New York Yankees: Felix Hernandez

No King Felix for Yanks

April, 30, 2014
Apr 30
6:30
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The Yankees caught a major break with the rain Wednesday as the Seattle Mariners will not start Felix Hernandez on Thursday against the Yankees. Instead it will be lefty Roenis Elias.

The Yankees will start Hiroki Kuroda. They will skip David Phelps, who was supposed to pitch Wednesday.

Hernandez has been amazing at the new Yankee Stadium, going 4-1 with a 1.18 in the building. Elias, a rookie, has never pitched in the Bronx. He is 1-2 with a 3.54 ERA overall.

As for a make-up date for Wednesday's game, it will be played on June 2 at 7:05 p.m.

Contagion: The King gets hurt

May, 14, 2013
5/14/13
11:45
PM ET
Felix Hernandez AP Photo/Kathy KmonicekA strained back forced Felix Hernandez out of the game in the sixth inning of the Yankees' 4-3 win.
Where have we seen this before? A star gets hurt and the Yankees win.

Felix Hernandez, better known as The King, may be the best pitcher in baseball. He has a $175 million contract. So what happens when he steps foot in Yankee Stadium in 2013? He tweaks his back and has to leave the game after six innings.

Yankee teams with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, et. al., only could beat Hernandez once at the $1.5 billion palace in the Bronx. Hernandez had won four of five decisions with a 1.13 ERA since the new building went up in 2009. He had two shutouts on the Bronx mound, or one more than CC Sabathia in 66 starts.

In reality, the 2013 vagabond Yankees couldn't really touch Hernandez either, but they outlasted him. He went six innings, threw 97 pitches, made the Yankees look nearly helpless and hitless in important spots. They were were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, but did pick up a run on a Lyle Overbay sac fly in the sixth. This was Hernandez's final inning, when he strained his back on a forceout to second.

Before that it looked as if Hernandez would push Prince Hal to the side and continue to own the Yankees.

"He basically did what he usually does," Joe Girardi said, noting Hernandez appears as if he gets better when facing threats.

But the King left the building, and the Yankees were waiting with their usual 2013 magic that resulted in a 4-3 victory. In the seventh, against Yoervis Medina and Charlie Furbush, the Yankees did what they do -- find a way to win, which they have done as much as any team in baseball thus far.

Chris Nelson singled. Brett Gardner walked. Robinson Cano tied the game with a two-run double. Vernon Wells was intentionally walked. Curtis Granderson walked to load the bases. Finally, Lyle Overbay hit the sac fly that would be enough for a 4-3 win.

Overbay is the perfect example of a reborn Yankee.

"It is a lot different," Girardi admitted when asked about his perception of Overbay now and when he came in for a three-day tryout at the end of spring training. "He has had so many big hits and RBIs for us. He got us on the board [with a double] and then he had the game winner. ... I feel good when he is at the plate. I really do."

Mariners manager Eric Wedge expects Hernandez to be fine, but he had to take him out Tuesday. So instead of the King beating CC Sabathia in their first duel ever, it was the same old story at Yankee Stadium.

A star got hurt -- and the Yankees won.

What CC could learn from King Felix

May, 14, 2013
5/14/13
12:18
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There are a lot of instances in baseball in which we would say: The young guy can learn from the veteran.

Tonight might be a good example of one in which the vet can learn from the younger guy.

What we’re referring to is how CC Sabathia brings his diminished fastball velocity into a matchup with Mariners ace Felix Hernandez and his diminished fastball velocity.

You’re probably fairly familiar with the issues of the former. The latter has been dealing with similar issues, but has had no problem in doing so.

A week ago, on a Mariners blog, U.S.S. Mariner, Jeff Sullivan (an occasional contributor to ESPN Insider) wrote:

“With less of a fastball, Felix worked on his patterns. With less of a fastball, Felix worked on his location. With less of a fastball, Felix mastered the changeup, then he mastered that mastered changeup. We aren’t to the point yet where we can say that Felix is thriving as a finesse pitcher, but what’s crazy is that such an idea isn’t wild or unrealistic.”

Just to illustrate a couple of those points with numbers:

In 2009, Hernandez threw a fastball, sinker or cutter about 66 times in a 100-pitch outing, and threw the heater regularly at 94 miles per hour.

In 2013, he’s throwing the heater about 52 times a game, usually at around 91 miles per hour. Year to year, he’s netting almost exactly the same rate of missed swings as he did four years ago (in fact, he’s at 18 percent this season, up from 14 percent then).

