The time has finally come for us at Sodo Mojo to roll out the best Seattle Mariners at every position. We hope that the introduction for what to expect throughout February got you excited to see who we have picked as the M’s cream of the crop. To start things off we’ll head to the mound, to the starting rotation to be specific. The first Mariner to be selected by the majority of the Sodo Mojo team as the greatest of all-time is…
Before I announce our team’s best Mariners pitcher of the last 40 years, let’s look back at who made an impact as a starter over the last four decades.
In the 1980’s there was Mark Langston who won 74 games in an M’s uniform -the most by any Mariners pitcher during the 80’s.
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In the 1990’s the M’s had Randy Johnson and Jamie Moyer.
Aside from his heat, Johnson threw the 1st no-hitter in Mariners history, tallied 124 wins and won the Cy Young in 1995. Moyer was an all-star with the M’s and finished in the top-5 in the Cy Young voting twice while in Seattle.
However, it has become clearer each year since 2005 that there is only one pitcher deserving of being called the greatest Mariners pitcher of all-time, and that is Felix Hernandez.
Let’s put aside the fact that he’s been so good over the last 12 years that he earned the nickname “The King” and just look at his numbers, even though his impact is far greater than statistics.
As of this past season, there is no other Mariners pitcher who has more wins or more strikeouts than “The King”. Hernandez ended 2016 with 154 wins and 2264 strikeouts.
He also holds the current record for the lowest cumulative ERA by an M’s starter who has taken the mound at least 15 times to begin a game.
This is astonishing considering that he has been part of some of the Mariners most offensively deficient teams in their history, and it is all but sheer fact that the pressure from lack of run support often makes a pitcher lose his groove.
His fiery fastball and his crisp curve have fooled batters for over a decade now helped to strike out double-digit batters 35 times, only second to Johnson who had an astounding 94 games with 10 or more Ks.
I did say, though, that’s it’s not just about statistics. Here at Sodo Mojo, we respect commitment and Felix Hernandez has been the most loyal Mariners pitcher in the team’s history.
Hernandez is going into his 13th season with the club; that already makes him the longest tenured starter and he’s signed on to play for the M’s at least until the 2021 season.
We can surmise based on his past commitment to the Mariners organization that Hernandez will most likely pitch 16 seasons with the M’s extending his record over Moyer who pitched for the M’s for 11 years and Johnson 10.
There is little doubt in our minds that Hernandez has reigned supreme not only as the Mariners best pitcher but as one of the best pitchers of this generation. We are proud to call him “The King” and even when he’s not at his best, we are still at his will.
Next up we will announce who will be Sodo Mojo’s all-time great catcher. We will roll that out on the morning of February, 3rd, so stay tuned. Will it be Dave Valle? Dan Wilson? Kenji Johjima? Stayed tuned to find out!