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MLB Notebook: King Felix in select company

MLB Notebook: King Felix in select company

When it comes to eye-popping strikeout numbers for pitchers at a young age, Felix Hernandez gets to keep company with Hall of Famer Bob Feller. Hernandez and Feller are two of 16 pitchers since 1893 to have at least 1,200 K's through their age-26 season, and own, respectively, the fifth- and seventh-highest strikeout rates among the group. Currently, Hernandez is at 8.25 strikeouts per nine innings, while Feller -- through his age-26 season -- was at 7.65.

With his completely dominating performance in the Bronx on Saturday afternoon, Hernandez now also shares something else in common with Feller: Since 1918, they are two of just eight pitchers to beat the Yankees, 1-0, at New York's home ballpark, while allowing no more than two hits in a complete game. Feller's gem came on April 30, 1946, when the right-hander -- in the first month of what would turn out to be his greatest season -- faced a Yankees lineup that included future Hall of Famers Phil Rizzuto, Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey and Joe Gordon, struck out 11, walked five, and held them to no hits. Feller, who threw his second career no-hitter that day, had become the first pitcher to no-hit the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

• Hernandez threw a two-hit shutout, beating the Yankees, 1-0.

-- Hernandez now owns a pair of shutouts on two-or-fewer hits against the Yankees, with the other coming on June 30, 2010. With this latest effort, Hernandez is now one of eight pitchers since 1918 to have at least two of these games (shutouts on no more than two hits) against the Yankees. The others: Jim Palmer (3), Early Wynn (2), Hoyt Wilhelm (2), Nolan Ryan (2), Fred Hutchinson (2), Billy Hoeft (2) and Roy Halladay (2).

-- The Mariners are the second visiting team to win a 1-0 game at the new Yankee Stadium. The Indians, behind Carlos Carrasco and three relievers, did it on June 13, 2011.

-- For the season, Hernandez has three shutouts (tied for the Major League lead), with all three coming in past 10 appearances. During this 10-game stretch, Hernandez is 6-0 with a 1.41 ERA, and is holding the opposition to a .463 OPS in 76 1/3 innings.

• Scott Feldman allowed two runs in 7 2/3 innings and picked up the win as Texas defeated Kansas City, 4-2. In his past seven games (six starts), Feldman is 6-0 with a 2.81 ERA in 41 2/3 innings. Prior to this stretch, he was 0-6 with a 6.50 ERA in 36 innings over seven starts and five relief appearances.

• Detroit's Doug Fister went the distance in a four-hitter, and improved to 6-7 as the Tigers defeated the Indians, 6-1. Fister has made five starts since the All-Star break, and in those five, has allowed 25 hits and seven runs in 39 innings (1.62 ERA), while going 4-1. In the first half of the season, Fister was 2-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 11 starts.

• The Nationals defeated the Marlins, 10-7, getting two home runs from Adam LaRoche and back-to-back homers from Danny Espinosa and Bryce Harper.

-- LaRoche has quickly climbed up among the NL home run leaderboard, with seven in his past 11 games. With 23 on the season, he is tied with Arizona's Jason Kubel for third. Ryan Braun leads with 29, and Carlos Beltran has hit 25.

-- Harper's long ball was his 10th home run of the year, making him the sixth player in history to hit at least 10 while in his age-19 (or younger) season.

10+ HR's in Age-19 or Younger Season
Player (Age-Season) HR's Year
Tony Conigliaro (19) 24 1964
Mel Ott (19) 18 1928
Ken Griffey, Jr. (19) 16 1989
Mickey Mantle (19) 13 1951
Ed Kranepool (19) 10 1964
Bryce Harper (19) 10 2012

• Jose Reyes went 3-for-4 with four runs scored and extended his hitting streak to 23 games, tying him with Robinson Cano for the longest in the Majors this season. Reyes' streak is the fourth longest in Marlins history, behind Luis Castillo's 35-gamer in 2002, Emilio Bonifacio's 26-game streak in 2011, and Kevin Millar's 25-game run in 2002.

• Joe Mauer hit a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to give the Twins a 6-4 lead (and eventual win) over the Red Sox. Mauer is hitting .320 on the season: third in the AL. If he finishes at that figure or better, it will mark the fifth time in his career he has qualified for the batting title and posted an average of at least .320 while playing at least 51 percent of his games at catcher. Those five would tie Mauer with Ernie Lombardi and Mike Piazza for the third most in the modern era. Mickey Cochrane had seven such seasons, and Bill Dickey had six.

• The Angels defeated the White Sox, 6-5, in 10 innings, with Albert Pujols hitting his sixth home run in his past five games.

-- Pujols, who also singled, has collected at least two hits in six straight games. The multihit-game streak is tied -- with Martin Prado and Carlos Gonzalez -- for the second longest this season. Pujols owns the longest streak, with seven consecutive games with two-or-more hits in early June.

-- Since June 1, Pujols' line in 55 games: .335/.410/.660, 27 walks, 24 strikeouts, 20 doubles, 16 home runs, 48 RBIs.

• A.J. Pierzynski homered in his fourth straight game, and reached 20 homers for the first time in his career. Pierzynski is the fourth different catcher in Major League history to hit at least 20 home runs in his age-35 season or older. The others: Carlton Fisk (4 different seasons), Jorge Posada (2) and Mike Piazza (1).

• Justin Maxwell hit two homers as part of a four-hit game, and helped the Astros to a 3-2 victory over the Braves. Before this performance, the Astros had not gotten a two-homer, four-hit effort from their center fielder since August 27, 2004, when Carlos Beltran did it.

• Wei-Yin Chen allowed five hits in seven scoreless innings and picked up his 10th win of the year, as Baltimore blanked the Rays, 4-0. The first-year pitcher owns a 3.46 ERA in 135 1/3 innings. If he finishes with an ERA below four, he would become the first Orioles pitcher since Steve Barber in 1960 (10 wins, 3.22 ERA) to have 10 wins and a sub-four ERA in his first Major League season.

• Melky Cabrera -- the Majors' hit leader -- became the first Giants player since Barry Bonds in 2007 to homer and draw four walks in a game.

• The Mets defeated the Padres, 6-2, with outfielder Mike Baxter drawing five walks.

-- Baxter joined Vince Coleman (August 10, 1992) as the only Mets players in franchise history to draw at least five walks, with Baxter the first to do it in a nine-inning game.

-- Baxter became the first player since Mark Teixeira in 2009 to have a five-walk performance in a nine-inning game, and the 50th player since 1918 to do it. Since '18, Mel Ott had the most such games, with three.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions.
Read More: Melky Cabrera, Doug Fister, Joe Mauer, Wei-Yin Chen, Bryce Harper, Adam LaRoche, Justin Maxwell, Felix Hernandez, A.J. Pierzynski, Albert Pujols, Scott Feldman, Jose Reyes