He’s nicknamed “King Félix”… And Félix Hernández has just logged his latest crowning achievement…
The 26-year-old Venezuelan baseball star pitched the Seattle Mariners‘ first-ever perfect game and only the 23rd one in baseball history on Wednesday as he overpowered the Tampa Bay Rays in a dazzling 1-0 victory on Wednesday.
It was the third perfect game in baseball this season— the first time in MLB history that three perfect games have been notched in the same season. Hernández’s feat joins perfect games by Chicago’s Philip Humber against the Mariners in April and San Francisco‘s Matt Cain against Houston in June. More than half of all perfect games — 12 — have come in the past 25 seasons.
“I don’t have any words to explain this,” said Hernandez to the crowd, speaking on the field after the final out. “I’ve been working so hard to throw one and today is for you guys.”
Hernández is the second player born in Latin America to throw a perfect game. Dennis Martinez, born in Nicaragua, threw a perfect game in 1991. In fact, he’s only the second player born outside of the United States to throw a perfect game
With one out to go, Sean Rodriguez got ahead 2-0 in the count. After circling the mound, 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.
“It was in my mind, the whole game, it was in my mind,” Hernandez said.
The right-hander had the Rays swinging over his sharp curve all afternoon, with Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist and Carlos Pena each striking out in the eighth chasing breaking balls.
With a fastball in the mid-90s mph and an effective change, Hernandez simply wasn’t hittable.