Felix Hernandez; good at baseball

OK, so that headline is probably not really necessary. By now anyone who has been paying even a little bit of attention knows that Felix Hernandez is again enjoying a Cy Young-caliber season. But when you look at the numbers, particularly over the past couple of months, it’s pretty staggering what Hernandez has actually accomplished in addition to the obvious—throwing a perfect game. Hernandez, who makes his next start on Saturday at Safeco Field, hasn’t lost since June, and… well actually, why don’t we let the team tell you. The Mariners media relations folks were kind enough to put together a list known as “Felix Fact” that help illustrate just how good the pitcher has been (and the team hopes, to help his Cy Young Award chances)

Read, marvel at how good Hernandez has been, and be thankful that you can watch him pitch every fifth day for another month.

· 2012 Season – Is 13-5 with an American League leading 2.43 ERA in 27 starts this season…leads the AL in shutouts (5) and innings pitched (196.2), 2nd in complete games (5), 3rd in strikeouts (184), 3rd in opponent avg (.218), T3rd in quality starts (19), T6th in wins (13) and 10th with 8.42 K/9.0 IP.

· Domination – Over his last 14 starts is 9-0 with a 1.40 ERA (17 ER, 109.0 IP), 5 shutouts, 100 strikeouts (8.3 K/9.0 IP) and a .183 opponent batting average (70×383) – only 2 HR allowed…tied for longest win streak of his career.

· Perfect Game – Threw the 23rd Perfect Game in MLB history Aug. 15 vs. Tampa Bay in a 1-0 victory…it was the 7th Perfect Game in MLB history to be decided in a 1-0 contest, and first in the AL since 1984…struck out 12 batters, 4th-most in a PG.

· Shutouts – Leads the Majors with 5 shutouts, all coming over his last 12 starts (6/28 vs. BOS, 7/14 vs. TEX, 8/4 at NYY, 8/15 vs. TB, 8/27 at MIN)…is the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 1998 to record 5+ shutouts in 12-start span…has set a Mariners club record for a single season…joins Bert Blyleven (1989), Roger Clemens (1992) and David Wells (1998) as the only AL pitchers with 5 shutouts in a season over the last 24 seasons (since 1989).

· Awesome August – Went 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA (5 ER, 41.2 IP) and 3 shutouts in five August starts…all three shutouts were by 1-0 score, becoming the third pitcher in Major League history with three 1-0 shutout in a calendar month: Carl Hubbell (July 1933) and Dick Rudolph (August 1916).

· Since the Break – Is 7-0 with an American League leading 1.23 ERA in 9 starts since the All-Star break (4 shutouts)…selected to his third All-Star game, but did not pitch.

· No Margin for Error – Recorded four 1-0 shutouts this season…is just the third pitcher during the divisional era (since 1969) to have four wins with the score 1-0 in a single season (all CG shutouts), joining Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins (1974) and Bert Blyleven (1976)…Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson also had four 1-0 shutouts in 1968 (record is 5, last: Dean Chance in 1964).

· Going Deep – Has 16 starts where he has pitched 7.0 or more innings with 1 or fewer runs allowed, leading the Majors, and already setting a club record (he had 15 in 2010 Cy Young season)…next closest AL pitcher is David Price with 11 such starts.

· Felix Quality Start – Recorded 11 starts where he has allowed 1 or fewer runs in 8.0 or more innings pitched…nearly double any other pitcher in the Majors this season; R.A. Dickey &Bartolo Colon both have 6 such starts…Felix had 13 such starts during his Cy Young season in 2010.

· Giving the Bullpen Rest – Pitched at least 7.0 innings in a Major League-high 20 games (David Price is 2nd with 19).

· Stingy – Allowed 2 or fewer runs in an American League leading 19 games (David Price is 2nd with 18).

· Nice Turnaround – In 14 starts since his last loss (June 12 at San Diego) has improved from 4-5, 3.70 ERA to 13-5, 2.43 ERA…during Felix’s 14-start run the Mariners are 35-29 (.547).

· Run Support – Has the 4th-lowest run support average in the American League at 3.84.

· Something For the Effort – In 9 no-decisions has a 2.57 ERA (18 ER, 63.0 IP) with a 2.14 run support average… three no-decisions allowing 1 or fewer runs in 8.0 or more innings, tied for most by a pitcher in a single season over the last 15 seasons.

· Sabermetrics – Among AL starters, ranks 1st in WPA (5.2), 1st in +WPA (16.34), 1st in FIP (2.82), 1st in Adjusted Pitching Wins (3.5), 1st in opponent OPS (.579), 1st in Adjusted ERA+ (154), T2nd in WAR for pitchers (5.2), 2nd in WHIP (1.03) and 5th in xFIP (3.28) and WAR for all players (5.3). Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com &Fangraphs.com.

· Adding Them Together – Over the last four seasons (since 2009), combined to go 59-36 with a 2.66 ERA and 855 strikeouts in 128 starts…over this span leads the Majors in ERA, innings pitched (918.2) and quality starts (100), and ranks 3rd in strikeouts.

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