates might be able to help King Felix along the road to full recovery.
On the other half of the lineup card, the Mariners may be able to nudge John Van Benschoten in the right direction as well.
Seattle hates to walk—they’re dead last in the American League in drawing bases on balls—and the biggest concern surrounding JVB is his low strikeout-to-walk ratio. Facing a free-swinging team could prove to be a recipe for success in Van Benschoten’s rehab process. Seems like he’s in a position to do well.
An “I could’ve guessed that” stat from the Press Pass notes: When the Pirates’ starting pitcher goes six innings or more, the team is 24-21. When he doesn’t, they’re 7-19.

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