Felix Hernandez is already the “King” for the Seattle Mariners, and has a Cy Young in his trophy case. This season, Hernandez looks better than ever, and despite just getting a no-decision in 3-2 loss to the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington Wednesday, he has to be early season favorite for the American League Cy Young.
At 28 years old, Hernandez is at his pitching prime, and he is showing it off in style. Hernandez controlled the Rangers from the very beginning. He finished his outing allowing one earned run on three hits, one walk and nine strikeouts in seven-plus innings. Hernandez is 3-0 on the season, with a 1.91 E.R.A and a 0.74 W.H.I.P. Had Fernando Rodney not blown the lead in the ninth, Hernandez would have been the first Mariners hurler since Bob Wells in 1996 to start a season 4-0.
While wins for pitchers are taken less seriously with analytics becoming more relevant, Hernandez would still increase his chances for a second Cy Young if the bullpen does not blow up and he gets well-deserved Ws instead of NDs.
What makes Hernandez even more special is how he goes at big games. Hernandez out-pitched Rangers’ ace Yu Darvish Wednesday, and he always seems to pick up his game when the spotlight is at its brightest. Darvish pitched well, allowing just two earned runs in seven innings. These kind of pitching matchups makes baseball fans salivate, and hopefully this is not the last time this season these two clash.
Hernandez won his 2010 Cy Young backed by sabermetrics, and now he could earn the award with old school and new-school numbers. No matter how anyone judges him, it is clear Hernandez is the best and most feared pitcher in the American League.