Young: Before Felix was King

From SABR member Geoff Young at Baseball Prospectus on August 22, 2012:

When Seattle right-hander Felix Hernandez spun a perfect game against the Rays last Wednesday night, he became the third pitcher in Mariners history to notch a no-hitter. Randy Johnson was the first, in June 1990, against the Tigers. Chris Bosio followed that nearly three years later against the Red Sox.

One of my favorite Bill James toys is his Game Score, which attempts to measure a starting pitcher’s effectiveness in a single game on a scale (roughly) of 0 to 100. Like any other tool, it isn’t perfect, but it provides a useful gauge. When you get past 90, you’re in elite territory. Both Johnson’s and Bosio’s no-hitters scored 89, the former because Johnson walked too many (six) and the latter because Bosio struck out too few (four). Still, a no-no is a no-no, and there is no-no denying the greatness of their performances.

I just want to make that clear, because we aren’t going to talk about them. Instead, we are going to look at the 90-plus Game Scores in Mariners history. There have been 22 such games, most by familiar names:

  1. Randy Johnson: 12
  2. Felix Hernandez: 3
  3. Mike Moore: 2
  4. Jim Beattie, Erik Hanson, Mark Langston, Salomon Torres, Matt Young: 1

Raise your hand if you thought Moore would have more than Langston. Now put your hand down, Mrs. Moore.

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Originally published: August 23, 2012. Last Updated: August 23, 2012.