In 2009, Hernandez mixed in a curveball, changeup and slider anywhere from 10 to 13 times on a given day. Those pitches combined to net him 84 outs, which amounts to around three per start.

In 2013, he’s averaging 23 changeups, 15 curves and 10 sliders per 100 pitches. And they’re now netting him about seven outs per start.

With regards to pitch location, the increase in offspeed pitches and the knowledge of less power on the fastball has resulted in more pitches to areas in which it’s harder to drive the ball.

He’s increased his rate of throwing pitches to the lower half from 57 (2009) to 64 times (2013) per 100 pitches. In turn, Hernandez’s rate of allowing what our video-tracking service refers to as “hard-hit contact” is virtually the same as it was in 2009 (23 percent of at-bats).

This is all working very well. Hernandez has gone eight innings in each of his last three starts, averaging a mere 12 pitches per inning.

How does this relate to Sabathia?

The Yankees ace has lost his ability to put the kind of oomph behind his fastball that he used to. It’s now averaging 90 miles-per-hour. But where Hernandez learned that he had to bring the pitch down from the eyes to the knees, Sabathia is still trying to figure out what pitch patterns work best for him.

In fact, our pitch-tracking tool has them throwing almost an identical number of pitches to the lower-half of the zone or below (CC 222, Hernandez 221). But Sabathia has thrown 50 more fastballs than Hernandez this season to get to that number.

That might explain why opponents have a .933 OPS against Sabathia’s heater and a .681 against Hernandez.

And it might best show where these pitchers are at this point -- one who has figured things out and is at the top of his game, another who has looked good, but is still trying to figure out the best ways to survive.
CC versus the King has never happened before.

Despite the fact that CC Sabathia's and Felix Hernandez's careers have overlapped since 2005, the aces have never faced each other.

Until tonight.

You don't need to beat the drums to hype this pitching matchup, but we will do it anyway. These guys are often dominant, but each is particularly so against his Tuesday night opponent.

In Sabathia's past eight starts against the Mariners, he is 8-0 with a 1.20 ERA, dating back to August 2009. No Yankees starter has ever had a better streak against Seattle.

In five starts at the new Yankee Stadium, Hernandez has a 4-1 record and a 1.13 ERA. That's better than any pitcher who has made at least two starts there.

In fact, Hernandez has two shutouts at the new stadium, which is one more than Sabathia in his 65 starts. Hiroki Kuroda has the most, with three in 23 starts.

Overall, in his career against the Yankees, Hernandez is 8-5 with a 3.08 ERA in 14 starts. Sabathia is 12-4 with a 2.46 ERA in 20 starts versus the Mariners.

This year, Hernandez is 5-2 with a 1.53 ERA, while Sabathia is 4-3 with a 3.23 ERA.

UP NOW: Curtis Granderson could be back as soon as Tuesday night. The Yankees split with the Cleveland Indians. Vidal Nuno is the newest, latest sensation. Scott Sargent made the start for ESPNNewYork.com in Cleveland and did an excellent job, so please peruse the blog if you missed anything from Monday's doubleheader.

ON DECK: Matt Ehalt and I will be at Yankee Stadium for the huge pitching matchup. We will hear from Granderson.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Who would rather have on your team -- CC or the King?

Forget Felix Hernandez as a Yankee

February, 7, 2013
2/07/13
3:52
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Well, at least forget about Felix Hernandez as a Yankee anytime soon. The Seattle Mariners are about to sign King Felix to a seven-year, $175 million, according to USA Today.

[+] EnlargeFelix Hernandez
Rob Leiter/MLB Photos/Getty ImagesFelix Hernandez as a Yankee? Not while he's in his prime.
Hernandez's annual salary of $25 million over seven seasons makes him the highest-paid pitcher of all time, eclipsing CC Sabathia's seven-year, $161 million deal before the 2009 season.

Hernandez, who turns 27 in April, will not be eligible for free agency until he is almost 34. The Mariners are obviously committed to building around him and will not look to trade him -- in the near future, at least.

It is becoming increasingly clear that if the Yankees are going to have top-of-the-line starters, they need to develop them. That is why Michael Pineda and Manny Banuelos, etc. are so vital to the Yankees long-term success. Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte might not pitch in the majors after 2013, while Phil Hughes could be in line for a big contract with his free agency this offseason.

