DETROIT – A 19-9 pummeling counts as just one loss and can be put aside the next day. If only that was all the Mariners dealt with Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
After the game, Mariners manager Scott Servais gave the news that not one but two players were headed back to Seattle to see team doctors. Mitch Haniger’s injury, an oblique strain, had been announced in the press box shortly after he was removed from the game. The other news was a surprise.
“Felix had some tightness in his shoulder when he went out for the second. It was kind of like a dead-arm type situation,” Servais said when asked whether Felix Hernandez was removed from the game after allowing four runs in two innings because of performance issues or an injury. “He just didn’t have much tonight. There wasn’t pain or anything like that. Just nothing’s coming out and it didn’t feel good. Hopefully he’s OK.”
The club said that Felix would not talk after the game, something that is very out of the ordinary for him. He left the clubhouse as reporters were let in, with a very grim look on his face. His teammates, including Robinson Cano, were concerned.
“The game doesn’t really matter when you have two guys out of the game,” Cano said. “Hanny was our best hitter all year, then your No. 1 starter. You lose the game, you are not thinking about that. You think about your teammates.”
Haniger, who has never had an oblique injury before, had been dealing with some soreness in the oblique area the last few days.
“It’s been tender, but honestly, with how grueling the game is, you are always battling something,” he said. “I took all the precautionary steps as far as making sure I was really loose, treating it and trying to make sure things didn’t get worse. Hopefully it’s just a quick return and not too big a setback.”
Haniger is certainly headed to the disabled list. How long will depend on the grade of strain he suffered. The Mariners will need to make a roster move for another outfielder, most likely Ben Gamel. Considering Ariel Miranda’s short start Saturday, a bullpen arm may also be needed. As for another starter, we will have to wait and see what exactly Felix is dealing with, but chances are good that, even if it is just dead-arm, he will miss at least one start.
We should know more on Wednesday.