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King Felix making a run at another Cy Young

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It may be time to revisit the Felix Hernandez-is-the-best-pitcher-in-the-American League conversation.

He was in 2010, when despite just 13 wins for an admittedly terrible Seattle team, he was voted the Cy Young Award.

With a 1-0 complete game win in Yankee Stadium, Hernandez has just stretched his streak of amazing performances to 10 starts in which he is 6-0 with a 1.41 ERA. He has three shutouts among the six wins, throttling the three best offenses in the league in Boston, Texas and New York. Those teams combined for 10 hits in the three shutouts.

Hernandez, who will get one more start on this road trip in Anaheim next weekend, is 10-5 with a 2.63 ERA through 23 starts with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 153-51. Hitters are averaging .231 against him and 65 percent of his pitches are strikes.

Through 23 starts in his Cy Young season, Hernandez had pitched 167 2/3 innings with a 2.79 ERA with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 149-46 while hitters were averaging .230 against him and 64 percent of his pitches were strikes.

It's difficult in the first week of August to say that lightning is striking twice, but the numbers suggest they are.

Here's a sampling compiled by the Mariner P.R. staff with the help of baseball.reference.com, Elias and ESPN:

He is just the third pitcher since 1930 with two shutouts of two hits or less at Yankee Stadium; he has thrown as many shutouts in new Yankee Stadium (two) as the entire Yankee staff combined. And he's the first pitcher to shut out the Yankees 1-0 in New York since 1988 (Greg Swindell).

He's tied with former Mariner Brandon Morrow for the Major League lead with three complete game shutouts, and he's got two starts in which he threw eight shutout innings as well. In his last 10 starts he's struck out 75, walked 14, allowed just one homer and opponents are averaging .195 against him.

Perhaps most impressive is that in his 23 stats, nine times Hernandez has thrown at least eight innings while allowing one or zero runs, something he did 13 times in his Cy Young Award season in 2010. No other big league pitcher this year is close; Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey have each done it five times.
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