The Sabathias and King Felixes of the world are not on the market as often and, even when pitches who are not true No. 1s make it to free agency, the frenzy for them (see Zack Greinke's $24.5M) makes them overpaid in many cases and not worth it.

QUESTION: Who do you have more faith in as a future No. 2 starter, Banuelos or Pineda?

Notebook: Felix and Ichiro

August, 4, 2012
8/04/12
5:48
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Derek Jeter went into the specifics about Felix Hernandez's dominant outing Saturday, yet he really one needed one sentence to capture what happened in the Bronx.

"Today he was better than us, that's pretty much all you can say," Jeter said.

AP Photo/Kathy KmonicekDerek Jeter, like the rest of the Yankees, couldn't solve Felix Hernandez.


Indeed he was.

After Hernandez dominated in Saturday's 1-0 Yankees loss, the home team commended Seattle's pitcher for an outing that some said was the best by an opposing pitcher they had faced all season. Hernandez gave up just two hits in a complete-game shutout.

"I'd have to say (that was the best). That was pretty impressive right there," Yankees catcher Russell Martin said. "He was getting ahead with everything. He was throwing his fastball and then later in the game he started us with some offspeed and just kind of kept us in between the whole game."

The Yankees credited Hernandez for using his full complement of pitches, as well as getting ahead in the count. He threw 69 of his 101 pitches for strikes and threw a first-pitch strike to 19 of the 30 batters he faced. The Yankees didn't record a hit over the final six innings and managed just four base runners against the former Cy Young winner.

They had just one at-bat with a runner in scoring position, in the first, but Mark Teixeira popped out to end the inning. Once Seattle scored its lone run in the second, that would be all the support Hernandez needed as he improved to 4-1 in this ballpark.

"We got one shot today," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "That was it. Normally you get more than one, but we got one today and that's how good he was."

FELIX STATS: Hernandez has two two-hit shutouts at the new Yankee Stadium. No other pitcher has one. ... His 1.13 ERA at this park is the best for any pitcher with two starts. ... He is one of three pitchers in live-ball era, along with Jim Palmer and Billy Hoeft, to throw two shutouts allowing two or less hits at Yankee Stadium (Stats courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information).

ICHIRO'S STREAK: Left fielder Ichiro Suzuki (1-for-3) has hit in each of his first 11 games as a Yankee, the longest streak for a player after being acquired in a trade during the season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Ichiro has stroked exactly one hit in each of his 11 games, which is the franchise record for consecutive one-hit games.

STREAK ENDS: The Yankees' streak of 21 straight home games with a home run came to an end. They fell two games short of tying the franchise record of 23 straight games in 1963.

YANKS STATS: The Yankees have lost their last seven one-run games, their longest losing streak in such games since 1995, per Elias. ... The Yankees are 5-10 in their last 15 games. ... They are now 0-37 when trailing after eight innings and 2-87 over the past two years.

Kuroda pitched well, but Felix was better

August, 4, 2012
8/04/12
4:56
PM ET
Hiroki Kuroda only surrendered one run Saturday afternoon.

That made him the second-best starter in the game.

Despite a great outing, Kuroda was outdueled by Mariners ace Felix Hernandez in the Yankees' 1-0 loss at Yankee Stadium. Kuroda gave up just one run on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings, but the Yankees managed just two hits against Hernandez, a former Cy Young winner.


William Perlman/US PresswireHiroki Kuroda lost for the just the second time since late May.


"Obviously he's a great pitcher and I just wanted to minimize my damage," Kuroda said through a translator. "I believe this offense is going to come through at the end, and for him to pitch as long as he was pitching, obviously he was going to throw a few mistake pitches -- and he didn't today. That's a little bit frustrating, but it is what it is."

Kuroda has been pitching quite well for the Yankees over the past two months, and he continued that Saturday against Seattle. The Mariners were able to put runners in scoring position against the veteran, but Kuroda worked his way out of such jams. Seattle was just 1-for-7 against Kuroda with runners in scoring position and finished 1-for-9 on the day.

His only blemish, which proved to be the biggest at-bat in the game, was in the second inning as he served up a two-out single to Mike Carp that gave Seattle an 1-0 edge. Catcher Russell Martin said Kuroda wanted to "front door" a sinker but it ended up too much over the plate, as Carp drove it the other way to plate the only run on the day.

"I wanted to attack aggressively and rather than give up a walk, I wanted to attack the zone," Kuroda said. "He got a hit. That's what it was."

