King Felix, indeed. The year of the pitcher has turned into something that carries more than a season’s tone as Seattle’s Felix Hernandez pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Safeco Field on Wednesday afternoon.
That’s the third perfect game in the major leagues this season — a record — as one of baseball’s greatest arms joined a quickly-growing fraternity.
After Hernandez struck out Sean Rodriguez looking to end the game and secure the 1-0 win for the Mariners’ first perfect game in franchise history, teammates streamed onto the field and mobbed Hernandez and fans waved yellow “K” posters. It was the 23rd perfect game in major-league history, and the fifth since May 2010.
“I don’t have any words to explain this, ” Hernandez, 26, said after the game. ”I realized in the third. I was like, wow, nobody on base.
“My whole family is in Venezuela so nobody is here so I celebrate with all of you,” he said pointing to the fans.
He joins the White Sox’s Philip Humber — who secured his against the Mariners — and the Giants’ Matt Cain, who also threw perfect games this season. There also have been three no-hitters, one also at Safeco Field that was a combo job among six pitchers: Kevin Millwood, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen no-hit the L.A. Dodgers on June 8.