You Are Here > Baseball-Reference.com > Bullpen > Félix Hernández - BR Bullpen

Félix Hernández

From BR Bullpen

Jump to: navigation, search
Felix Hernandez-5168.jpg

Félix Abraham Hernández Garcia
(King Felix)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 3", Weight 235 lb.

BR page

Contents

[edit] Biographical Information

Pitcher Félix Hernández is the ace of the Seattle Mariners; he is the younger brother of minor leaguer Moises Hernández.

[edit] Beginnings

Hernandez was signed by scout Emilio Carrasquel for the Mariners in July 2002. He made his pro debut the next summer.

In 2005, when he made his debut with the Mariners, he was the youngest player in the major leagues. On August 9 of that year, he became first teenager since 1984 to win a game.(Dwight Gooden and Jose Rijo). He finished his first season with a record of 4-4, 2.87, in 12 starts. He followed that with a 12-14 mark and a 4.52 ERA in 31 starts at age 20 in 2006, then had hjis first outstanding season in 2007, when he went 14-7 with a 3.92 ERA.

On June 23, 2008, he hit a grand slam off Johan Santana of the New York Mets. It was the first grand slam by an American League pitcher since Steve Dunning hit one on May 11, 1971, and the first home run of any kind by a Mariners pitcher since the team began play in 1977. It was one of the few highlights of what turned out to be his poorest major league season. He recorded only 9 wins in 31 starts, against 11 losses. However, he did lower his ERA to 3.45 - his lowest in a full season thus far, while pitching over 200 innings for the first time, two figures that indicated that he was in fact about to join the rankls of baseball's elite pitchers.

[edit] Rise to Dominance

In 2009, Felix led the American League with 19 wins and his 2.49 ERA was second-best in the circuit, behind Zack Greinke, who beat him in the voting for the Cy Young Award. With only 5 losses, he also sported the best winning percentage in the league, and added 217 strikeouts in what was a truly dominant performance. He was named to the All-Star team for the first time that year. On August 25, 2010, Hernández struck out David Ortiz for his 1,000th career whiff. At age 24, he became the fourth-youngest hurler to that figure, following Bob Feller (22), Bert Blyleven (23) and Dwight Gooden (23). At the end of the year, he was voted as recipient of the 2010 American League Cy Young Award, over David Price and CC Sabathia, even though his won-loss record of 13-12 was unusually poor for a Cy Young recipient. Voters saw beyond these figures to note his dominating ERA and excellent strikeout rate while pitching for a last-place team.

Cashing in on his new-found fame, Hernandez was the star of a very popular commercial for the Mariners before the 2011 season, in which he appealed to new manager Eric Wedge to pitch more often; after Wedge's refusal, he appears as "Larry Bernandez", sporting a mullet, thick sideburns and glasses, pretending to be someone else. The alter ego took on a life of its own, and on August 27th, the Mariners held a special "Larry Bernandez night", when a bobblehead doll of the fictional pitcher was given out to fans, and Hernandez came out in costume to throw the ceremonial first pitch. He had another good season, going 14-14, 3.47 in 33 starts, striking out 222 batters and making his second appearance at the All-Star Game.

On August 15, 2012, he threw the first perfect game in Mariners history, doing so against the Tampa Bay Rays in a 1-0 win. He needed only 113 pitches and struck out a dozen batters, including five of the last six he faced. The game ended on a called third strike to Sean Rodriguez. It was the third no-hitter at Safeco Field that season and the second perfecto. This was the first time that two perfect games had been pitched in the same ballpark in one season. Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox tossed his perfect game in Seattle earlier in the season. It also marked the first time that three perfect games had been thrown in one year, as Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants had also been perfect earlier in the year. Hernandez had earlier been named an All-Star for the third time in four years. In his first start after the perfect game, he gave up a lead-off single to Jason Kipnis of the Cleveland Indians on August 21st, setting aside all thoughts of pulling off a Johnny Vander Meer-type performance, but he went on to pitch another solid game, beating Cleveland 5-1. That improved his record to 8-0, 1.53, over his past 13 starts. On August 27th, he beat the Minnesota Twins, 1-0, with a five-hit shutout. It was his fourth 1-0 win of the season, making him only the third pitcher since 1969 to win four such games in a season, after Fergie Jenkins in 1974 and Bert Blyleven in 1976. He was also the third pitcher to win three 1-0 decisions in a month according to the Elias Sports Bureau, following Dick Rudolph in 1916 and Carl Hubbell in 1933. It was no surprise that he was named American League Pitcher of the Month for August, as his record was 4-0, 1.08, with 3 shutouts including the perfect game. His winning streak was snapped on September 1st, when he was defeated 5-2 by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but even in that game, he had kept his opponents to 2 runs over 7 innings before allowing a two-run single to Mark Trumbo in the 8th. He finished the year at 13-9, 3.06, with a league-leading 5 shutouts and 223 strikeouts in 232 innings.

The Mariners knew that they would need to open their wallets to make sure their young prodigy remained the franchise's cornerstone in future years. On February 7, 2013, they agreed to give him the largest contract in history for a pitcher, offering $175 million over 7 years, a deal which was finalized on February 12th. During that period, he withdrew his name from the Venezuelan team's roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, having initially indicated that he would again pitch for his country. He earned the 100th win of his career on April 22nd, when he defeated the Houston Astros, 7-1. He was third on Seattle's all-time win list at that point, behind only Jamie Moyer (with 145) and Randy Johnson (130). Since 1969, only five players had reached 100 wins at a younger age: Gooden, Blyleven, Fernando Valenzuela, Don Gullett and Vida Blue. He went 12-10, 3.04, during the season, striking out 216 in 204 1/3 innings. He was named to the All-Star team for the 4th time.

On June 8, 2014, he struck out a career-high 15 batters and dod not allow a run in a game against the Miami Marlins, but he ended up with a no-decision as the Mariners waited until the 9th inning to score 5 runs and win the game, 5-0, handing reliever Yoervis Medina the win. While he had been used in previous seasons to pitching well and ending up without a win, it was a rare case that year, as he had started out the season 8-1, 2.57 in 13 starts. He was named the AL Pitcher of the Month in June, after going 3-1, 1.22 with 54 strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings during the month.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 2005 Pitcher of the Year Pacific Coast League Tacoma Rainiers
  • 5-time AL All-Star (2009 & 2011-2014)
  • 2010 AL Cy Young Award
  • AL Wins Leader (2009)
  • AL Winning Percentage Leader (2009)
  • AL ERA Leader (2010)
  • AL Innings Pitched Leader (2010)
  • AL Shutouts Leader (2012)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (2009)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 6 (2008-2013)
  • 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 5 (2009-2013)
AL Cy Young Award
2009 2010 2011
Zack Greinke Felix Hernandez Justin Verlander

[edit] Related Sites

Personal tools