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Félix Hernández ‘having fun pitching again,’ says Mariners pitching coach

The influence of Mariners teammate Mike Leake may be helping out Félix Hernández. (AP)

Over Félix Hernández’s last four starts, he owns 3.13 ERA with 21 strikeouts to just six walks over 23 innings. Furthermore, if you leave out the Mariners veteran’s rough June 9 start in Tampa Bay, he has a 2.61 ERA since June 3.

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June was easily Hernández’s best month to date this season, and Mariners pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. told Brock and Salk that he’s finally seeing the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner make needed adjustments to his approach on the mound.

Stottlemyre said the influence of a teammate might be a big part of that.

“I think by him watching a guy like Mike Leake, who is (somebody who is) reinventing himself during a game, just doing things different, being creative, trying things, pitching off all his off-speed pitches,” Stottlemyre said. “Felix the last five or six starts I would say has started to figure out, ‘Hey, this can work.’”

Stottlemyre is seeing a different Félix at the ballpark as a result.

“I can’t tell you what he’s felt to this point, I can tell you what he’s gone through and I can tell you how he’s resisted at times, but I can honestly say he’s kinda embraced it and he’s enjoying it.

“He’s having fun pitching again.”

You can hear the entire interview with Stottlemyre in this podcast.

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