While the loss dropped Kuroda to 10-8 on the year, the pitcher has been the victim of a lack of run support over his last two games. Against Boston on July 29, he gave up just two runs over eight inning but was saddled with a no-decision. Sunday, he fell for the first time in the nine games when he's allowed one earned run or less.

"It's baseball. We're battling out there, we're trying to score runs for him. He just has to keep doing what he's doing," Martin said of the lack of runs. "He can't grab a bat and grab a helmet and go create some offense. He's got to just keep pitching, and I think he's going to just keep doing that.

"Obviously you want the (win) but as long as he's pitching well and he's doing those things, that's all he needs to focus on."

Rapid Reaction: Mariners 1, Yankees 0

August, 4, 2012
8/04/12
3:40
PM ET


Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: King Felix Hernandez wore his crown well. He is a great pitcher. Hiroki Kuroda isn't too shabby himself, but he wasn't good enough on Saturday.

KING OF THE BRONX: Hernandez dominated the Yankees for nine innings. Entering Saturday, Hernandez was 3-1 with a 1.47 at the new Yankee Stadium. On Saturday, the Yankees wouldn't have scored even if you got runs for making it to third. They only got to second once. In the first, Robinson Cano hit a two-out double. He remained there after Mark Teixeira lined out to second.

YANKEES' HIRO: Kuroda pitched very well ... again. Kuroda allowed just one run in his 6 1/3 innings. That was the first run he has allowed in five daytime starts. Kuroda gave up seven hits, but he pitched out of trouble; especially in the sixth, when he escaped a one-out, runners-at-the-corners jam. Hernandez was just better. Kuroda (10-8) saw his ERA lower to 3.19.

ON BOARD: The M's got on the board when John Jaso led off the second with a double. Kuroda almost slipped out of the trouble after a sacrifice bunt and a popout. However, Mike Carp's single provided Hernandez the only run of the game.

HOME RUN STREAK OVER: The Yankees had hit a home run in 21 straight home games.

WATCH OUT, JOE D: With his third-inning single off Carp's glove, Ichiro Suzuki now has an 11-game hit streak. Yet again, Ichiro had only one hit. It is the longest one-hit hitting streak in Yankees history. Steve Sax (1990) owned the old record.

THEY NEVER SHOULD HAVE TRADED MONTERO: Kidding, of course. Well, at least if you based it only on Saturday, Anyway, Jesus Montero, the guy I like to call Babe Jeteriguez because of all the hype around him, had a couple of base knocks. One in the fourth and one in the sixth. Each time, Kuroda made sure no one scored.

RETALIATION? We'd say probably not. But, in the seventh, with one out and a man on second, Kuroda nailed Brendan Ryan on the elbow. It set up a double play. Now, Ryan is the No. 9 hitter in a terrible lineup, so why would you hit him? Well, King Felix hit three Yankees in Seattle when they last met. Again, my opinion is it was not on purpose. It was Kuroda's final batter.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: I'm writing a column on King Felix and future Yankees implications. Matt Ehalt will handle the blog.

ON DECK: The Yankees and Mariners finish up with Freddy Garcia (4-5, 5.10) facing Hisashi Iwakuma (2-2, 4.10).

On Monday, the Yankees start a four-gamer in Detroit. Monday, Ivan Nova (10-5, 4.33) vs. Justin Verlander (11-7, 2.63). Tuesday, Phil Hughes (11-8, 3.96) vs. Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.65). Wednesday, CC Sabathia (11-3, 3.53) vs. Anibal Sanchez (6-8, 3.99). Thursday, Kuroda vs. Doug Fister (5-7, 3.77 entering today).

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How would King Felix look in pinstripes?

Notes: King Felix's change; Chavez's role

July, 25, 2012
7/25/12
2:24
AM ET
SEATTLE -- That’s some changeup: Raul Ibanez used to play with Felix Hernandez, and he’s seen what Hernandez’s changeup can do. He saw it again in the fourth inning. Ibanez came up with the bases loaded and one out, and it took just four pitches for Hernandez to strike him out. ``The last three pitches were all changeups,’’ Ibanez said. ``He’s got one of the best, and he got me tonight."

Ready for whatever: Eric Chavez, told that he would be in the starting lineup at third base with Alex Rodriguez heading for the disabled list, may not be an everyday player anymore. But if he has to play every day, he’ll do it. "Whatever he (manager Joe Girardi) asks me to do, I’ll do," he said. "I’ll give it my best shot, and we’ll figure it out from there."

