Seattle Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez (W, 10-5) made short work of the New York Yankees in their house on Saturday afternoon, limiting them to two hits in a complete-game, 1-0 shutout.
Hernandez had six strikeouts against two walks in his stellar performance, easily overshadowing what was another unrewarded quality outing by Hiroki Kuroda (L, 10-8), who allowed a run on seven hits in 6-1/3 innings.
Asked by Yahoo! Contributor Network what it was like to face Hernandez in the matinee, Yankees catcher Russell Martin replied, "Really tough."
"He had all his stuff going, didn't really make too many mistakes in the middle of the plate," he said. "And when we did hit the ball hard, it seems like it was right at people.
"He definitely had his ace-stuff today."
Hernandez certainly did, needing only Mike Carp's RBI single in the second to work with.
"It's gotta be up there," Curtis Granderson, referring to the best pitching performances against the Yankees in 2012, told YCN. "Felix is one of the best pitchers in the game, and he showed it once again today."
After Kuroda retired Carp to start the seventh, he gave up a double to Eric Thames and hit Brendan Ryan with a 93 mph sinker, causing manager Joe Girardi to bring in left-hander Boone Logan.
Logan fell behind Dustin Ackley in the count 2-0 before getting the second baseman to fly out to center, and struck Michael Saunders out swinging with a 2-2, 84 mph slider.
But any trouble Yankees pitchers worked out of wouldn't matter, because 88 pitches is all it took for Hernandez to get through eight innings, leaving him with plenty in the tank to finish the job.
In New York's final at-bat, Granderson lined out to center, Derek Jeter flew out to right and Robinson Cano went down swinging at an 0-2, 87 mph slider low and inside.
Little can be done when a pitcher of Hernandez's skill level is in top form. Making matters worse for the Yankees, as Martin mentioned earlier, pitches they managed to square up against Seattle's ace often ended up in a defender's glove.
"There's eight guys out there playing defense, plus the pitcher, so their job is to try to catch the ball, and if you hit it right at 'em, it makes it pretty easy for 'em to do it," said Granderson, who lined out in the first and ninth innings. "So you just gotta hopefully get a little bit lucky sometimes and find some grass, where they happen to not be playing at."
- Sports & Recreation
- Felix Hernandez
- Hiroki Kuroda
- Curtis Granderson
- Seattle Mariners
- the New York Yankees