Until August 15th, 2012 only one Mariner pitcher had made a serious (past 7 innings of perfect ball) bid at a Perfect Game. That pitcher’s name was Bob Holman and he threw 8 2/3rds of perfect baseball, 26 up 26 down, on April 20th, 1990. The 27th batter was one Ken “Digger” Phelps. Phelps ended Holman’s bid for immortality with a blast at the Oakland Coliseum.
|Felix is Officially Perfect|
On August 15th, 2012 another Mariner made a serious bid at a perfect game and unlike Brian Holman this Mariner completed it. And it was an impressive performance that allowed for Felix Hernandez to become the 23rd pitcher to toss a Perfect Game in Major League History, the third pitcher to toss a perfect game this year and the second pitcher to toss a perfect game at Safeco Field this season. This is also the third perfect game tossed against the Tampa Bay Rays since 2009.
Felix’s slow start earlier this year didn’t make me think that this was going to happen this year. It had me worried about him. He himself pointed out that his form wasn’t quite right; add in the back injuryand I thought that this was just going to be an off year for the King. But I was wrong. Felix came back from his back ordeal on June 12th and ever since then he has been lights out.
So it wasn’t a surprise when I checked the Mariner game yesterday and heard Dave Sims say; “12 up and 12 down for Felix Hernandez”. Instead of going to Wal-Mart my roommates and I stayed and watched the rest of King Felix’s Royal Gem. And it was probably the best sports related decision I’ve ever made.
Felix was so dominate yesterday and the Ray’s looked completely lost at the plate. It was clear to me sitting at home that if the defense played to its usual standards then Felix was going to get the perfecto. I don’t really have any super awesome analysis or stats about what happened yesterday, just pure awe and excitement. He finally got one, King Felix, finally threw a no-hitter. Better yet he threw a perfect game.
And for most baseball fans it wasn’t a huge shocker. They (we) expected Hernandez to throw a no-hitter and/or a perfect game. To us it was never a question of if, but when. I don’t understand why but that expectation has always been there for him. Now he has met that expectation and that particular pressure is off.
And he did it in spectacular fashion. And, as Jack Zdurienck said in a crowded media elevator after the game; “He’s ours and you can’t have him.”