W2W4: King Felix at Yankees (May 11)

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
11:50
AM ET


Jeff Zelevansky/Icon SMIFelix Hernandez has been all smiles when he's pitched at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees may not see a pitcher on a better roll this season than Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, who faces them on Friday.

David Price entered Yankee Stadium on Thursday with a 4-0 mark and 1.55 ERA in his previous four starts, and the Yankees were able to score five runs against him.

They’ll be challenged to do that well against Hernandez, who has an 0.95 ERA and .169 opponents batting average in his last five starts. He allowed one hit in eight innings in his last start against the Twins.

What is Hernandez doing so well?
Hernandez is getting left-handed hitters and right-handed hitters out at a high rate. Lefties are hitting .184 in this stretch against him. Righties are hitting .140.

Hernandez’s fastball ranges from 90 to 94 miles-per-hour and he’s actually lost a mile or two per hour off it, but he keeps it away from hitters’ comfort zones.

Hernandez throws fastballs to the outside part of the plate 62 percent of the time, the second-highest rate in baseball for a starting pitcher. Only 16 percent of his fastballs (about one of every six) are over the middle-third, width-wise, the second lowest rate in the majors.

That limits damage, but it’s his secondary pitch that makes him great.

Hernandez will throw his changeup to both left and right-handed hitters, and though the separation between it and the fastball isn’t great (three to five miles-per-hour), it makes hitters look foolish.

In his last five starts, Hernandez has gotten 35 outs with the changeup and yielded just two hits.

If there’s hope for the Yankees, it’s that the only other right-handed pitcher with more strikeouts against both righties and lefties since 2011 is James Shields, whom the Yankees beat earlier this week.

Who has the best shot at hitting Hernandez?
Two Yankees in particular hit Hernandez well last season-- Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira.

Cano was 5-for-9 against Hernandez last season after going 1-for-9 against him in 2010. Teixeira was 3-for-6 with two home runs and four walks last season.

Teixeira’s five home runs are the most of anyone against Hernandez. Nick Swisher is second with four.

One decision for the binder could be whether to start Jayson Nix, who went 3-for-3 with three line drive hits in his start against Hernandez last season.

In terms of those who succeed against Hernandez’s best pitches, Yankeemetrician blogleague Katie Sharp notes a pair-- Alex Rodriguez has six hits, including a homer, against changeups this season, and Russell Martin has any many hits against fastballs on the outer-third (six) as he has against all other fastballs he’s seen this season.

King Felix Stat of the Day
Hernandez has made three straight starts at Yankee Stadium in which he’s allowed one run or fewer. The last pitcher with a streak of that many starts allowing that few runs on the road against the Yankees was Joe Coleman, who had four in a row from 1971 to 1973.

In those three starts, Hernandez has allowed a total of one run and 11 hits in 24 innings.

The Yankees are 2-for-43 in two-strike situations against him in those three games.

How the Yanks could trade for King Felix

December, 15, 2011
12/15/11
11:26
AM ET
First thing, they need Jim Bowden to leave his burgeoning career as an on-air personality on ESPN and Sirius-XM. Then, they need him to be hired by the Seattle Mariners to run their team.

In the meantime, Bowden has an Insider column where he says the Yankees and Mariners should make a deal. This is what he says:

Yankees acquire: RHP Felix Hernandez
Mariners acquire: RHP Ivan Nova, C Jesus Montero, RHP Dellin Betances

Seattle Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik says he's not going to trade Hernandez, but if the Mariners eventually want to become legitimate contenders they might have to. A blockbuster four-player deal with the Yankees would point the Mariners in the right direction.

Nova and Betances would go fit into a young rotation of
Michael Pineda, Danny Hultzen and Jason Vargas -- a formidable five that should develop into a quintet of 15-game winners. Montero would give them a long-term, middle-of-the-order bat they would control for the next six years. And with the money saved on Hernandez, they could put that toward signing Prince Fielder.

The Yankees, on the other hand, would have one of the best 1-2 punches at the top of the rotation in C.C. Sabathia and Hernandez, and instantly improve their chances of getting back to the World Series.


One problem with this happening is that Zduriencik told me during the Winter Meetings that he isn't trading King Felix. Still, what do you think of Bowden's proposal?
To me, Brian Cashman is right. You can't do something just to do something. You look at someone like C.J. Wilson and it just screams as if for $80 million or $100 million it will be a "stupid" move.

