Mariners Analysis: Felix Hernandez’s Top 5 Performances
#4 – First Double-Digit Strikeout Game – August 15, 2005
It only took Hernandez three games to have his first defining moment in the league. Felix took the mound against the then struggling Kansas City Royals in mid-August of 2005. They were just the opponent Hernandez was hoping for only a few weeks into his MLB career, and he took advantage of every batter along the way. Coming off his first shutout, which came against the Minnesota Twins the start before, the Venezuelan flamethrower wanted to outdo himself, and did he ever.
In the game versus the Royals, Hernandez struck out 11 batters through 8 innings of work, allowing only 3 hits and 1 earned run. More impressively, he controlled the game from beginning to end, striking out multiple batters in 4 innings and retiring the last 4 he faced in the 7th and 8th, bouncing back from allowing that 1 run off a fielder’s choice ground-out.
Not only was Hernandez consistently throwing mid-to-high 90’s fastballs, but he controlled his arsenal of pitches so well that out of the 28 batters he faced, he only walked 1 man. This was Hernandez’s first double-digit strikeout game of his career, and it was the second win of his career, it was also a loud message to the rest of the league that Felix Hernandez had arrived.
Next: Opening Day Gem against the A's