Friday, June 29, 2012

Felix Hernandez Fans 13 in 1-0 Seattle Win; Madison Bumgarner Blanks Reds on One Hit

Players of the Day for Thursday, June 28, 2012

American League

There really hasn't been much to shout about in Seattle this season, unless one is complaining about the Mariners' 33-45 record and last place position in the AL West, but their one true superstar, Felix Hernandez, continues to provide moments of awesome wonderment about every fifth day.
Felix Hernandez

Thursday night's outing for Hernandez was more of his usual excellence, as he dueled with Red Sox starter Franklin Morales (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 7 K), the mound duo putting goose-eggs on the scoreboard throughout.

Hernandez had to pitch a complete game (his fifth of the season) to earn the win, because his teammates couldn't muster up a run until the bottom of the ninth, when John Jaso singled home Casper Wells with one out in the inning for the 1-0 final score.

For his part, Hernandez was magnificent, allowing five hits and one walk while fanning a season-high 13 Boston batters - tying him for the AL lead with Max Scherzer at 114 - as he improved to 6-5.

Hernandez demonstrated his usual, pinpoint control, throwing 128 pitches, of which 84 were strikes.

National League

Bumgarner: 1-hitter
Less than a week ago, the San Francisco Giants were in second place, chasing the LA Dodgers for the lead in the NL West division.

After winning three head-to-head games with the Dodgers in San Francisco - all by shutout: 8-0, 2-0, 3-0 - Madison Bumgarner delivered the icing on the cake with a one-hit, 5-0, shutout of the visiting Reds, the fourth scoreless outing for a Giants starter in a row, and just like that, the Giants suddenly are in first place with a one-game lead over Los Angeles.

The Dodgers lost their fifth straight, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Mets while up the coast, Bumgarner was twirling magic from the mound, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning and setting down the final 12 batters in order, walking two and striking out eight.

Becoming the fifth NL pitcher to reach 10 wins, Bumgarner (10-4) has been rock solid for the Giants while other starters - notably, ace Tim Lincecum - leading the league in innings pitched at 110.2, with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. The win was Bumgarner's first career complete game and shutout.

San Francisco set a franchise record with its fourth straight shutout and will seek to extend the streak when they face the Reds in the second of their four game series, Friday night.

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