Felix Hernandez pitched a five-hitter Monday against the Twins to become the first American League pitcher since David Wells in 1998 to notch five shutouts in a season.
It was his ninth career shutout.
Hernandez has won nine straight decisions to put himself right in the thick of the AL Cy Young race. The shutout stat can’t hurt. Besides Wells, the only AL starter to record five shutouts in a season since 1990 was Roger Clemens in 1992. In the eight seasons from 2003-2010, there were six years in which no AL starter had more than two shutouts.
Hernandez made an unlucky loser of Liam Hendriks tonight in a 1-0 game. Hendriks pitched a three-hitter in his first career complete game, yet he fell to 0-7 on the season.
Hernandez hasn’t lost since June 12. At 13-7, he’s still three wins behind David Price and Jered Weaver. However, he is closing in on Price’s AL ERA lead (Price is at 2.28, Hernandez 2.43 and Justin Verlander 2.50). He’s also third in the league with 184 strikeouts.
For the first time in a month and a half, Aaron Judge went an entire game without striking out, ending his record streak at 37 games. Judge had an RBI single and three walks in Tuesday night’s 13-4 victory over the Tigers.
Judge went 1-for-4 with a solo home run and zero strikeouts in a 9-4 loss to the Brewers on July 7. Between July 8 and August 20, Judge would strike out in all 37 games, breaking the record previously held by Adam Dunn, who struck out in the first 32 games of the 2012 season. If one counted streaks extending into multiple seasons, Dunn held the record at 36 games as he struck out in his final four games in 2011 as well.
After Tuesday’s performance, Judge is now hitting .284/.417/.594 with 37 home runs, 81 RBI, and 93 runs scored in 525 plate appearances on the season. He’s had a particularly rough second half, as he entered Tuesday with a .684 OPS since the All-Star break, a far cry from his 1.139 OPS before the break.
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was able to get a ground ball past Pirates first baseman Josh Bell for a double leading off the top of the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s game. He would come around to score later in the inning on a Corey Seager single, breaking a 1-1 tie.
The double gave Gonzalez 2,000 hits for his career. He is the 282nd player in baseball history and the 11th active player to reach 2,000 career hits. Gonzalez also has 300 home runs, making him one of 94 players with at least 300 dingers and 2,000 hits.
Gonzalez, who was recently activated from the disabled list, entered Tuesday’s action hitting .247/.295/.330 with one home run and 25 RBI in 201 plate appearances on the season.