Heading into tonight’s action at the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez holds the fourth lowest ERA of any active pitcher with a minimum of six games started at a given ballpark in his career. For Hernandez, that park just happens to be Yankee Stadium. His career ERA there stood at an impressive 1.18.
Hernandez wasn’t far off that pace tonight, and his consistency this year in the first half of the MLB season should make him a strong candidate on ballots for the 2014 All-Star game. He worked seven innings strong on 111 pitches, allowing 2 earned runs, equivalent to a game ERA of 2.57. On the stability of eight punch outs and zero walks, he carried the Mariners to their third consecutive win.
For the year, King Felix improves to 8-1 and currently is ranked in the top ten of American League starters in wins, earned run average, strikeouts, walks/hits per inning pitched and opposition’s batting average. His winning percentage on the season improves to .889, tying him for second in all of MLB with the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka, who trails only the Toronto Blue Jays‘ Mark Buehrle (.909) in that category.
It’s no shock that Hernandez is putting together a Cy Young worthy campaign. His outings, combined with the overall success of the Mariners’ pitching staff, is keeping the team relevant in the AL Wild Card race. In his career, Hernandez has typically been a pitcher with better first half splits than second half ones, so if the Mariners hope to stay in the hunt, they will need their ace to administer All-Star caliber outings deep into the months of August and September.