He’s won an American League Cy Young Award. He’s made three All-Star teams. In 2010 he led the AL in ERA. The year before that he tied for the league lead in wins with 19. On June 17, 2008 against the Florida Marlins he struck out the side in the fourth inning, on nine pitches. Today we can add author of a perfect game to the list of career accomplishments for Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez.
King Felix only received one run of support from the Mariners offense but he made sure it was enough. Hernandez needed just 113 pitches to record 27 outs, 12 coming by way of strikeout. The only member of the Rays starting lineup to not strikeout was leadoff hitter Sam Fuld. Five of Tampa Bay’s last six batters struck out, including Sean Rodriguez to end the game.
Hernandez joins Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox and Matt Cain from the San Francisco Giants as the third pitcher to toss a perfect game this season. It’s the sixth no-hitter of 2012 with three coming at Safeco Field, site of today’s masterpiece.
Unfortunately for the Rays this is the third time since 2009 they have been on the wrong end of a perfect game. Mark Buehrle threw one against them July 23, 2009. Dallas Braden equaled Buehrle’s feat May 9, 2010.
For the season Felix is 11-5 with a 2.60 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He’s recorded 174 strikeouts in 180 innings pitched. Hernandez has been near perfect since the All-Star break. He’s now 5-0 with three complete games and has a 1.44 ERA and 0.64 WHIP since July 13.
Today, he was perfect.