Seattle Mariners‘ ace Felix Hernandez has been in some kind of groove for his last five starts, allowing only a mere three earned runs in his last 38 innings pitched. This stretch has put his ERA at 1.53, good for the best mark in the American League so far this season.
Hernandez has not had his best stuff during this stretch, but he has still managed to pitch at an incredibly high level. “If you don’t have your best stuff,” Hernandez told Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com, “you’ve got to go out there and fight.” That’s exactly what Hernandez has been doing, pitching in tense situations and winning baseball games for the Mariners.
“King Felix” will face what is most likely his biggest challenge when the Mariners go to Yankee Stadium to play the New York Yankees. Although they have struggled with injuries, Joe Girardi’s Yankees have managed to have a successful season, posting a 24-14 record, leading the AL East.
Hernandez has pitched very well against the Yankees in his nine-year MLB career, posting an 8-5 record and a solid ERA of 3.08 in 14 starts. The last time Hernandez pitched in New York, he threw a two-hit shutout against a very potent lineup last August — two starts before he threw his perfect game.
It will be difficult for Hernandez this time around, as he going up against Yankees’ ace C.C. Sabathia, who is throwing very well this season with a 4-3 record and a 3.23 ERA in eight starts. This will definitely be a tough matchup for Hernandez, but another good outing will just go further to establish Hernandez as the best pitcher in the AL in 2013.