Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published August 15, 2014 at 7:23 PM | Page modified August 16, 2014 at 9:29 AM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Felix Hernandez vs. David Price in top pitching matchup Saturday

Over the course of a 162-game season, the games and stars align to provide great pitching matchups. With teams setting up their rotations similarly, the chances that teams’ respective No. 1 starters will meet up throughout the season increases, giving fans an added treat.

Seattle Times staff reporter

advertising

DETROIT — Over the course of a 162-game season, the games and stars align to provide great pitching matchups. With teams setting up their rotations similarly, the chances that teams’ respective No. 1 starters will meet up throughout the season increases, giving fans an added treat.

But Saturday, the pitching matchup at Comerica Park will be something better than great when Felix Hernandez squares off with left-hander David Price.

That’s two of the best pitchers in baseball, who have each won an American League Cy Young Award — Hernandez in 2010 and Price in 2012 — and combined for 10 All-Star selections.

Hernandez comes into the game as the hottest pitcher in the American League and on a run of 16 straight starts where he’s pitched seven or more innings and allowed two runs or fewer. He’s 13-3 with a AL-best 1.95 earned-run average among starters.

Price is 11-8 in 23 starts with a 3.19 ERA and leads the AL in strikeouts with 205. The Tigers acquired him at the July 31 trade deadline in a three-team deal that featured the Mariners and the Rays.

The buzz about the pitching matchup started a few days ago when the pitching probables were announced and Price was slid into the Saturday spot in place of Justin Verlander, who has shoulder issues.

The buzz continues to grow since both the Tigers and Mariners came into the series battling for the final postseason spot — the second wild card.

“Rightfully so,” McClendon said. “You have two marquee guys toeing the rubber tomorrow. We’ll see. Sometimes those work out the way they are planned to and other times they don’t. So we’ll see.”

It will be the first time they have pitched against each other. Price has faced the Mariners only three times since debuting at the end of the 2008 season.

“Really?” Hernandez said. “I didn’t know that.”

Hernandez didn’t have much to say about it. He avoids the hype of matchups by focusing solely on his own preparation. He admitted he rarely checks the pitching probables or thinks about who is pitching against him.

Usually Hernandez finds out who will be pitching for the other team the day before or the day of his starts. Sometimes it’s sooner if someone tells him.

“It’s doesn’t really matter to me,” he said. “I just got to do my job.”

Of course, he knew about the matchup with Price because it’s a been a hot topic on MLB Network and social media.

But Hernandez shrugged it off.

“I’m not going to be pitching to Price,” he said. “I’m pitching against the Tigers. I worry about facing those guys.”

Saunders’ rehab

Michael Saunders returned to the Rainiers on Friday night to continue his rehab stint for a strained oblique muscle. Saunders has been in Colorado with his wife since Sunday night for the birth of their second child. He was batting leadoff as the designated hitter for the Rainiers in New Orleans.

“He’ll play tonight and he’ll play the next two or three nights and then we’ll re-evaluate and see where he is,” McClendon said.

Perfect memory

Friday marked the two-year anniversary of Felix Hernandez’s perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. When asked if he knew what day it was, Hernandez replied, “Of course, I know.”

So he remembered?

“Yeah and I saw a bunch of people posting about it on Twitter this morning,” he said.

Note

• In his first at-bat in his return to Comerica Park as a member of the Mariners, Austin Jackson was given a long standing ovation by appreciative Tigers fans for his time in Detroit.

Ryan Divish: 206-464-2373 or rdivish@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @RyanDivish

Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

Also in Sports

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

The Seattle Times Historical Archives

Browse our newspaper page archives from 1900-1984


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►