MINNEAPOLIS — Really, there was no other choice for American League manager John Farrell. Sure Detroit's Max Scherzer has been outstanding and Yu Darvish of the Rangers has been good as well, but no pitcher was more deserving to start Tuesday's All-Star Game than Felix Hernandez.
"There are many deserving candidates to be the starter of this team," said Farrell, manager of the Red Sox. "But given what he's done over his long successful career, what he's doing this year, it's an honor to name Felix our starter."
With his son, Jeremy, seated next to him on the stage, Hernandez was all smiles, thanking Farrell for the opportunity.
"It's an honor to be here to be part of this," he said. "It's always. I'll just have to go out there and do what I have to do, throw zeros out there and help my team to win."
Farrell made the announcement at Monday's annual All-Star news conference.
Hernandez has been stellar for the Mariners this season. He's 11-2 in 20 starts with a 2.12 ERA. In 144 1/3 innings pitched, he's struck out 154 batters, walked just 25 and allowed just five homers.
In his past 11 starts, he's pitched seven or more innings and allowed two or less runs. It's the longest streak during a season of such starts since Gaylord Perry did it in 1974. In those 11 starts, Hernandez is 7-1 with a 1.48 ERA.
Hernandez is the first Venezuelan pitcher to start the All-Star Game.
"To be the first Venezuelan guy, it's something special," he said.
Hernandez will be the second Mariners pitcher to start the game. Randy Johnson started in 1995 and in 1997, his final full season with the Mariners.
The National League starter will be Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals.