He's made the all-star team. He's won an American League Cy Young award. And now he has perfection. Felix Hernandez put on a performance befitting his nickname "The King."
The single most important player in the Mariners franchise owns yet another piece of its history. Hernandez tossed the Seattle Mariners first perfect game in franchise history in a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the 23rd perfect game in Major League Baseball history and the third thrown this season.
Hernandez faced 27 hitters and retired all 27 in a row and needed just 113 pitches to do so.
But it wasn't just that he didn't allow a single base runner. It was that he dominated Rays' hitters, striking out 12 batters.
"I don't have any words to explain this," Hernandez said to the crowd, speaking on the field after the final out. "I've been working so hard to throw one and today is for you guys."
This is why whenever Hernandez steps onto the mound, it should be labeled must-watch viewing. Because the possibility of a performance like this exists every time.
In 2007, Hernandez tossed a 1-hitter against the Red Sox. He had a no-hitter into the eighth when JD Drew broke up it up.
Safeco Field has been home to two perfect games and a no-hitter this season. Earlier this season on April 21, Phil Humber of the White Sox threw a perfect game against the Mariners. On June 8, Seattle had its no-hitter of its own when six players combined on a no-hitter against the Dodgers.
Besides the combined no-hitter earlier this season, the only two other pitcher to even throw a no-hitter for the Mariners were Chris Bosio against the Red Sox in 1993and Randy Johnson against the Tigers in 1990.
Here's a list of the pitchers that have thrown perfect game
- Felix Hernandez, Seattle vs. Tampa Bay, 1-0, Aug. 15, 2012.
- Matt Cain, San Francisco vs. Houston, 10-0, June 13, 2012.
- Phil Humber, Chicago at Seattle, 4-0, April 21, 2012.
- Roy Halladay, Philadelphia at Florida, 1-0, May 29, 2010.
- Dallas Braden, Oakland vs. Tampa Bay, 4-0, May 9, 2010.
- Mark Buehrle, Chicago (AL) vs. Tampa Bay, 5-0, July 23, 2009.
- Randy Johnson, Arizona at Atlanta (NL), 2-0, May 18, 2004.
- David Cone, New York (AL) vs. Montreal, 6-0, July 18, 1999.
- David Wells, New York (AL) vs. Minnesota, 4-0, May 17, 1998.
- Kenny Rogers, Texas vs. California (AL), 4-0, July 28, 1994.
- Dennis Martinez, Montreal at Los Angeles (NL), 2-0, July 28, 1991.
- Tom Browning, Cincinnati vs. Los Angeles (NL), 1-0, Sept. 16, 1988.
- Mike Witt, California at Texas (AL), 1-0, Sept. 30, 1984.
- Len Barker, Cleveland vs. Toronto (AL), 3-0, May 15, 1981.
- Catfish Hunter, Oakland vs. Minnesota (AL), 4-0, May 8, 1968.
- Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles vs. Chicago (NL), 1-0, Sept. 9, 1965.
- Jim Bunning, Philadelphia at New York (NL), 6-0, June 21, 1964.
- x-Don Larsen, New York (AL) vs. Brooklyn (NL), 2-0, Oct. 8, 1956.
- Charles Robertson, Chicago at Detroit (AL), 2-0, April 30, 1922.
- Addie Joss, Cleveland vs. Chicago (AL), 1-0, Oct. 2, 1908.
- Cy Young, Boston vs. Philadelphia (AL), 3-0, May 5, 1904.
x -- World Series
|Prior to modern era|
- John Richmond, Worcester vs. Cleveland (NL), 1-0, June 12, 1880.
- John Ward, Providence vs. Buffalo (NL), 5-0, June 17, 1880