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Felix Hernandez Toys With The Yankees Again

It’s no surprise that the Yankees lost a game in which Felix Hernandez started. A 1-0 shutout? Par for the course, really. It seems like Felix has had their number for his entire career. But what was eye-opening about his two-hit masterpiece today was the efficiency with which he completed it.

Versus a team that has been the league’s poster child for working counts and tiring pitchers for more than a decade, Hernandez threw no more than 17 pitches in any inning against the Yankees. He finished his work in just 101 pitches, the fewest pitches thrown by an opponent on his way to a CG-SHO at Yankee Stadium since Greg Maddux in 1997. Maddux gave up three hits, struck out eight, walked none, and did it all with the tiny total of 84 pitches.

Sure, The Blue Jays’ Mark Hendrickson recorded a 94-pitch shutout at Yankee Stadium in 2003. But that game was called after the top of the eighth inning. That lessens Hendrickson’s case as he surely would have surpassed 101 pitches if given the chance to go nine. Plus, Mark Hendrickson is not Greg Maddux, so I think that exclusion makes this post better.

Felix has now won four of his five starts at the latest construction of Yankee Stadium. That one loss came in May 2011 when the Yankees incredibly found a way to get four hitters home, much less into scoring position. Just one Yankee reached second base on Saturday.

But how about those other four starts in the Bronx combined?

33 innings, one run, 13 hits, 12 walks, 33 strikeouts, two shutouts.

The Yankees have to be very pleased that they won’t be able to lose to Felix Hernandez again until 2013.

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