As the 2005 season winds down and many big names get the call to the big leagues, those still in the…
All Hail The King!
In his eight innings, the young Venezuelan right-hander gave up five hits and struck out six Twins batters without yielding a walk, continually bringing the home crowd to its feet. Mariners closer Eddie Guardado took over in the ninth and retired Minnesota in order to preserve the 1-0 win, putting the capper on a magical night in front of 34,213 very fortunate fans at Safeco Field.
Hernandez earned the winning decision and moved to 1-1 on the season, lowering his ERA to 0.69 in the process (one earned run in 13 innings).
Confident and collected on the mound from the onset, Hernandez gave up an infield single to Shannon Stewart to lead off the game but remained calm and largely unfazed. The teenage flame-thrower sent the next 12 batters down in order, regularly getting ahead in the count and hitting his spots seemingly effortlessly.
Hernandez threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 29 batters he faced, and finished the game having tossed 73 percent (69 of his 94) of his pitches for strikes. His pitches were broken down as follows – 60 fastballs (95-97 mph), 20 curveballs (81-84 mph) and 14 changeups (82-84 mph).
The game remained tied through the first half of the seventh, due to the terrific outing of Twins' starter Kyle Lohse, who nearly equaled Hernandez's performance. Lohse allowed only two Mariners hits through six innings, but ran into trouble with two outs in the seventh. After the Twins' hurler retired the heart of Seattle's lineup, getting Richie Sexson to ground out and striking out Adrian Beltre, Jeremy Reed doubled to right-center and came home one batter later on a triple off the bat of speedy shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt.
Hernandez returned in the eighth to the surprise of many, but responded like an ace is supposed to. He gave up singles to Justin Morneau and Stewart to give Minnesota runners on first and second with two out, but coaxed second baseman Nick Punto into a weak grounder back to the mound to end the Twins threat.
That proved to be the The King's last out in a game that captivated a region of baseball fans. A game that reminded the Mariners faithful what its like to have an ace, to have fun and to clap and cheer for something special. A game that could very well be the start of something special.
SeattleClubhouse.com Recommended Stories
Dr. Roto Video: Week 8 Strategy
Should you keep Fred Jackson or cut him? Should you cut Zac Stacy or trade him? Each team requires its own strategy based on different circumstances and Dr. Roto does his best to clarify your…Read More
Who's Hot? Week 8: Trevone, Pitt D, Kirby
The stud teams, players, coaches and trends from Week 8Read More
10 Rules For Night Shift Walleyes
Autumn walleye anglers turn their bows toward the launch ramp as the sun sets and evening temperatures begin to fall. That’s when Steve DeZurik begins his fishing shift.Read More
National Anthem Played with a Gun!
Musical targets? Yes, this guy plays the national anthem while shooting musical targets.Read More
The Haunted History of the White House
The Executive Mansion isn't just home to the First Family. It's also home to a variety of...ghosts.Read More