Sunday, July 15, 2012
Numbers: How Felix Hernandez beat Texas
By Richard Durrett
ESPN Stats & Information (it's a great crew that includes Lee Singer, Mike Veneziano, Scott Beaman, Mark Simon, Jeremy Mills, Jacob Nitzberg and Katie Sharp) put together a look at how Felix Hernandez held down the Texas Rangers offense on Saturday night. Here's a look:
* Hernandez threw 70 percent fastballs, his highest percentage in a start since Sept. 5, 2010. His fastball averaged a season-high 92.7 mph.
* He threw 46 of his 75 fastballs (61 percent) in the strike zone, his highest percentage in a start this season.
* While he pitched off his fastball - throwing 26 of them on the first pitch - Hernandez primarily used his offspeed stuff to put hitters away. Nine of his 12 strikeouts were on offspeed pitches (six changeups, three curveballs). He took 17 hitters to a two-strike count and retired all 17.
* Hernandez's changeup, in particular, was dominant. He threw 16 of them and Rangers hitters failed to put a single one in play (eight swings and misses, one foul).
* It was Hernandez's second shutout this season with 12 or more strikeouts. He struck out 13 Red Sox in a shutout on June 28. He becomes the first pitcher to have multiple shutouts with 12 or more strikeouts in a single season since Randy Johnson did it twice for Arizona in 2002. He is only the second Mariner to achieve the feat, joining Johnson, who did it twice in 1995.
Texas will try to get its offense going in the final game of this three-game series against RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (1-1, 4.84 ERA). LHP Matt Harrison (11-4, 3.10 ERA) is on the hill for the Rangers.