The myth of the KBO reverse export is a thing of the past. Seattle Mariners pitcher Chris Flexen (29) accepts the award.
Flexen pitched the final inning of the 먹튀검증 team’s 2023 Major League Baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park in San Diego, California, on Aug. 8 (KST).
Flexen’s appearance cemented his status as of late. Late in the game, with his team trailing 0-8, he pitched a long inning to close out the game. Unfortunately, given his recent performances, it was an unfortunate call.
It was a shaky start. In the bottom of the seventh, he gave up a leadoff single to Kim Ha-Sung and then got the next batter, Alfonso Rivas, to fly out to left field. A full-count walk to Trent Grisham and a wild pitch put runners at first and third. A grounder to Fernando Tatis Jr. made it 0-9 and a single to Juan Soto made it 0-10.
He took the mound again in the bottom of the eighth, but it was far from clean. He gave up a leadoff single to Gary Sanchez, but got him to fly out to third base. He then gave up an infield single to Jake Cronenwirth. The next two batters, Matt Carpenter and Ha-Sung Kim, were hit by pitches, but Kim flied out to center field to end the threat. The final line: 2 innings, 3 hits, 1 walk, and 2 runs. Not an impressive performance, to be sure.
Flexen has been shaky this season. In 14 games (four starts), he’s 4-4 with a 7.23 ERA, 27 strikeouts, and a 1.77 WHIP. Early in the season, injuries to teammate Robbie Ray (32) and others left a hole in the starting rotation, and he filled it, but he never really found his groove. In 14 starts, he has only five scoreless outings, including one in which he gave up eight runs on 10 hits in 2 1/3 innings.
This is a big year for Flexen. He is eligible for free agency after the season. In 64 games (53 starts) over the past two seasons, he has posted a respectable 22-15 record with a 3.66 ERA in 317⅓ innings pitched, raising expectations for his free agency. He was even mentioned as a trade candidate for several teams in need of starting help. But now, there’s a strange undercurrent. It’s a stagnant trend that has seen him slide into the losing column.
As Yahoo Sports wrote about Flexen on July 7, “Flexen has been a staple of Seattle’s starting rotation the past two seasons, but he’s having the worst season of his career this year. His strikeout rate is below average at 16.8 percent, and his walk rate is the worst at 9.3 percent,” the site noted.
With free agency looming, we’ll see if Flexen can rebound this season.