All hail King Félix!

The twen­ty-six year old Mariners pitch­ing phe­nom solid­i­fied his place in base­ball his­to­ry by becom­ing the first Seat­tle pitch­er to toss a per­fect game in front of 21,000+ cheer­ing fans on a sun­ny sum­mer day at Safe­co Field. The Mariners scored just one run against the Tam­pa Bay Rays, but that was all it took to win the game in the 9th inning. Hernán­dez was dom­i­nant, strik­ing out twelve bat­ters. He retired the last bat­ter he faced after ini­tial­ly falling behind in the count 2–0.

Safe­co Field erupt­ed in jubi­lant cel­e­bra­tion fol­low­ing the final strikeout.

A pitch­er is con­sid­ered to have pitched a per­fect game when no bat­ter from the oppos­ing team reach­es first base.

In oth­er words, the pitch­er (backed up by the defense on the infield and the out­field) has to retire every bat­ter he faces, for a total of twen­ty-sev­en con­sec­u­tive outs. A per­fect game is, by def­i­n­i­tion, also a no-hit­ter.

Six Mariners pitch­ers col­lec­tive­ly tossed a no-hit­ter ear­li­er this sea­son against the Los Ange­les Dodgers (on June 8th), tying the record for a no-hit­ter with the most pitch­ers involved. That was quite an accom­plish­ment… but this is some­thing else.

Asked by Root Sports when he real­ized that he might be on the verge of mak­ing his­to­ry, he replied, “It was in my mind the whole game. I was like, ‘Come on, you got­ta do it. You got­ta do it. When I came out in the ninth, I was a bit nervous.”

No doubt he was, but he got the outs he needed.

The Mariners’ John Jaso also shares in the accom­plish­ment. He is the first Seat­tle catch­er to call a per­fect game. He’ll sure­ly remem­ber this day (and his suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship with Félix) for the rest of his career.

The gem was only the twen­ty-third per­fect game in Major League Base­ball his­to­ry. It was the third per­fect game this sea­son, which is a new MLB record.

The Mariners were on actu­al­ly on the los­ing end of one of the two pre­vi­ous per­fect games pitched ear­li­er this sea­son; now it’s their turn to win one.

Elect­ed lead­ers were quick to con­grat­u­late Hernán­de­zon the feat.

“Today all of Seat­tle is the King’s Court,” said Seat­tle May­or Mike McGinn. “Using all four of his pitch­es, King Félix blew the Rays out of the water. Backed up by some of the best defen­sive play­ers in the game, King Félix and the Seat­tle Mariners made his­to­ry at Safe­co Field. I con­grat­u­late him on this incred­i­ble achieve­ment and know that all of Seat­tle joins the Mariners in cel­e­brat­ing today’s game.”

“Today we saw a piece of base­ball his­to­ry here in King Coun­ty,” said King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Con­stan­tine, also a big Mariners fan.

“Con­grat­u­la­tions to Félix Hernán­dez on pitch­ing the 23rd per­fect game in Major League Base­ball his­to­ry and the first in Seat­tle Mariners his­to­ry. He was just awe­some. He made us proud. Today he proved he tru­ly is the King.”

The linescore of today’s game

Rays (63–54)000000000001
Mariners (55–64)00100000x150
WP: Félix Hernán­dez (11–5)   LP: Jere­my Hel­lick­son (7–8)

No doubt wher­ev­er he is now, Mariners play-by-play announc­er Dave Niehaus is beam­ing. My, oh my. What a game.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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