Mike Matheny’s decision over in the National League was a tough one, but American League manager John Farrell had an easy call for tomorrow night’s starter: Felix Hernandez.
Seattle’s ace will start the All-Star game after going 11-2 with a 2.12 ERA in 20 starts, including a 154/25 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.
Chris Sale is the only AL starter with a lower ERA than Hernandez, but the gap is 2.08 versus 2.12 and Hernandez has thrown 50 more innings.
This is Hernandez’s fifth All-Star game, but his first start at age 28. He won the Cy Young award in 2010, but not only didn’t he start the All-Star game that season … he didn’t even make the All-Star team.
Today is the 13th anniversary of one of the most exciting and iconic plays in postseason history. On October 17, 2004, the Yankees and the Red Sox faced off in Game 4 of the ALCS. The Yankees had a 3-0 lead in the series and held a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth. The Red Sox were three outs from being eliminated by the Yankees. Again.
Kevin Millar led off the inning facing Mariano Rivera and worked the greatest closer in baseball history for a walk. Terry Francona inserted Dave Roberts as a pinch runner. Everyone in the building knew that Roberts had one job: get to second base and scoring position. Despite everyone knowing it was coming, Roberts swiped second base. He’d come around to score, the Sox won the game in 12 innings, would win the next three and the World Series, completing the greatest comeback in postseason history and ending an 86-year championship drought.
Understandably, the Red Sox wanted to remember that wonderful day today. So they tweeted about it:
The Yankees, however, weren’t gonna let that one go by: