The first thing Ranger hitters do when Seattle comes to town is see if Felix Hernandez is pitching and if he is, then, unlike hitters on every other team, the Rangers lick their lips like the big bad wolf chasing the three little pigs.
Felix does not pitch well in Arlington. The most losses he has in a visiting ball park is five, except Arlington, where Felix, in 18 starts, has 9 losses and only 5 wins. That explains why Felix, who was on quite a roll of late, winning 7, losing 1, in 14 starts, struggled like a man in a straight jacket. Five, hits, five walks, five runs, in-yes five innings. This is not the King, this is Aaron Harang on a good day.
Felix has not won in Arlington since September of 2010 and his ERA in the house of horrors is 4.45. Just as a pitcher can dominate one team over time, he can also be dominated by a team. Arlington is his jinx park. He probably hates taking the mound there the way some people hate going to the dentist, a dentist that has no Novocain and uses pliers to extract teeth.
Felix is not the type to shy away from trouble, he is a competitor. He probably wants to get back there and go at the Rangers again. He will get a crack at them in Seattle when they come to town the 26th through the 28th, but Arlington, thank God, will wait until 2014.
Next season Felix needs to sleep in his Arlington hotel bed with a horseshoe under his pillow; carry four leaf clover in his back pocket when pitching; rub a rabbits foot in the dugout when the M’s are batting; or maybe just get Texas flu.
In the meantime, Felix, especially with a thunderous backing from his court at the Safe, must dominate the Rangers when they come to town next week. Give the Rangers some bad karma for the offseason.