Felix Hernandez has such an impressive, and expansive, body of work that it takes some doing for one particular start to stand above the rest.
But after Hernandez had struck out the Yankees' Robinson Cano on Saturday to complete a two-hit, 1-0 masterpiece at Yankee Stadium, then kissed tattoos on each wrist with the names of his two children and gestured skyward, manager Eric Wedge was in a raving mood.
"That was special stuff today," Wedge said. "I told him, that's probably the most impressive start I've ever seen as a manager. And I've seen a lot of good and great pitchers pitch over the years."
"This ballpark, that lineup, the swings and misses, the mis-hits, with so many good hitters over there, the efficiency in which he did it, in a 1-0 ballgame — it doesn't get much better than that."
After Mike Carp's clutch two-out single off Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda in the second inning brought home John Jaso from third with the game's only run, Hernandez had to hang on for dear life.
The Mariners didn't do him any favors by squandering several additional scoring opportunities, but the tightness of the game only accentuated Hernandez's brilliance. It was his fourth career two-hitter (and second against the Yankees in New York; only two other pitchers since 1920 have two shutouts of two hits or fewer at Yankee Stadium) to go with a one-hitter against Boston on April 11, 2007.
It was Hernandez's third shutout in his past eight starts since June 28. He is 6-0 with a 1.60 earned-run average in his past 10 starts, raising his overall marks to 10-5, 2.63 and thrusting himself into the Cy Young race.
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Seattle Times | Aug 4