The 2010 American League Cy Young winner was Felix Hernandez from the Seattle Mariners. Much was made of his low win total (13 to be exact) but his numbers were very deserving of the highest praise a pitcher can get. I had the chance to watch him pitch against the Baltimore Orioles in May during his Cy Young season, and that one game summed up his whole year.
Facing the Orioles early in the season was a treat for most teams, however the Mariners this day had some issues, although it was not the fault of Hernandez. King Felix went up against Kevin Millwood, and the two aces matched scoreless innings until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Baltimore struck first thanks to an RBI single by Ty Wigginton who drove in Nick Markakis. That run however would be all the Orioles would muster against King Felix. The Orioles’ lead would not hold up, as the Mariners promptly scored three runs in the very next inning, most notably a two run home run by Ichiro Suzuki.
Hernandez pitched a great game at Camden Yards, going seven innings, striking out seven and allowing only five hits while throwing 105 pitches on the afternoon. But like many other Mariners games, this one didn’t end well.
Hernandez left with a 5-1 lead heading into the eighth inning before Seattle called on reliever Brandon League. League did not offer much relief.
Corey Patterson greeted League with a solo HR to cut into the Seattle lead. Adam Jones struck out, but reached base thanks to a wild pitch. Nick Markakis singled before being forced out at second on a Miguel Tejada ground ball. Wigginton walked which set the scene for Luke Scott. With the bases loaded, Scott took League deep to the opposite field for the eventual game winning grand slam.
With Baltimore now up 6-5, they called on their closer Alfredo Simon. Simon struck out the first batter he faced before hitting the next man and walking Ken Griffey Jr. Simon got the second out via strike out before an amazing finish to the game. With runners on first and second, Ichiro Suzuki singled to Patterson in left field who threw a great ball to home plate, and thanks to an amazing tag from catcher Matt Wieters, the Orioles escaped with the win.