Your annual reminder that Felix Hernandez once hit a grand slam off Johan Santana
Felix Hernandez has accomplished a lot over his storied Major League career: an American League Cy Young Award, six All-Star appearances, a perfect game and even an entire fan section in his honor. But all of that came as a result of his pitching. We're here today to remind you that King Felix is also one of the game's most feared sluggers.
For proof, let's take a trip back to June 23, 2008, when Hernandez and the Mariners traveled to Shea Stadium to face Johan Santana and the Mets. It was a hotly anticipated pitchers' duel, a 22-year-old wunderkind facing off against one of the very best starters in baseball -- until, in just the 10th at-bat of his career, Hernandez smacked an opposite-field grand slam:
Hernandez became the first AL pitcher in 37 years to pull off the feat, and much like Luke Skywalker and other prodigies before him, he only needed his instincts:
"My approach? Just swing," the righty told reporters after the game. "I closed my eyes."
The best part of the whole thing? All these years later, Hernandez still reacts just like any of us would if we hit a grand slam in a Major League Baseball game: He won't shut up about it.
"Yeah, we all know Felix hit a grand slam," current Seattle manager Scott Servais told MLB.com's Greg Johns back in 2016. "That's part of his deal. It's 'Hi, I'm Felix Hernandez. Did you know I hit a home run?'"
In case you were wondering, the Mariners do have 18 Interleague games left on the schedule -- including three at Coors Field ...