Saturday April 8, 2006 5:53 am
Battle of the Sophomore Pitchers: Blanton VS. King Felix
Two of the better rookie pitchers from the 2005 MLB season matched up on Friday night at Safeco Field. Pitching phenom, “King” Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners played host to the Oakland Athletics and opposing pitcher, Joe Blanton. This matchup of very good young pitchers did not disappoint as King Felix went five innings, giving up a paltry two hits and one run while walking and striking out four. Due to a strict pitch count for the youngster, Hernandez did not go further than the fifth inning after which he totaled 100 pitches. Blanton however, not only pitched three more innings, but he threw less total pitches. Blanton went eight frames, throwing a total of 98 pitches, giving up only two hits, one walk, and six punchouts. The Athletics won the game 5-0 as Hernandez’ replacement, Julio Mateo gave up four earned runs in 2.1 IP. Look for this matchup between the youngsters to continue in the next few seasons, which is only enhanced by the fact that the A’s and Mariners are in the same division.
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