Wednesday, August 15, 2012

King Felix throws first perfect game in Mariners history!

By Kshell

The Seattle Mariners ace finally did what so many expected he could do which is throw a no-hitter. Felix Hernandez even out-did his lofty expectations Wednesday afternoon at Safeco Field when he threw a nine inning complete game perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the first perfect game in the Mariners 34 year history as Hernandez becomes only the 23rd pitcher in baseball history to throw one and third to throw one against the Rays since 2009. The Mariners won the game 1-0 which was the same score of the Mariners last no-hitter which happened earlier this season when the Mariners threw a combined no-hitter to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0. For Hernandez who threw 113 pitches while striking out 12 batters including the last one as he caught Sean Rodriguez looking. Hernandez was touching 95 miles per hour in the 9th inning and continues to show why he is one of the games most dominant pitchers if not the games very best. For Hernandez who is easily the face of this city this has been a terrific moment for him. He has flirted with no-hitters in the past and to finally see him throw one was incredible. The Seattle Mariners have been a terrible franchise this past decade but every fifth day since 2005 at least we have the chance to see Felix Hernandez one the elite pitchers of our lifetime.

Hernandez has been on a roll lately and is now 11-5 on the season with a 2.60 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He has four complete games and four complete game shutouts this season and has thrown 180 innings striking out 174 batters. He has also won seven straight decisions in last 12 starts. During those 12 starts he is 7-0, having pitched 92 1/3 innings(7 2/3 innings a start) with four complete game shutouts in that span, three of which the Mariners won 1-0. He has posted a 1.56 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 90 strikeouts(8.77 K's per 9). He is enjoying a terrific season and with his strong performance down the stretch he is positioning himself for another Cy Young award. Hernandez with this perfect game will also have the signature moment to go with his Cy Young. Hernandez once again is being wasted away on a last place team but the joy in watching him pitch every fifth day has truly been something magical to watch.

I wish the 2009-present version of Hernandez had been on those Seattle Mariners teams from 2000-03 that desperately needed an ace. I hope someday Hernandez pitches a playoff game for the Mariners. I would love to see this great talent on the big stage where he tends to rise up in big games. Hernandez talents were working today like never before using a great mix of his fastball, curve ball and change up. That is what makes King Felix so special is the fact that he has three terrific pitches while always seeming to be poised on the mound. When the Mariners traded away Randy Johnson I thought we'd never see a pitcher as good as the "Big Unit" but in a lot of ways I feel like Hernandez is better. When you factor in that Hernandez is only 26 years old while Johnson didn't become elite until his 30's it's not even a debate. I would pay big money to see Hernandez pitch in a playoff game even if it was on the road I don't care. I would love to see Hernandez start a game seven of the World Series with the Mariners up heading into the 9th 1-0 with Hernandez going back out to finish the deal. He is a special talent and I'm glad it all came together today as he etched his name into major league baseball history!

Being a Mariners fan the past decade hasn't been fun but what has been fun is watching Hernandez. I remember seeing his third career major league start, second at Safeco Field where Hernandez recorded his first career double digit strikeout game. I've seen plenty of Hernandez starts throughout his career as I always make sure to watch him pitch. Hernandez is one of those guys regardless of where the Mariners are in the standings you stop and watch him pitch. Randy Johnson the other Cy Young award winner in Mariners history was the first to throw a no-hitter while Hernandez is the first to throw a perfect game. Hernandez has been terrific down the stretch and I hope come November he is winning another Cy Young award. Regardless everyone will have claimed they were at this game and Hernandez once again shows he is a premiere pitcher in this league. For me there isn't a single pitcher in the game of baseball I would take over Felix Hernandez! Long live the King!

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