If the Yankees are truly going to try and push their payroll beneath $189 million, then they have to be smart in what moves they make. Overreacting leads to silly moves that handcuff you in later years.

The Yankees have to bide their time and wait for a King Felix or someone of that ilk shakes free. If they can acquire a Jon Danks using their more middling prospects, then it is worth it. But for major pieces, he is not worth it. Patience is what will lead to smart moves.

The King (rumor) is dead ... before it started

December, 5, 2011
12/05/11
11:55
AM ET
I killed it.

I spoke to Ms GM Jack Zduriencik in this article here. Zduriencik made it certain that he will not deal Felix Hernandez at this time.

Now, my question to you, is as follows, if you were Yankees GM Brian Cashman, would you wait for Hernandez in hopes in the next few years he is traded or would you move on to lesser talents?

Be heard.

Buster: Explaining the Yankees' trade strategy

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
10:43
AM ET


Every so often, the Yankees check in with the Seattle Mariners about Felix Hernandez and ask, "is he available?" And every time, they've always been told "no."

If at some point the Dodgers were to put Clayton Kershaw out there, the Yankees would love to take a run at him. If and when the Cincinnati Reds decide they need to trade Joey Votto, who is a free agent after the 2013 season, the Yankees would be in a position, because their farm system is in really good shape, to load up some of their prospects and take a run at Votto -- and perhaps convince him to play right field because of course they have Mark Teixeira.

They're very comfortable filling in complementary roles from their farm system. If they can add some elite player from the outside, as they tried to do during the 2010 season in a possible trade with Seattle for Cliff Lee, that's when they'll use their prospects in a trade.

W2W4: Yankees @ Mariners (Saturday)

May, 28, 2011
5/28/11
11:00
AM ET
Next up for the Yankees in their weekend of pitching powerhouses is Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. The Cy Young winner will try to better the effort of Michael Pineda, who was a bit wild in his first meeting with the Yankees. That was an outlier performance for a group of starting pitchers who have a 1.75 ERA and have averaged better than seven innings per game over their last 13 starts.

Felix Hernandez Matchup to Watch
Curtis Granderson started his career with eight hits in his first 12 at-bats against Hernandez, capped by a four-hit game against the righty in September 2007.

But since then, Hernandez has gotten the better of the matchup. Granderson is 3-for-22 with nine strikeouts since that offensive outburst. Thanks to Baseball-Reference.com and its matchup pages, we can tell you that the last 17 times Hernandez has gotten Granderson in a two-strike count, he's gotten him out.

Ivan Nova Matchup to Watch
Since pitching a two-hitter over 7 1/3 innings in a win over the Rangers on May 6, Nova has allowed 25 hits (and 12 runs) in 15 innings. His toughest challenge may be Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan, who is hitting .542 with 13 hits and six RBI during a seven-game hit streak. Amazingly, Ryan has almost as many hits in those seven games as he did in 76 at-bats in April (14).

That’s Why He's The King
Hernandez is 4-0 with an 0.51 ERA in his last four starts against the Yankees. In each of those starts against them, he has pitched at least eight innings and allowed one earned run or fewer. The last pitcher with a longer streak -- former White Sox knuckleballer Wilbur Wood from 1972 to '73 (five starts).

Jeter Watch
Since getting three ground-ball hits in last weekend's series against the Mets, Derek Jeter is 2-for-18 overall, and has made 10 straight outs when hitting the ball on the ground. His two hits in this stretch both came on line drives.

Jeter is a .304 career hitter against Hernandez, including two hits in eight at-bats last season. Of the last eight times Jeter has faced Hernandez, he has hit six ground balls and two line drives.

Better Get it All The Way Over the Fence
If you didn't see the great catch by Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez against Nick Swisher last night, check out Web Gems.

Gutierrez tied for the major-league lead with three home-run robberies in 2010, but he’s not the only one on the Mariners who can go get the ball. Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki also had three homer robberies last season. He's yet to get one this year.

Stat of the Day
If Hernandez beats the Yankees, he will have something he's never had before -- a winning May. Hernandez enters the day 8-17 with a 4.70 ERA in May (2-2, 2.68 ERA this season). Fair warning for all teams who follow the Yankees next month: He's 15-3 career in June.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 15 67 69
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 67
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .759
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAH. Kuroda 3.81
SOM. Tanaka 135