The Mariners’ hard-throwing pitcher said he had designs on becoming only the 23rd player in baseball history to toss a “perfecto” long before anyone did.
“It was in my mind, the whole game, it was in my mind,” Hernandez said.
He was nearly out of his mind in glee after leading Seattle to a 1-0 victory and making history.
“I don’t have any words to explain this,” Hernandez said to the crowd, afterward. “I’ve been working so hard to throw one and today is for you guys.”
The 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner has not been bashful about his ambition of throwing a perfect game. He openly talked about it. And he finally accomplished it against the Rays, fanning the side twice and finishing with 12 strikeouts.
Remarkably, it was the third perfect game in baseball this season. The Chicago White Sox’ Philip Humber threw one against the Mariners in April and San Francisco’s Matt Cain spun one against Houston in June.
This also was the sixth no-hitter in the majors this season, three of them at Safeco Field. Humber threw his gem in Seattle, then six Mariners pitchers combined to hold the Los Angeles Dodgers hitless at the park on June 8.
Wednesday, with a fastball in the mid-90s mph and an effective change up pitch, Hernandez simply was un-hittable.With one out to go, Sean Rodriguez got ahead 2-0 in the count. Hernandez came back with two straight breaking balls for strikes and ended perfection with a called third strike on his 113th pitch.Hernandez (11-5) threw his arms up to the sky and was mobbed by teammates at the pitcher’s mound. He embraced catcher John Jaso for a few seconds and then shared hugs with the rest of his teammates
“He never did struggle. He kept making good pitches the whole way through,” Jaso said. “The last at-bat of the game, falling down 2-0, he just kept his confidence. It was great.”