Forced by inclement weather to sit around their clubhouse yet again Thursday, the Mariners at least had an exciting subject to ponder: Felix...
BOSTON — Forced by inclement weather to sit around their clubhouse yet again Thursday, the Mariners at least had an exciting subject to ponder: Felix Hernandez’s magnificence the night before.
The only person not much interested in the topic, in fact, was Hernandez.
“That game is past,” he said. “I forgot about that game already.”
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But no one else has, not when an international audience tuned in to watch Daisuke Matsuzaka, and was treated to Hernandez’s compelling one-hit shutout of the Red Sox.
The viewers included his mother, Mirian, who watched in his home town of Valencia, Venezuela. Hernandez phoned her after the game.
“She told me, ‘Good job,’ ” he reported.
Texas Rangers at Mariners, 7:05 p.m., FSN/KOMO (1000 AM)
Pitchers: M’s Jarrod Washburn (0-0, 3.00) vs. Kevin Millwood (1-1, 4.91)
The game was big news in Venezuela, said journalist Augusto Cárdenas in an e-mail.
“Everybody’s talking about the game and how Félix outdueled the $100 million man in his home debut,” Cárdenas said.
Though the game was on national television, not everyone got to watch it to conclusion. While the game was in progress, Cárdenas said, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez broadcast a speech that pre-empted the coverage on all networks.
“Just the people who had cable could watch the final four innings of Félix Hernández’s masterpiece on ESPN,” Cárdenas said in his e-mail.
Cárdenas’s newspaper, Diario Panorama of Maracaibo, featured a top-of-the-front-page story and picture of the game, with the headline ” ‘El Fenómeno’ derrotó a Matsuzaka” — The Phenom defeated Matsuzaka.
Back in Boston, accolades continued to pour forth about Hernandez, who has allowed just four hits and no runs in 17 innings so far this season.
In the Boston Herald, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz gushed, “He can have a career like Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan, Pedro Martinez, that kind of career.”
The Mariners’ Miguel Batista on Thursday seconded Ortiz but added even more glittering names to the list.
“He’s learning how to be aggressive, learning how to be mature, learning how to take care of his body at a young age,” Bautista said. “Hopefully, we can have a Latino version of a Nolan Ryan for years to come.
“You combine youth, extreme abilities, with the courage to confront tough situation, and this kid is showing special abilities. Usually, the kind of heart he showed last night is the heart of guy like [Curt] Schilling, or maybe a guy like Orel Hershiser or a Greg Maddux performance.
“I think people underestimated him before. Maybe it’s because Seattle is not as big a market as other teams, or probably because we don’t brag about him as much as other teams do about their players.
“But if you’re looking for the real phenomenon, a 20-year-old with a 100 mph fastball, that’s a phenomenon.”
The phenom himself didn’t even care to watch the highlights of his one-hitter when they came on the sports shows.
“For what?” Hernandez said. “I know what happened.”