Nine innings. Nine strikeouts. Five hits. No walks. One Felix Hernandez.
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This series was billed, here and elsewhere, as something of an opportunity for the Seattle Mariners. A chance to grab some of the wins that they passed on over the season’s first few weeks. No better time than now to go out there and make a statement, right? Felix made a statement tonight. A statement that could have been perfection.
Up until Trevor Plouffe‘s two out single in the fifth inning, Felix was perfect. Not coincidentally perfect, but oh-my-gosh-is-he-going-to-do-it-again perfect. It was one of those nights. Everything was working, every fastball, every slider, every curve. Felix had it all, and he was going to do something incredible.
This was the tenth time in Felix’s career that he’s thrown a CGSO. Felix is 29. Feels like it’s about time for one of those good ol’ “appreciate Felix” posts, which is what this is, more or less. Part game recap, part “don’t forget to pinch yourself, because this is real.”
It wouldn’t have happened without Nelson Cruz, who hammered a completely insane 459 foot home run. Logan Morrison hit another one that was caught at the edges of the track, but followed it with his first extra-base hit of the season – a home run, at that. He knew the ball would drop for him eventually, and tonight it finally did.
Also worth noting, though it’s been before – Nellie is on track to obliterate his 40 home run total from last year. And the way he’s hit them so far doesn’t make this look like a mere hot streak – how could someone this strong ever not hit dingers? The Cruz signing drew plenty of criticism, and rightfully so. He’s overcoming his critics with raw strength right now.
Felix got to face the Twins, and he made fools of them. Felix had a chance to be amazing, and he jumped all over it. That was him near his best, and we all know what he’s like at his best-best: perfect.
Felix Hernandez is the best pitcher in the world. In. The. World. Sorry, Clayton Kershaw. It’s not you, it’s Felix. All hail the King.