Orlando P. "El Duque" Hernandez defected from Cuba with seven others on Dec. 2,1997, and was picked up by the Bahamian Coast Guard three days after landing on the Caribbean Island of Anguilla Cay...Rather than accept a visa to enter the United States, he established residence in Costa Rica and was granted free agency in mid-January...He was the star pitcher of Cuba's national team, going 129-47 before being banned from the sport in October 1996 for
allegedly planning to defect...He is the son of the original "El Duque," Arnaldo, a legendary baseball figure before the revolution...Orlando is the older half-brother of Arizona Diamondbacks' pitcher Livan Hernandez, who defected from Cuba while on a team trip to Mexico and later signed with Florida..."The Duke of Havana: Baseball, Cuba and the Search for the American Dream," an autobiography of Orlando Hernandez was published in 2001...Worked briefly as a rehabilitation therapist in a psychiatric hospital after his exile from Cuban baseball...Won the Thurman Munson Award in 1999 for his charitable work and baseball achievements.
Opponents hit .199 (46-231) off him at Shea...Went 5-1 with a 4.28 ERA (33 earned runs/69.1 innings) in the second half...Made his first relief appearance since October 2, 2005 on September 26th vs. Washington...Tossed a scoreless inning with two
strikeouts... It was his first outing since September 11th after suffering from a bunion on his right foot...Made three relief outings
in 2007...Has made eight career relief outings...Tossed a season-high 1.2 innings of relief on September 28th vs. Florida...The Mets recorded nine straight wins in games he started from July 12th-August 25th...Overall, New York was 16-8 in his starts...Pitched 7.0 innings or more in 10 of his 24 starts and allowed one earned run or less in nine of the 24 starts...He permitted two
or fewer earned runs in 15 of his 24 starts...Did not permit a run in five of his starts...Threw a season-high 130 pitches on August 14th at Pittsburgh...Allowed three runs with eight strikeouts in 6.0 innings in a nodecision
in a game the Mets won, 5-4...Swiped a bag in his second consecutive start in his start on July 17th at San Diego...The last major league pitcher to steal a base
in consecutive starts was Tom Seaver in May, 1967...Recorded his second career stolen base in the second inning of his start on July 12th against the Reds...His last stolen base was
on August 20, 2006 vs. Colorado, which was also the last stolen base by a Mets pitcher...Collected his 1,000th career strikeout with his strikeout of Derek Jeter in the second inning in his start on June 17th at Yankee
Stadium...His start on June 6th against the Phillies at Shea was his 200th career game...He was the 14th Cuban-born pitcher to reach that
milestone...Two others from that group are active: Danys Baez (394 games) and Livan Hernandez (351 games)...Permitted just three earned runs in 33.0 innings from April 19th-June 6th (0.82 ERA)...Established a new career-best scoreless streak with 19.0 consecutive scoreless innings from April 19th-May 25th...His previous
best was 16.0 innings from October 7, 2001-April 12, 2002...Collected his first career two-hit game on April 3rd at St. Louis...Was 2-3 with a double and two RBI...It was also his second career
two-RBI game...His first came on July 29, 2006 against the Braves at Turner Field...Was placed on the 15-Day Disabled List on April 30th, retroactive to April 25th, with bursitis in his right shoulder...Activated from
the 15-Day Disabled List prior to his start on May 25th at Florida...Tossed 6.0 shutout innings, permitting just two hits while
striking out four...Did not factor in the decision as the Mets defeated the Marlins, 6-2...Struck out a season-high 10 batters in his start on April 19th at Florida...It was his first game with at least 10 strikeouts since July
22, 2004 with the Yankees vs. Toronto at Yankee Stadium...Was ejected by home plate umpire Mike Winters after he hit Nationals pitcher Shawn Hill with a pitch in the sixth inning on April
14th against the Nationals at Shea...Made his season debut in the start on April 3rd at St. Louis in a 4-1 victory...Tossed 7.0 innings, permitting one run, earned, with
two walks to turn back the Cardinals...Improved to 8-1 with a 2.03 ERA (13 earned runs/57.2 innings) in the first start of a season
for his career.
