Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending June 8th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Hernandez went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA, one walk and 23 strikeouts in 14.0 innings over two starts to claim his second career weekly honor, last accomplishing the feat on August 20, 2012 after the right-hander tossed a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays earlier that week. Felix led the Majors in strikeouts and was second in the Junior Circuit in innings pitched.
On Monday in the Bronx, the Venezuelan native allowed two runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts over 7.0 innings as the Mariners defeated the New York Yankees, 10-2, as part of a makeup game between the two clubs stemming from an April 30th postponement. The one-day visit produced a fifth consecutive victory for the 28-year-old, who improved to 6-2 with a 2.07 ERA in his road games against New York, including a 5-1 mark with a 1.37 ERA in seven starts (with two complete games) at the new Yankee Stadium. In his next trip to the hill on Sunday, the 2010 A.L. Cy Young Award winner put on another stellar performance against Tampa Bay as Hernandez scattered four hits with one walk and a career-best 15 strikeouts over 7.0 shutout innings to guide the Mariners to a 5-0 victory at Tropicana Field. The 10-year veteran struck out the side in three of his seven frames pitched. With his 15 strikeouts, the four-time A.L. All-Star tied Boston's Jon Lester (15 SO vs. Oakland on May 3rd) for the most in the Major Leagues this season, it marked the most for an M's starter since Randy Johnson struck out 15 Anaheim Angels hitters on July 11, 1998 and it was the 29th time in Felix's career (and the third this season) that he reached double-digit strikeouts in a game, surpassing Mark Langston for second-most in Seattle history behind Johnson (94).
On the season, Hernandez is 8-1 (.889) with a 2.39 ERA, 17 walks and 106 strikeouts in 98.0 innings pitched over 14 starts. Among A.L. leaders heading into play today, Felix is first in innings and strikeouts, is tied for first in starts, is second in winning percentage, is tied for third in wins, is fifth in ERA and is ninth in opponents' batting average (.225).
Other noteworthy performances last week included Adrian Beltre (.478, 3 HR, 8 RBI) of the Texas Rangers; Nick Castellanos (.579, 11 H, .600 OBP) of the Detroit Tigers; Dexter Fowler (.524, 11 H, .630 OBP) of the Houston Astros; and Adam Jones (.440, 3 HR, 8 RBI) of the Baltimore Orioles.
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Felix Hernandez will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.