A night before he makes his 26th start of the season, the American League recognized his 25th and named Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez its player of the week.
“I’ve been pitching seven years, and that’s the first one I’ve gotten” Felix said.
Guess pitching the 23rd perfect game in major league history gets it done, although Joel Pineiro won the award on May 7, 2006, without throwing a perfecto for the Mariners. So it goes.
Asked about the award, manager Eric Wedge laughed and said, “You would think so!”
Felix may have been happier with the news his wife Sandra and children Mia and Abraham flew into Seattle from Venezuela and will be at today’s start against Cleveland.
“The last game was the first home game they missed all season,” Hernandez said. “I’m getting them T-shirts like everyone else is going to get, and I’ve got my yellow shirt already. Then there’s that ‘Felix-ing’ thing.”
After the final pitch of his perfect game against Tampa Bay on Wednesday, Felix struck a pose unique to him – one leg uplifted, both arms straight up, his right index finger aimed at the sky.
“(Franklin) Gutierrez asked me, ‘Why did you do that?’ and I told him, ‘I don’t know,’ ” Felix said. “I had no idea what I was doing, but I’ve seen pictures of people doing it all over the place. It’s pretty awesome.”
Felix said he was more than willing to have the pose show up in 2013 Mariners commercials, especially if it means the end of Larry Bernandez, his make-believe secret identity.
“Larry is out,” he said. “I’m tired of Larry.”
What was really on his mind Monday?
“Nine more starts,” Hernandez said. “That’s what matters most to me.”
September call-ups are around the corner, but Wedge wouldn’t get into details other than to say Mike Carp and Gutierrez are expected back for the final full month of the season.
Left-hander Danny Hultzen?
“I’m not going to get into that, but (general manager) Jack Zduriencik and I have a pretty good idea who we want here,” Wedge said.
The Mariners have won 13 of their past 14 home games – the first time in franchise history the team has gone13-1 at home during some stretch of a season. Seattle went 12-1 in 1991, 1995 and 2001. They have never gone 13-1 – until now. … Jesus Montero got the day off. He’s had one hit in 20 at-bats this homestand. … John Jaso, the Mariners’ designated hitter Monday, began the night having started 29 games at catcher and 29 as DH. … Promotion Alert: The first 34,000 fans in Safeco Field tonight will get a free “King of Perfection” T-shirt commemorating Felix’s perfect game – and a “K” card to wave when Hernandez gets two strikes on a batter.
Seattle will host Cleveland in a 7:10 p.m. game today that will be televised on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: Cleveland’s Roberto Hernandez – formerly known as Fausto Carmona – (0-1, 7.50 ERA) vs. Hernandez (11-5, 2.60).email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @LarryLaRue