Superlatives get overused in sports media and I’m as guilty of beating the same tired phrases into the dirt as anyone. But in the case of Felix Hernandez’s 2014 season, only one word really seems to fit: historic.
King Felix is currently riding a 15-game streak of starts with seven or more innings pitched and two or fewer earned runs allowed. The MLB record had been 13 consecutive games, set by Tom Seaver. Now, every night that Felix takes the hill he has an opportunity to pile onto an all-time mark that he now owns alone. His ERA for those 15 games is a ridiculous 1.42, and he’s allowed just 66 hits with 126 strikeouts. Lest you think he’s just hot now, consider that his ERA for the season is 1.97.
There are precious few times that, as fans, we have the opportunity to see greatness at its peak, but that is exactly what is happening right now with Felix.
When you consider his previous achievements it would be easy to take the man for granted. After all, he has been a one-man show for most of his Mariners career, but this season is the stuff of legend. Each and every night that he’s listed as the starter you know that you have the chance to see something special, something historic.
Seattle has always rallied behind The King and you need look no further than the sea of yellow “K” cards in The King’s Court for proof, but this year it’s different, it’s bigger. If you haven’t gotten out to a game to see No. 34 ply his craft, you really are missing out. But you don’t have to. The next time Felix is on the hill will be Monday, to start a three-game series against Toronto, with whom the Mariners are fighting for the final wild-card spot. Get a ticket, grab a K-cloth and go see something that you may not get a chance to see again in your lifetime.
All of this brings to the best part of all. Even with the otherworldly stat lines, Felix isn’t a one-man show this year. The Mariners are in the hunt for postseason play. This team finds itself actually using these amazing starts to continue to fight for a wild-card spot and a chance to play up to its defensive strengths.
That fact only accentuates Felix’s achievements when you consider that they’re coming in a playoff race with a team featuring a brand new managerial staff and an offense that is – if I’m being kind – challenged. He’s not just putting on a show, he’s pacing a team that is fighting to legitimize itself for the first time in more years than any of us care to count.
The King is making history and we all have a chance to bear witness to it. That’s all we can ask for as fans, and Felix will be there on Monday night ready to deliver.
Thanks for reading, enjoy your weekend and if you feel the need to know more stuff that I think about please follow me on Twitter @TheMichaelGrey.