Felix Hernandez shut down all doubt with a World Series performance for the ages against his former team. He followed his shaky NLCS start with seven and two thirds innings of vintage artistry, not allowing a single baserunner until the final batter he faced. King Felix was aided by his batterymate Mitch Garver, who has settled in as something of a personal catcher for Hernandez, giving Hedges a day of rest every five games, much like how Javy Lopez always got a breather when Greg Maddux took the hill. Andy Green’s decision to start Garver over Hedges in this game, on this stage, paid off twofold. Not only did Garver call Hernandez’s masterpiece, he also provided all the offense the team would need.
Garver put the Padres on the board early with a second-inning home run, chasing home Adam Jones, who singled to lead off the inning. They stranded a couple runners in the fourth, but that ultimately wouldn’t matter, nor would Miguel Sano’s RBI triple in the sixth which cemented the game’s final score of 3-0.
While all this was going on, King Felix was DOING. WORK. