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Kelley: Felix Hernandez Recalls Steve Carlton

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times writes Seattle Mariners pitcher and Cy Young candidate Felix Hernandez reminds him of legendary Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton because Hernandez has been the only good thing to happen to the Mariners this season, much like Carlton was the only good thing to happen to the 1972 Phillies.

Carlton was 27-10 in 1972. He had a 1.98 earned-run average and struck out 310 hitters in 346 innings. He threw 30 complete games in 41 starts, had eight shutouts and allowed an average of only 6.7 hits per game.

Every fourth day, he made a team that otherwise was unwatchable as entertaining as the ’27 Yankees.

And all summer as I’ve watched Felix Hernandez pitch through his Sisyphean season, I’ve thought of Carlton and how similar and heroic Hernandez has been.

Pitching in the obscurity of a long, lost year, Hernandez has demanded that people pay attention. He has turned dreary into dramatic.