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Mariners' Hernandez fizzles down stretch

The SportsXchange

It's been one rotten final month of the season for Seattle Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez.

Well, it's been a rotten final month for all of the Mariners, Seattle being 9-18 since the end of August following Monday's 7-4 loss to the Angels.

Hernandez, however, had more to play for in the final five weeks. He was the AL Pitcher of the Month for August (4-0, 1.08 ERA with a perfect game) but made six September/October starts without a win.

He was lit up for 12 hits and seven runs in 5 1/3 innings by the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. That brought his post-August ERA to 6.62 after he'd come into September with Cy Young Award credentials, including a league-best 2.43 ERA and the most innings pitched (196 2/3).

Since then, his ERA has slipped to a good-but-not-great 3.06, and he's no longer talked about as being one of the prime Cy Young candidates.

"It was a good year, it was fine," Hernandez said after his final start of the season, "but I've got to get better."

Hernandez finished 13-9. His won-loss record isn't indicative of how he pitched, given that had nine games in which he gave up two runs or fewer and either took the loss (once) or got a no-decision (eight times).
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