There is no greater respect a hitter can drop on a pitcher than the words that spilled out of Russell Martin's mouth yesterday.

"I'm glad we don't have to face him again this year,'' Martin said of Felix Hernandez, who dominated the Yankees with a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 Mariners victory that was witnessed by a sweat-soaked crowd of 47,067 at Yankee Stadium.

Truth be told, the stuff Hernandez featured yesterday was borderline illegal.

Working with a fastball clocked between 92 and 94 mph, a change-up that had splitter action on it and the ability to sink the ball when he needed to, Hernandez was nearly unhittable. The two hits by the Yankees marked a season-low.