Felix Hernandez may just be starting to heat up
By Shannon Drayer
And to think that I wanted to go to Tacoma to watch the Danny Hultzen/Jamie Moyer matchup. I have missed a no-hitter and a perfect game this year. I almost missed this one. I am glad I didn’t.
Felix Hernandez was back to his dominant self Thursday night. He threw a complete-game shutout against the Red Sox and in the process of doing so struck out 13 batters, tying his career high.
Felix Hernandez tied his career high with 13 strikeouts against Boston on Thursday. “That wasn’t human, man,” said Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. (AP)
It was a beautiful thing to watch. Some were looking, some were swinging. Some were on the nasty changeup, some on the lesser-used slider, a couple on the curve and a few on the pitch that is so nasty that Pitch-f/x incorrectly describes it as a cutter. Felix doesn’t throw a cutter, ever. That pitch is his four-seamer with ridiculous movement.
How ridiculous? Dustin Pedroia struck out on it in the ninth and after the game was still shaking his head.
“That’s the best we have seen,” he told reporters. “He was unreal. His stuff was moving all over the place.”
David Ortiz summed up Felix’s performance by simply saying, “That wasn’t human, man.”
Felix has struck out 30 over the last three games, one shy of the most he has struck out ever over a three-game stretch. Over that span he has given up three runs and walked just three. He has got his stuff and he is in command of it.
He also has picked up something else in these last three games. His intimidation factor. When Felix struggles, opponents know he is hittable. See three games like these and hear comments like the above from players like Pedroia and Ortiz and that is not a game you are looking forward to if you are the opposition. This gives Felix a little extra before he even throws a pitch and is something that has been missing for the majority of this season.
The fun could just be beginning.