For Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, August 15 turned out to be both an anniversary to celebrate — and a date to forget.
On this day in béisbol in 2012, King Felix hurled the first perfect game in Mariners history, a 1-0 gem against the Tampa Bay Rays at home. The 26-year-old righty threw 113 pitches and struck out 12 en route to his 11th win of the season.
The 23rd perfect game in MLB history was rare in other ways. It was the third perfecto of the year, the first time three such games were tossed in a single season.
The Mariners were also on the losing side of White Sox starter Philip Humber’s perfect game earlier in the year at Safeco Field in Seattle. It was the first time a team was the winner and loser of a perfect game in one season — and the first time two were thrown in one park in the same year.
Lastly, it was the second no-hitter that season by the Mariners, whose staff threw a combined no-no against the Dodgers in June.
But exactly three years after reaching his pitching pinnacle, Hernandez was part of a debacle.
On Aug. 15, 2015, the Venezuela native lasted only 2.1 innings against the Red Sox, giving up 10 runs as Boston beat the Mariners 22-10 in a wild one at Fenway Park.
— Robert Dominguez
Robert Dominguez is the author of “Bronx Bummers: The Unofficial History of the New York Yankees’ Bad Boys, Blunders and Brawls” and writer of the upcoming “El Salón: The Trials and Triumphs of Baseball’s Latino Hall of Famers.”
Photo: Mike Tigas on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) / CC BY 2.0