The King added another milestone to his already impressive résumé on Saturday.
In start No. 338 for the Seattle Mariners, Felix Hernandez recorded strikeout No. 2,163, which moved him past Randy Johnson for the most strikeouts in franchise history.
Hernandez, who was scratched from his scheduled start on Friday with the flu, entered the game tied with Johnson. He wasted no time setting the new record, striking out Rafael Ortega for the second out in the first inning.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 24, 2016
It wasn't as special as it would have been in front the frenzied King's Court at Safeco Field, but one can only assume there will be a celebration when the Mariners return home on Monday. Hernandez's next start will come Friday night against the Kansas City Royals, and that too should be a party.
Hernandez finished Saturday's outing with four strikeouts for the second straight outing, which is a pretty low total for him based on history. He's currently 59th on MLB's all-time strikeout list, but he still has a long way to go to catch Johnson on that list. The "Big Unit" is No. 2. with 4,875, trailing only Nolan Ryan, who finished with 5,714. Having just turned 30 on April 8 though, Hernandez still has some serious climbing left in him.
As for Johnson's time in Seattle, he notched his 2,162 strikeouts in 1,838.1 innings. Hernandez needed over 400 extra innings to top him, setting the record in 2,280.2 innings. It may have taken him longer, but the results are no less impressive.
Along those same lines, Hernandez also had a chance to equal Jamie Moyer for the franchise lead in wins with 145. He ended up taking the loss though after allowing three runs in seven innings, which included a back-breaking home run from Mike Trout.
Inevitably, that mark will belong to Hernandez too. And before he's done many more records and milestones will be his to claim. But we all know the one milestone he desires the most may prove to be the most elusive — a postseason victory.
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