Felix putting up fabulous numbers

Felix Hernandez continued going where few pitchers have gone before with his 1-0 victory over the Twins on Monday. Thanks to Elias and Jeff Evans of the Mariners baseball information department for more fun Felix facts in the wake of his club record fifth shutout of the season:

– The five shutouts are tied for the most in a season by an American League pitcher since 1989, joining Bert Blyleven (’89), Roger Clemens (’92) and David Wells (’98).

– He joins Mark Langston (September 1988) as the only pitcher in Mariners history with three shutouts in one calendar month.

– Only two other pitchers in Major League history have had three 1-0 shutout wins in a calendar month: Carl Hubbell for the Giants (July 1933) and the Braves’ Dick Rudolph (August 1916).

– He’s the first Major League pitcher since Randy Johnson in 1998 with the Astros to record five shutouts in a 12-start span.

– Hernandez’s 16 starts of seven-plus innings with one or fewer runs is a Mariners record, breaking the mark of 15 he set during his 2010 Cy Young season.

– Going into Tuesday’s games, he had the lowest ERA in the Major Leagues (2.43), the most innings pitched (196 2/3), was third in strikeouts (184) and sixth in batting average against (.218).

Bottom line, there are a lot of really good Cy Young candidates in the AL right now between Jered Weaver, Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, David Price and Hernandez, but Felix has come from the back of that pack to definite front-running contention with a stunning two-month string of starts during which he’s gone 9-0 with 1.40 ERA.

I’ll keep saying it. When you have a two-month span during which you’re tossing complete-game shutouts against the Rangers, Yankees, Red Sox, Rays and now the Twins – with a perfect game in the middle of that — it doesn’t get any better.

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