Much to his dismay, the Seattle Mariners decided to shut down Felix Hernandez and skip his scheduled start in the season finale on Sunday. King Felix will miss a chance at solidifying his Cy Young candidacy, but it shouldn’t matter; Hernandez has shown that he is undoubtedly the best pitcher in the American League this year.
Hernandez finished the season 13-12 while leading the Majors with a 2.27 ERA. The 24-year-old stud also threw 249.2 innings, which was one shy of tying Roy Halladay for the MLB lead. Hernandez’s monstrous innings pitched total was more than anyone else in baseball the past five seasons and the most in the American League since Halladay threw 266 in 2003.
In case you don’t understand the significance of this achievement, we’ll put it simple: the more innings you pitch, the more you’re helping your team by sparing the bullpen and giving the club many more high-quality innings than they would get from more inferior pitchers.
In addition to the stellar innings total, Hernandez blew hitters away with his blazing fastball and devastating curve and change up to the tune of 232 strikeouts. The 232 total placed King Felix second in baseball, one behind Angels pitcher Jered Weaver.
Still not impressed?