Does Felix Benefit From Home Cooking?

Good thing Felix Hernandez received some run support Monday. After last week, I’m guessing he was rethinking that $175 million, seven-year deal with the Mariners.

On Wednesday, King Felix allowed four hits, no walks and no earned runs in eight innings while striking out 12, yet ended up with no decision. He left with the score tied 1-1 in a game the Tigers eventually won 2-1 in 14 innings. What does a guy have to do to get a win? (Well, here’s one way: Monday he allowed no runs in six innings).

Given the Mariners’ woeful offense of the past couple years, Hernandez is probably used to a dreadful lack of support. But, man, that would get old. (FYI, since 2009, the Mariners have averaged 3.6 runs in Felix’s starts, and 3.6 when somebody else starts).

Anyway, last week’s game led me to do some quick research on Felix:

Hernandez allowed one run Wednesday, and it was unearned. I didn’t catch the play, but I heard the TV announcers saying later that it was questionable to charge shortstop Brendan Ryan with an error on the play that eventually led to the run.

Which brings up a question: Do Seattle’s scorekeepers protect Felix? Starting with 2009, Hernandez has allowed 353 runs, with 305 of those being earned. That means 13.6 percent of his runs allowed have been unearned. During that same period, 7.9 percent of all runs scored in the major leagues have been unearned.

That’s a pretty significant difference, with Felix’s percentage of unearned runs being much higher than average. But can it be attributed to the Safeco Field scorekeepers? The answer is no.

Since the beginning of the 2009 season, Hernandez has allowed 167 runs at Safeco, and 8.4 percent of those have been unearned. In contrast, a whopping 18.3 percent of his runs allowed on the road have been unearned.

Hernandez’s ERA might be getting a boost from the scorekeepers, but it’s not from the ones in his own park.

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