King for a Day, Perfect Forever
Felix Hernandez Throws a Perfect Game
Fleix Hernandez completed the first perfect game in the history of the Seattle Mariners Wednesday. It is the 23rd in MLB history but what may be even more impressive is the fact he had to be perfect as his M's only scored one run. The lone run came on an RBI single off the bat of catcher Jesus Montero who was hitting in the three hole as the DH on Wednesday.
Hernandez, who is 26 years old in his 8th major league season, threw 113 pitches (77 strikes) and accumulated 12 strikeouts in Wednesday's gem. The Venezuelan Ace never gets the credit he deserves playing in Seattle which is predominately a football city (Home of the 12th Man) but he did win the 2010 Cy Young award despite having a 13-12 record. King Felix is now 11-5 on the season with a 2.60 ERA. His 174 strikeouts is tied for second most in the Majors with Detroit's Justin Verlander. Max Scherzer is the current leader with 178 K's. Hernandez's 2.60 ERA is tied for the 6th lowest in baseball with Chicago's Chris Sale and after today's start Felix leads the league with 180 innings pitched. Do not be surprised if the Mariners skip his next start to keep him healthy long term as they currently sit 14 games behind the Texas Rangers with a 55-64 record.
It may be easy to move Hernandez into our top 2 starters at this point in the season but let's take a look at what's happened to other pitchers after their perfect games and no hitters earlier this year...
Since Matt Cain's perfect game on June 13th...
He is 3-3 in 10 starts
He was 8-3 in his first 13 starts
His ERA increased from 2.18 to 2.99
Not bad numbers but a clear fall off
Since Johan Santana's no hitter on June 1st...
He is 3-6 in 9 starts
He was 3-2 in his first 11 starts
His ERA increased from 2.38 to 4.58
He also had 5 starts where he gave up at least 6 runs
Spent time on the DL
Since Phil Humber's perfect game on April 21st...
He is 4-5 and pitching out of the Bullpen
His current ERA sits at 5.87
Also spent time on the DL
Since Jered Weaver's no hitter on May 2nd...
His numbers didn't take a major hit but he only threw 89 pitches the next start and in his 2nd start after the no no he gave up 8 runs (77 pitches). 16 days after that he landed on the DL with a lower back injury. Weaver is still my AL Cy Young front runner but King Felix took a major step forward this afternoon.
In terms of fantasy value I still have Hernandez as a guaranteed top 7 starter but I still have concerns with his offense moving forward and his high innings count through 25 starts. I'll have King Felix in the same company as David Price, Cole Hamels, Matt Cain and Jered Weaver who sit just outside my top 2 Aces Verlander and Kershaw. I don't think Kershaw and Verlander will budge from the 1, 2 spots for the rest of the year.
On a side note, this is the third time in the last four years that the Tampa Bay Rays have had a perfect game thrown against them (Dallas Braden in 2010 and Mark Buehrle in 2009). Don't forget the Edwin Jackson 149 pitch no hitter on June 25th, 2010.
August 15th, 2012