Allowed just seven earned runs in 37.1 innings (1.69 ERA) over his last five starts...Went 7-3 with three no-decisions from July 5 until the end of the season...Allowed three earned runs or fewer in 21 of his 29 starts, and in 16 of his 20 starts with the Mets...In addition, he permitted two earned runs or fewer in 11 of his final 18 starts...The Mets were 11-9 in games started by Hernandez...Held right-handed hitters to a .199 batting average (57-287)...Became the fourth pitcher to win at least seven games in one year for the Mets after pitching for another Major League team earlier in the same season...The others were Bob Shaw (11-10 in 1966), Bruce Berenyi (9-6 in 1984) and Dale Murray (8-5 in 1978)...Permitted a career-high 11 earned runs in his start on Aug. 15 at Philadelphia...The 11 runs also tied Jack Fisher for the most runs allowed in a game by a Mets pitcher...Fisher allowed 11 runs on June 3, 1967 (Game One) in an 11-2 loss at San Francisco...Was 3-0 with a 3.04 ERA (eight earned runs/23.2 innings) over four starts in July...Held opponents to a .205 batting average in that span...Recorded the win in a start at Atlanta on July 29...Retired 17 consecutive batters from the final out in the second inning to the first out in the eighth...Became the first pitcher to start in a Subway Series game for both the Yankees and Mets with his start on June 30 at Yankee Stadium...Had his start on June 14 at Philadelphia cut short by a one hour and five minute rain delay after the third inning...Went 3.0 innings, permitting four hits and two runs, earned, with three strikeouts...The Mets went on to defeat the Phillies, 9-3...Tossed his ninth career complete game on June 8 at Arizona...Allowed three hits, one run, earned, with two walks and three strikeouts as the Mets defeated Arizona, 7-1...It was his first complete game since Sept. 16, 2000 with the Yankees vs. Cleveland in a 6-3 victory...The 9.0 innings pitched tied the longest outing by a Mets starting pitcher this season...Alay Soler pitched 9.0 innings on June 10, John Maine tossed 9.0 innings on July 21 and Oliver Perez hurled a complete game on Sept. 6...Picked up the victory in his Mets debut on May 28 at Florida...Pitched 5.0 innings, yielding five hits, three runs, earned, with three walks and five strikeouts in a 7-3 victory over the Marlins...Collected his first career double on April 21 at Los Angeles off the Dodgers' Odalis Perez, and connected on his first career triple
on August 4 at Shea off the Phillies' Randy Wolf...Recorded his first career RBI with a two-run single on July 29 off Atlanta's Tim Hudson...Swiped his first career stolen base on
August 20 against the Rockies at Shea...Had a hit in three straight starts from April 11-April 21...Swiped third base on August 21 vs. San Diego...He was the first pitcher to steal third since Adam Eaton in 2004...Only two other Mets
pitchers have ever stolen third base...Orel Hershiser on July 22, 1999 at Montreal and Sid Fernandez on April 20, 1986 vs. Philadelphia...Turned an unassisted double play in the second inning on June 20 vs. Cincinnati...The last Mets pitcher to turn an unassisted double play was Jason Isringhausen on July 31, 1999 at Wrigley Field.
POSTSEASON: Suffered a Grade 2 proximal gastroc tear of his right calf while running in the outfield the day before the NL Division
Series...Did not pitch in the postseason.
Finished 9-9 with a 5.12 earned run average and one save in his first full season with the White Sox. El Duque made 24 appearances, with 22 of them coming as a starter. Posted a 7-2 record with a 4.88 ERA before the All-Star break and a 2-7 record with a 5.35 ERA after the All-Star Game. Was bothered by shoulder tightness during the season, leading to two trips to the disabled list. Finished 1-3 with a 9.00 ERA over his last four starts. Picked up second career save on Oct. 2 at Cleveland. Opponents hit .275 against Hernandez, with a .464 slugging percentage, and averaged 6.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Opponents were successful on 18 of 20 stolen base attempts while El Duque was on the mound. Picked up win No. 2 on April 19 against Minnesota, allowing 10 hits but throwing six scoreless innings. Pitched one of the more memorable innings in White Sox history, entering in the sixth inning of Game 3 of the Division Series at Fenway Park, and shutting down the Red Sox with the bases loaded, one out and the White Sox protecting a one-run lead. Hernandez retired Jason Varitek, Tony Graffanino and Johnny Damon.
