King Felix Continues Pursuit of Franchise Records
Felix Hernandez has made one start since turning 30 on April 8, but he is already firmly established atop the Mariners record books. Since his debut at the age of 19 as a fresh-faced, hard-throwing right-hander on August 4, 2005 at Detroit, Hernandez has steadily climbed the ranks of every major pitching mark in club history.
Felix currently holds the club records for innings pitched (2,275.1), quality starts (229) and starts (336), while closing in on several other all-time Mariners marks. Hernandez ranks 2nd in wins (143), strikeouts (2,158), shutouts (11) and games played (336). Not to mention, Hernandez tossed the first perfect game in franchise history on August 15, 2012.
Today against the Yankees in New York, Felix looks to continue his pursuit of two marquee franchise pitching records – most career strikeouts and most career wins. Hernandez enters play today with 2,158 strikeouts, just four punch-outs shy of equaling Randy Johnson’s mark of 2,162 strikeouts in a Mariners uniform. Felix is also just 2 wins away from tying Jamie Moyer’s club record of 145 victories.
For historical perspective, Hernandez recorded 2,148 career strikeouts before his 30th birthday, the 4th-most in baseball history by a pitcher before turning 30 years old. Only Walter Johnson (2,302), Sam McDowell (2,271) and Bert Blyleven (2,250) struck out more batters in their 20s than King Felix.
Over the past seven seasons since 2009, Felix has averaged 221 strikeouts per season, posting a career-best 232 punch-outs in 2010. In that time frame, Hernandez has tossed a combined 1,596.0 innings pitched, averaging 8.7 strikeouts per 9.0 innings. By comparison, Felix has averaged just 2.3 walks per 9.0 innings over that same period. Hernandez has thrown at least 200.0 innings in each of the last eight seasons, also a club record.
Hernandez has recorded 35 career double-digit strikeout games. Since his debut in 2005, that ranks tied-for-4th in Major League Baseball behind only Clayton Kershaw (42), Max Scherzer (36) and Tim Lincecum (36). One of Felix’s most memorable strikeout performances came back on June 8, 2014 when he struck out a career-best 15 over 7.0 scoreless innings against the Rays at Tropicana Field.
On August 25, 2010 at Fenway Park, Felix got David Ortiz to go down swinging on a pitch in the dirt, becoming the 4th-youngest pitcher in baseball history to reach 1,000 career strikeouts. Felix was 24 years, 139 days old, trailing only Bob Feller (22.179), Bert Blyleven (23.121) and Dwight Gooden (23.249).
On May 10, 2015 at Safeco Field, Sam Fuld became Felix’s 2,000 career strikeout victim. At 29 years and 32 days old, King Felix was again the 4th-youngest pitcher in baseball history to record 2,000 career strikeouts, only behind Bert Blyleven (28.097), Sam McDowell (28.228) and Walter Johnson (28.235).
Hernandez earned 143 wins before the age of 30, which ranks 24th all-time and puts him in the conversation with the likes of Greg Maddux (150), Dizzy Dean (147), Tom Seaver (146) and Juan Marichal (144). Hernandez ranks ahead of such legends of the game as Walter Johnson (139), Sandy Koufax (138) and Ferguson Jenkins (135) for wins in his 20s.
Throughout his 12 years so far with the Mariners, Felix has already given us many historical moments to celebrate – and there are many more to come. Tune in this morning as Felix chases a piece of history once again. First pitch from Yankee Stadium is scheduled for 10:05 a.m. PT on ROOT Sports, 710 ESPN Seattle and Mariners.com.