It is the third perfect game of the 2012 season. It is the first time in MLB history there have been three perfect games thrown in a single season although one could argue there should have been three perfect games in 2010 if not for Jim Joyce’s safe call which marred Armando Galarraga’s masterpiece. In April, the Mariners were on the receiving end of a perfect game by Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox. Then Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants attained perfection against the Houston Astros in June.
It is also the second no-hitter for the Mariners this season. Kevin Millwood and most of the Mariners bullpen threw a combined no-hitter in an interleague game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 8th. In all, King Felix’s regal performance marks the sixth no-hitter of the 2012 season. Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels and Johan Santana of the New York Mets have also thrown no-hitters this season.
The Tampa Bay Rays now have the distinction of being on the wrong end of three perfect games. In 2009, then White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle tossed a perfecto against the Rays with a little help from DeWayne Wise. In 2010, Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics threw a perfect game against the Rays. It should be noted that Rays fans have been spared the indignity of witnessing these perfect game. Today’s loss also snapped an eight game winning streak by the Rays who have surged into the lead of the AL Wild Card.
Hernandez made his big league debut with the Mariners in 2005 at the age of 19. In 2010, King Felix won the AL Cy Young Award despite a 13-12 record. His perfect game marked the 96th win of his big league career. At 26, Hernandez has yet to reach the peak of his career. He is signed with the Mariners through the 2014 season.