Righting the ship against the reigning AL Cy Young winner is about as likely as starting a diet in a donut shop. There is roughly a 99% chance of failure, as the Marlins discovered firsthand in their series opener with the Mariners at Safeco Field.
Felix Hernandez went eight innings and allowed one run on a mere two hits to the Fish. He struck out 10, and even collected a hit off of Ricky Nolasco.
The Marlins had a few opportunities against the pitcher, but had difficulty capitalizing. In the first inning, Logan Morrison worked a one-out walk, but got picked off of first base. The Marlins had a golden opportunity in the second inning when they loaded the bases, but once again couldn't capitalize. Greg Dobbs worked a one-out walk, and after Mike Stanton whiffed for the first of four times in the game, Hernandez hit John Buck with a pitch. Felix plunked Omar Infante next, but home plate umpire Scott Barry called it a foul ball, even though Omar was hit on the hand and never swung the bat. McKeon came out to argue, and after way too long a delay, Infante was awarded first base to load 'em up for Ricky. Not surprisingly, he flied out to end the inning.
The Fish did manage to score in the fourth to take a 1-0 lead over Seattle. Hanley led off with a single and moved to second on Dobbs' groundout. While Stanton whiffed for the second time, Hanley stole third, and with Buck at bat, he scored on a wild pitch by Hernandez.
Ricky had a quality night on the mound, going seven innings and giving up three runs on four hits. He shut out the Mariners through six innings, but allowed three runs in the seventh. With Felix Hernandez on the mound, that was three runs too many.
Brendan Ryan walked to open the seventh inning, and Adam Kennedy singled to put two on with no outs. After Justin Smoak reach on a fielder's choice, Ricky intentionally walked Dustin Ackley to load the bases. Miguel Olivo's groundout scored a run, and Carlos Peguero singled to load the bases once again. Franklin Gutierrez was up next, and singled to drive in two, putting the Mariners on top 3-1.
Miguel Olivo showed off a bit against his former club, collecting his second and third RBI on a two-run homer off of Mike Dunn in the ninth. The Mariners wouldn't need the insurance, however, as the Marlins dropped their 21st game of the month, to set a team record for awfulness.
With a measly two wins in the last 25 days, and sitting 14.5 games back in the East, how confident are you that the Fish can turn things around?