General Manager Jack Zduriencik hushed the reporters on the elevator that was going to the Mariners’ clubhouse after the game on Wednesday afternoon, put his cell phone to his ear and said for everyone to hear, “No. No. I am NOT going to trade Felix Hernandez.”
It was the perfect answer to the 1st perfect game in Mariners history, a moment that the franchise was longing after enduring being on the wrong side of perfection earlier this season at the hands of the White Sox Philip Humber.
Hernandez has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since 2005, but he’d never thrown a no-hitter, or a perfect for 27 straight outs.
But on Wednesday, the 26-year-old Venezuelan became the 23rd perfect pitcher in Major League history — and 3rd this season — with a 1-0 masterpiece over the Rays at Safeco Field.
“It’s always in my mind,” Hernandez said. “Every game, I’m think I need to throw a perfect game. For every pitcher, it’s in their mind. But today it happened, and it’s great. I can’t explain it. It’s pretty amazing and it doesn’t happen every day.”
The 2010 American League Cy Young winner struck out 12 as he keeps going with the overpowering midseason run with his 4th shutout in the past 10 games, including a 5-hitter against the Red Sox, a 3-hitter against the Rangers, a 2-hitter against the Yankees and, then perfection against the Rays.
It was the 4th no-hitter in Mariners history and 2nd this season, as 6 Seattle pitchers combined to do the deed on June 8th against the Dodgers at Safeco.
Randy Johnson (1990) and Chris Bosio (1993) are the other Mariners with individual no-hitters, but none was perfect.
Hernandez had thrown a 1-hitter, a 3-0 victory at Boston on April 11th, 2007, and has had 4 2-hitters which included 1, 2 starts ago in Yankee Stadium on Aug. 4th in another 1-0 win. mlb betting trends
Ironically, none of those 1- or 2-hitters came at pitcher-friendly Safeco Field, where the King’s Court rooting section led the crowd of 21,889 in Wednesday’s boisterous environment.
“Awesome,” Hernandez said he’s enjoying the moment with the fans. “I think they deserve it, and I do, too. It’s unbelievable. But I’m sad because my wife flew to Venezuela last night with my kids. I’m alone.”
If you want to know more about this report, be sure to come back to the second part of our report.