Home > No-Hitter, Seattle Mariners > Felix Hernandez: Deservedly Perfect

Felix Hernandez: Deservedly Perfect

Oh yeah, do the happy dance

I said yesterday that Freddy Garcia would throw a perfect game against the Texas Rangers with tongue firmly implanted in cheek.

Well, I actually wasn’t too far off. I just picked the wrong guy.

And if there had to be a guy to throw a perfect game, how could you pick a more deserving American League pitcher than Felix Hernandez? Felix has pretty much lived up to the billing since coming into the league in 2005, and has been especially on point since the beginning of 2009. He has a 2.70 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP and a 8.3 K/9 average since 2009 (902 innings). He’s got a Cy Young and has finished second in the voting once. A three-time All-Star who’s finished five seasons in his career with a bWAR of more than 3.4.

And he’s 26-freaking-years old.

Get the hell out of here, Dallas Braden and Philip Humber.

On the dominance scale, it’s awfully close to what Matt Cain accomplished with his perfect outing earlier this season. Game score wasn’t quite as high as Cain recorded two more strikeouts, but Hernandez needed 12 fewer pitches.

It’s cheap, but I think I’ll give the nod to Felix because of the eye test. He had just one ball leave the infield after the third inning. He certainly didn’t have anything close to a Gregor Blanco moment. He threw his first fastball at 92 and his last fastball at 95. He struck out eight of the final 12 batters he faced. He finished strong, and he did it in a 1-0 game against a team that is in the playoff hunt.

But if you want dominant summed up in one pitch, just please click this link. It’s a six-minute clip of every out pitch Felix made during the afternoon. I’m sorry that I don’t know how to embed it or even if I can; I’m really stupid when it comes to that stuff. But click it and, if you don’t want to sit through all of the magic, just fast-forward to the 4:13 mark. At that point, feast your eyes on the curveball that Hernandez unleashes upon Carlos Pena.

I usually hate the behind-the-catcher camera angle, but that really gave you a good idea of how obscene that pitch was.

Of course, there are a ton of numbers and facts that I could throw out there as I usually do here.

And I still will, but quickly.

This is the first season in MLB history with three perfect games. This is the first time there have been three no-hitters or two perfect games performed at one stadium in one regular season; The Rays have been on the unfortunate end of 25 percent of baseball’s no-hitters since July 2009. Joe Maddon experienced his sixth no-hitter as a manager, including one as the interim manager of the Angels back in 1999. He also became the first manager to be ejected from a perfect game, so that was cool. And the Mariners are the first team to have a perfect game completed by them and against them in one season.

Next up for Felix, he gets the Indians in Safeco, most likely on Tuesday. That should be must-watch TV. But watch out for the perfect game hangover, if that is a thing.

And one critical question remains: WHY COULDN’T HE DO THIS WHEN I SAW HIM PITCH FIVE DAYS AGO IN ANAHEIM? I mean, jeez. Felix basically slaughters lineups for an entire month entering Friday’s game — six earned runs in his previous 48 innings. I show up, and he turns into Woody Williams. It’s just not fair, I tells ya.

Oh well. Job well done, Mr. Hernandez. I’m pretty sure we won’t need to worry about you being demoted to the bullpen any time soon.

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