for this game

Hernandez, six outs from no-hitter, steals thunder from Matsuzaka

Apr 12, 2007 - 6:45 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- With the pomp and circumstance of Opening Day out of the way, the Boston Red Sox fans saw what they came to see: Daisuke Matsuzaka. But Felix Hernandez stole the show.

Hernandez outdueled Matsuzaka and made a bid to become the second-youngest player in major league history to toss a no-hitter in the Seattle Mariners' 3-0 victory over the Red Sox.

Hernandez, who turned 21 three days ago, lost his no-hit bid when J.D. Drew led off the eighth inning with a first-pitch single to center field. That ended the Venezuelan's bid to become the youngest pitcher to toss a no-hitter since Amos Rusie on July 31, 1891, for the New York Giants against the Brooklyn Grooms.

"That was not too hard for me," Hernandez said of the need to re-focus after losing the bid. "Just catch the ball, get back on the mound and get focused. I'm not disappointed. I'm happy because I got a win. The team wins, so I'm happy."

Hernandez finished the one-hitter, walking two and striking out six, to run his streak of scoreless innings this season to 17. He threw 69 of 11 pitches for strikes.

"I had a sense that something special was going to happen back in the fourth inning. The Red Sox have an awfully good offensive ball club."

"Those hitters they have in there are not chopped liver and to do what he did tonight against that lineup I think speaks a lot about his physical abilities on the one hand and his mental abilities on the other, Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said.

The Red Sox pounded the Mariners, 14-3, in the Fenway Park home opener Tuesday, but 36,360 fans - the second-largest crowd in modern Fenway history - packed the venerable park one night later to watch who general manager Theo Epstein called a "national treasure."

With flash bulbs going off in unison at the first pitch, Matsuzaka faced fellow Japanese legend Ichiro Suzuki. The Seattle center fielder grounded back to the mound and finished hitless in four at-bats against "Dice-K."

"With all the hype going into this game with Matsuzaka and Ichiro, I kept in the back of my mind that people better not overlook our guy," Hargrove said of Hernandez. "Our guy is pretty good and he was certainly very good tonight."

The 26-year-old Japanese Red Sox righthander signed this winter after a lengthy process that cost the Red Sox organization more than $100 million.

"He's a hitter that I've wanted to face since his days in Japan, so compared to the other batters, I may have a little bit more conscience of his at-bats," Matsuzaka said through an intrepreter.

"Instead of what kind of pitches he (Matsuzaka) had, I really recognized his presence on the mound," Ichiro said. "Few professional baseball players have that and many professional players struggle because they do not have that but because he has that he really has the possibility of becoming a star."

Matsuzaka pitched well, allowing three runs and eight hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out four, but it was evident early that he was no match for "King Felix."

"Of course he's the ace of the Mariners and I felt very strongly that I didn't want them to get the go-ahead run," Matsuzaka said. "Once I allowed that first run to score, I felt very strongly that I couldn't let any more runs in after that point."

Yuniesky Betancourt drove in the first run for Seattle with a sacrifice fly in the second inning. Three frames later, Adrian Beltre lined a run-scoring double off the left-center field wall and Jose Vidro followed with a base hit to left for a 3-0 lead.

After a disappointing 2006 campaign, Hernandez dominated Oakland on Opening Day, striking out a career-high 12 batters and allowing just three hits in eight innings.

Hernandez retired the first eight batters before walking rookie Dustin Pedroia in the third inning. He also walked Kevin Youkilis in the fourth, but he was erased by a double-play grounder by David Ortiz, starting a streak of nine straight batters retired until the eighth.

"It was a night where there was no room for error," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "The way Hernandez was throwing, you have to put up zeros or you're in trouble. I thought he (Matsuzaka) left a couple of breaking balls up in the zone."

"In his eyes, it probably wasn't the best, but he made some real good pitches and pitched well enough to keep us in that game," Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek said of Matsuzaka. "The other guy just pitched a little better today."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 9 0
    BOSTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SEA - FELIX HERNANDEZ AND KENJI JOHJIMA
    BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA, J.C. ROMERO (8TH), JOEL
    PINEIRO (8TH) AND JASON VARITEK

    HOME RUNS: SEA - NONE
    BOS - NONE

    Apr 11 9:33 PM


  • AL
    SEATTLE AT BOSTON
    NOTE: SEATTLE'S FELIX HERNANDEZ HAS A NO HITTER THROUGH
    SEVEN INNINGS.

    Apr 11 8:59 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 3 8 0
    BOSTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 (BOT 7)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: SEA - FELIX HERNANDEZ
    BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA

    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.276, 0-FOR-1, BB)
    D ORTIZ (.214, 0-FOR-2)
    M RAMIREZ (.222, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 11 8:52 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSE VIDRO SCORED ADRIAN BELTRE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J VIDRO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    BOSTON 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: R IBANEZ (.188, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 11 8:21 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSE VIDRO SCORED ADRIAN BELTRE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J VIDRO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    BOSTON 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: R IBANEZ (.188, 0-FOR-2)

    Mariners vs. Red SoxApr 11 8:21 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ADRIAN BELTRE SCORED JOSE LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A BELTRE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    BOSTON 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J VIDRO (.118, 1-FOR-2)

    Apr 11 8:20 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ADRIAN BELTRE SCORED JOSE LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A BELTRE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 2
    BOSTON 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J VIDRO (.118, 1-FOR-2)

    Mariners vs. Red SoxApr 11 8:20 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 0 1 1 3 0
    BOSTON 0 0 0 0 (BOT 2)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: SEA - FELIX HERNANDEZ
    BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA

    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M RAMIREZ (.240, 0 HR, 3 RBI)
    J DREW (.400, 1 HR, 5 RBI)
    M LOWELL (.259, 0 HR, 4

    Apr 11 7:34 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY YUNIESKY BETANCOURT SCORED JOSE GUILLEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K JOHJIMA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 1
    BOSTON 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J LOPEZ (.083, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

    Mariners vs. Red SoxApr 11 7:32 PM
  • 5
    roots
    mark Added 5 roots

    Mariners vs. Red SoxApr 10 3:51 AM