Give Felix Hernandez some run support and he can win a few games -- 27 to be exact!
And let Ken Griffey Jr. play a 162-game schedule in his prime and he can set a new single-season home run record -- 74!
Back him with the Mariners' all-time best lineup and Randy Johnson can post a new career high in wins with 25!
Led by Hernandez, Griffey and Johnson, the all-time Mariners compiled a 128-34 record against the team's 2014 schedule, with a few more interleague games thrown into the mix. The initial motivation behind this "what if" APBA baseball game replay project was to see how many games King Felix could win if he was backed by the best Mariners team ever. He didn't disappoint.
King Felix ('14) piled up a 27-2 record with a 1.64 ERA and 276 K's in 31 starts. He completed 12 games, including 9 shutouts. It helps to have a great defense behind you as well.
Griffey ('94) was the squad's offensive MVP, compiling a .291/.364/.747 slash line to go with his 74 home runs, 139 runs and 155 RBI, showing what might have been during the strike-shortened 1994 season.
Johnson ('95) combined with Hernandez to provide a potent 1-2 pitching punch -- posting a 25-3 record with an ERA of 2.41 and 271 strikeouts in 32 starts. He completed 6 games, with 4 shutouts.
The rest of the M's powerful lineup featured:
- Designated hitter Edgar Martinez ('95) -- .306/.441/.573 with 106 runs, 97 RBI, 56 doubles and 27 home runs.
- Leadoff man Ichiro Suzuki ('04) -- .326/.354/.425 with 215 hits, 107 runs and 43 stolen bases.
- Second baseman Robinson Cano ('13) -- .317/.374/.560 with 114 runs, 113 RBI 54 doubles and 28 home runs.
- Third baseman Adrian Beltre ('04) -- .271/.336/.569 with 42 home runs and 101 RBI.
- Outfielder Jay Buhner ('96) -- .219/.291/.523 with 37 home runs and 101 RBI.
- Shortstop Omar Vizquel ('92) -- .296/.331/.372 with 68 runs and 41 stolen bases.
- First baseman Alvin Davis ('87) -- .274/.352/.524 with 27 home runs and 93 RBI.
- Catcher Dan Wilson ('96) -- .212/.259/.341 with 13 homers and 68 RBI.
Meanwhile, the pitching staff held opponents to half that, posting a 2.74 ERA. Other starters included Hisashi Iwakuma ('13) at 18-5, Jamie Moyer ('03) at 15-5 and Mark Langston ('87) at 12-2.
The bullpen was led by J.J. Putz ('07) at 5-3 with 32 saves; Jeff Nelson ('95) at 6-5 with 5 saves; and Mike Schooler ('90) at 6-0 with 4 saves.
For complete season stats, click here.
This replay had it all: Lots of offense, great pitching and plenty of clutch hitting and defense. And it showed that even the most powerful teams still have off days from time to time ...
Nevertheless, they had a pair of ridiculous win streaks -- 15 games in April and 19 in a row in July/August.
This was a treat, from start to finish. And makes me wonder "what if" for my next project ...
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