Felix Hernandez Reaches Century Mark

by Michael Theed | Posted on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
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Felix Hernandez

Felix Hernandez has had a pretty impressive career so far with some quality achievements. He hit a grand slam in 2008, he pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012, he’s struck out over 1,500 hitters, and now, he has 100 career victories.

At the tender age of 19, Felix Hernandez made his Major League debut with the Seattle Mariners, going five innings in a loss to the Tigers. Just about seven and a half years later, King Felix has gained his one hundredth career victory, going six shutout innings in a 7-1 win over the Houston Astros, striking out nine while walking one and allowing five hits while throwing 93 pitches. Throughout the game which secured his historic victory, Hernandez appeared to have very few issues, with only three runners making it past first base, all on doubles.

Over his career, Hernandez has shown amazing consistency and durability not seen in many pitchers in this day and age. Averaging 232 innings per year with well over 200 strike-outs each of the last four seasons, Hernandez has shown start in and start out why he was given such a lucrative seven year, $175,000,000 contract earlier this year. While some believe part of his effectiveness is pitching in such a pitcher-friendly ballpark, the statistics say otherwise:

Home 51 36 .586 3.15 121 121 10 4 837.2 762 316 293 65 232 801 31 3441 1.187
Away 49 42 .538 3.24 122 122 13 5 817.1 751 341 294 67 254 723 23 3386 1.230
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/23/2013.

In the previously mentioned Cy Young Award year of 2010, Hernandez won only 13 games. However, his other statistics, such as his low ERA of 2.27 over 34 starts and 249 innings, 1,001 batters faced, and the league-leading hits per 9 innings ratio of 7.0 showed why he was deserving of the award. He would have definitely won many more games, has his team’s offense not scored him so few runs that year, with 15 of his starts coming in games where he was only spotted two runs or less. In those games, he had an ERA just under 3, winning only 2 of those games. In the games where he was given three to five runs of support, his ERA was a touch over 2, making up 16 of his starts that year, where he won 8 of his starts. The other 3 victories were in games where his offense supplied him with more than five runs.

Throughout his career, Hernandez has been victimized by a low-scoring offensive supporting cast. Only 25.1% of his starts have been where he’s been given six or more runs to work with. He has done his best to make sure he still has opportunities to win the games where the offense gave him zero to five runs, winning 58 of his now 100 games in that span. His best statistics come when the team scores zero to two runs, with an ERA of 2.74 and a WHIP just over 1.150. His stats when given three to five runs aren’t much worse, an ERA of 3.25 and WHIP just a touch above 1.200. It really begs the question, if Felix Hernandez had a consistent, multiple run-scoring offense over his career, how many wins would he have today? Could we be talking about his 150th win, perhaps?

Some career highlights for Felix Hernandez:

– Debuted at age 19 on August 4, 2005; first strikeout: Ivan Rodriguez
First career victory on August 9, 2005 against the Minnesota Twins
 – 500th strikeout against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 11, 2008 (Rod Barajas)
– Hit a Grand Slam off of Johan Santana (New York Mets) on June 23, 2008
– Three time all-star (2009, 2011, 2012)
– 50th career victory against the Detroit Tigers
– 1,000th strikeout against the Boston Red Sox on August 25, 2010 (David Ortiz)
– 2010 Cy Young Award Winner
– Perfect Game against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 15, 2012
– 1,500th strikeout against the Texas Rangers on April 11, 2013 (David Murphy)
– 100th career victory against the Houston Astros on April 22, 2013

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Michael Theed
About the Author

Michael is a Marlins fan covering Marlins Baseball. Civil Engineering Student at University of Central Florida. Follow him on Twitter @MTheed4.

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