Felix Hernandez was the King of Seattle this season. He led the Seattle Mariners to their first winning season since 2009, and he helped get them within one single game of the AL 2014 Postseason.
Yes, the Mariners fell short and yes, Felix wasn’t perfect, but his numbers speak for themselves as a Cy Young winner.
Let’s first look at the basics:
Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners RHP:
Batting Average Against: .200
Those numbers, aside from his win total, were career bests. His 236.0 innings pitched was the 3rd highest in his career, and he did things American League pitchers just don’t do very often.
From May until mid-August, Felix Hernandez set a new Major League record for consecutive ‘super-quality starts.’ Such starts are defined as a minimum of 7.0 innings pitched with 2 or less earned runs. Felix had 16 straight, where the previous record was held by Tom Seaver at 13. But there’s even more to be said about Felix’s consistency and dependability:
I had to double-take when I read those numbers. In 31 games he gave this teams a very winnable outing. But with the Mariners often anemic offense– one that accounted for 19 shutouts this season– Felix had 13 no-decisions this season. In those 13 games, he had a 1.88 ERA.\n
Let’s peek into those other numbers too: Felix’s 2.14 ERA, though aided by a scoring change after his blow-up game against the Toronto Blue Jays, is the LOWEST in the AL since Pedro Martinez‘s 1.74 ERA back in 2000. That’s impressive by any stretch.
His WHIP, at 0.92, is also the lowest in the American League since Pedro Martinez’s 2000 campaign.
Felix Hernandez won the 2011 Cy Young award with a 2.27 ERA and a 13-12 record. This year he has been better in nearly every category. How can the Cy Young be refused?
I understand that Corey Kluber makes a great case as well, but Felix has the star power and the sexy stats to earn his 2nd Cy Young of his career.
If it weren’t for Felix the Mariners wouldn’t have won 87 games. They would have been far less relevant.
But above and beyond that, he was the best pitcher in the American League in 2014, no doubt. Expect Felix to be adding some hardware to his shelves in the coming weeks.