Now that was a Felix Day to enjoy.
Felix pitched eight dominant innings against the hated New York Yankees, and the offense finally gave him some good support, spotting him a 3-0 lead on a Branyan bomb before Felix even stepped onto the field. The offense would add three more runs, one of which came on another Branyan solo homer, but Felix didn’t need them. You want to know why? Here’s my game notes from the Yankee halves of each inning with Felix in:
Easy first for Felix
Easy second for Felix
Slightly tougher third for Felix, but gets out of it with a DP
Easy 4th for Felix, no hitter broken up by Jeter
Felix loads bases in 5th, then K’s/dominates Pena and Gardner to get out of the inning
Yankees helpless in 6th.
Yankees stand no chance in 7th. Three swinging strikeouts, 14(!!!!) swinging strikes so far
Yankees get runner to second in 8th, but gets caught in rundown, then Felix whiffs Tex to get out of inning.
In the fifth inning when Felix loaded the bases, it almost felt like he LET the Yankees load them up, because when Francisco Cervelli got to first, Felix’s only reaction was that little “watch this” grin he gets. He then proceeded to make Ramiro Pena and Brett Gardner look like rookie leaguers as he went about striking both men out to end the inning. Then he smiled his way back into the dugout as boos cascaded down onto Gardner from the New York crowd.
Felix would end his evening sending Mark Teixiera practically spinning after trying and failing to get his bat on a changeup. He threw 117 pitches tonight, 74 of which were strikes. Sixteen of those strikes were of the swing-and-miss variety. Sixteen. Most pitchers would be happy getting six, and Felix went up against arguably the best lineup in baseball and got sixteen.
I wish I could give you some proper analysis of Felix’s outing tonight, but there’s just nothing to analyze. Everything worked for him tonight. Even when he got into trouble, to look at him he couldn’t have cared less. Felix’s final line on the night was this: eight innings pitched, four hits, no runs, three walks, eleven strikouts, eleven groundouts, and one flyout. That is, simply put, sheer dominance.
I hope everyone here appreciates Felix and what he does, because oh man are we seeing something special.