Felix Hernandez was handed a no-decision against the Rays this afternoon, but it was hardly his fault. He was nothing short of fantastic, striking out a career-high 15 batters over seven scoreless innings. He reached 1,800 strikeouts for his career during his dominant outing. The Mariners eventually won the game 5-0.
Hernandez is the second pitcher in MLB to reach 15 strikeouts this season, joining Jon Lester of the Red Sox. King Felix’s previous career-high in strikeouts was 13, which he did on three occasions.
After today’s brilliant effort, Hernandez owns a 2.39 ERA across 14 starts and leads the majors with 106 strikeouts. The Mariners have won two in a row and now sit at a surprising 33-29 on the year.
Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.
Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.
“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”
Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.
Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.
“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.
Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.