Was limited to a career-low 15 starts while recovering from surgery
on his right shoulder ... opened the season with a career-high eight-game
winning streak, the first Yankees starting pitcher to begin a season 8-0 since
Bob Wickman in 1993 ... averaged 8.9 strikeouts per 9.0 IP (84 SO/84.2 IP)
... Yankees were 11-4 in his starts ... made seven quality starts ... limited
opponents to a .230 (73-317) average, including a .164 (25-129) mark by
right-handers ... seven of nine home runs allowed were solo ... five of 15
starts came vs. Toronto ... ERA was 1.69 (6 ER/32.0 IP) during the day and
4.27 (25 ER/52.2 IP) at night ... was signed by the Yankees as a free agent
on 3/12 ... was placed on the 15-day disabled list on 3/29 (retroactive to 3/19)
while recovering from a surgery on 5/12/03 to repair a partially torn right rotator
cuff ... was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on 5/16 ... made six rehab
starts at Class A Tampa and Class AAA Columbus, going 3-1 with a 3.94 ERA
(13 ER/29.2 IP) ... his contract was purchased and he was reinstated from the disabled list on 7/11 ... made his
season debut that day vs. Tampa Bay, his first major-league appearance since 9/27/02 ... allowed two runs on five
hits over 5.0 IP for his first win since 9/5/02 vs. Detroit ... threw 7.0 scoreless IP in no decision on 7/22 vs. Toronto,
allowing four hits while striking out 10, the fifth double-digit strikeout game of his career ... left start on 7/27 at Toronto
after 2.0 IP with tightness in his left hamstring ... threw 8.0 scoreless IP on 8/7 vs. Toronto, combining with Scott
Proctor on a 6-0 shutout ... recorded his fifth straight win on 8/12 at Texas (1 ER/7.0 IP) ... suffered his first loss
on 9/11 at Baltimore in his 12th start ... ERA was 2.51 before he allowed 10 runs in 9.1 IP over his final two starts
... missed his scheduled start on 9/28 vs. Minnesota with a tired arm but returned to make final start on 10/1 at
Toronto (L, 5 ER/3.0 IP).
Was 12-13, 4.51 in 29GS, the Yankees were 14-4 in games he started...Made first career opening day start on 4/3 at Anaheimand recorded the win...became the first foreign born player to start a season opener for the Yankees...became the Yankees' fourth different opening-day starter (all from the current staff) in the past four years...Posted a career-high fourth straight win of the season and tied career-high in HR allowed on 4/23 at Toronto...Recorded his first loss of the season on 4/29 in a 6-2 Blue Jays win...Recorded his shortest outing since 8/6/99 at Seattle in no descision on 5/5 vs. Baltimore...Suffered thecomplete game loss in 1-0 defeat vs. Tampa Bay on 5/11; it was his second complete game of the season...Tied a career high with his third consecutive loss on 5/16 vs. Chicago White Sox despite allowing only 2ER in 8.01P...Recorded a career-high fourth consecutive loss on 5/21 at Cleveland...Was scratched from his scheduled start on 5/27 vs. Boston at Yankee Stadium after experiencing tightness in his upper back during warm-up...Snapped his career-high four-game losing streak in 6/1 win at Atlanta...On 7/1 at Tampa Bay recorded the win in a 6-1 Yankees victory (had not pitched in previous 12 days with a sprained right elbow)...Was placed on the 15 day disabled list on 7/14 with discomfort in his right elbow and mild back spasms; results of MRI taken in Tampa by Dr. Allen Miller reaffirmed the previous diagnosis by Dr. Stuart Herson and Dr. James Andrews (mild inflamation of his right elbow) but no ligament damage...he followed his prescribed rehab program in Tampa...Threw 35 pitches off the mound in Tampa on 7/26 and reported no problems...Made his first rehabilitation appearance on 8/1 for Tampa vs. Dunedin in game two of a doubleheader...pitched four scoreless innings...Was reinstated from the 15 day disabled list prior to the game on 8/6 (vs. Seattle)...Started the game and recorded his second straight loss in an 11-1 Mariners' win...On 8/6 at Texas, tied his career high with his fourth straight loss in a 5-0 Rangers win...Tossed a four hit, complete game win on 9/16 vs. Cleveland.
In his first full season in the Majors established himself as a dominating front-of-the-rotation pitcher and a clutch post-season performer...was 17-9 with a 4.12 ERA in 33 games started...opponents hit .233 (LH batters hit .273, RH batters hit .187)...ranked among American-League leaders in quality starts (2nd, 23), opponents batting average (3rd, .233), hits per/9.0 IP (3rd, 7.85), wins (T5th), winning percentage (6th, .654), innings pitched (7th, 214.1) and ERA (10th)...retired the first 19 batters in an 11-2 victory on 4/11 vs. Detroit before walking Gregg Jefferies with one out in the seventh inning and lost his no-hit bid with two outs in the seventh (single by Tony Clark)...recorded losses in consecutive starts for the first time in his career on 5/3 at Kansas City and 5/8 vs. Seattle...defeated Boston in consecutive starts (5/20 and 5/26), breaking his career-high three-game losing streak while allowing a total of one run on five hits in the two games combined...tossed the Yankees' first complete game of the season, shutting out the Devil Rays on three hits (1 BB, 3 K) on 6/22 at Tampa Bay...allowed a career-high four home runs in a 10-7 loss on 7/16 vs. Atlanta but did not receive the decision...won a season-high five straight decisions from 6/22-7/27...retired only one batter in an 11-8 win on 8/6 at Seattle...allowed three runs on three hits and three walks in the shortest outing of his career...tied his career high with 13 strikeouts on 8/28 vs. Seattle but did not receive the decision...allowed one run on three hits in eight innings...was 5-5 with a 4.92 ERA through May (11 starts) but in his last 22 starts was 12-4 with a 3.74 ERA...in four games started in the postseason, El Duque was 3-0 with a 1.20 ERA (30.0 IP, 4 ER)...in Game One of the World Series at Atlanta on 10/23 allowed one run in seven innings with 10 strikeouts...his 10 strikeouts were the most by an A.L. pitcher in a World Series game since Oakland's Blue Moon Odom had 11 on 10/18/72 (Game Three vs. Cincinnati) and the most by a Yankees' pitcher in a World Series game since Bob Turley fanned 10 on 10/6/58 (Game Five vs. Milwaukee).
Made an immediate impact in the Yankees' starting rotation, going 12-4 with a 3.13 ERA in 21 starts...opponents hit .222 off him (LH batters hit .271, RH batters hit .162)...became the first rookie right-hander to win at least 12 games for the Yankees since Ron Davis went 14-2 as a reliever in 1979...prior to Hernandez, the last rookie right-hander to win at least 12 games as a starter with the Yankees was Doc Medich (14-9) in 1973...made his professional debut on 4/16 with Class-A Tampa and earned the win in an 11-4 victory vs. Kissimmee (5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 7 K)...made his debut for Triple-A Columbus on 4/27 and recorded the win with five shutout innings at Toledo, allowing just two hits while walking four and striking out 10...went 6-0 with a 3.83 ERA in seven starts at Columbus...made his Major-League debut on 6/3 vs. Tampa Bay--replacing the injured David Cone--and recorded the win in 7-1 victory (7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)...became the ninth Cuban-born player to appear in a game for the Yankees and the first pitcher to start a game since Luis Tiant on 9/30/80 at Cleveland...tossed the first complete game of his career in an 11-1 victory on 6/9 at Montreal, his second Major-League start...allowed a career-high 10 runs and 13 hits in 3.1 innings in a 10-5 loss on 7/29 at Anaheim...tossed his second complete game in a 14-1 win on 8/3 at Oakland...struck out a career-high 13 batters in a 2-0 win on 8/13 vs. Texas, breaking the Yankee record for the most strikeouts by a rookie (previous record was 12 by Stan Bahnsen in 1968)...threw his first Major-League shutout, outdueling Pedro Martinez in a 3-0 win on 9/14 vs. Boston...allowed only three hits while striking out nine without issuing a walk...went 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in two post-season starts...with the Yankees trailing two games to one in the ALCS, he tossed seven shutout innings in a 4-0 victory on 10/10 at Cleveland, tying the series...allowed just three hits in the effort, walking two and striking out six for his first career post-season win...in Game Two of the World Series vs. San Diego on 10/18, he allowed one run in seven innings as the Yankees won 9-3...became the sixth-oldest rookie to start a World Series game and the first Yankee rookie to win a World Series start since Jim Beattie defeated Los Angeles in Game Five of the 1978 World Series.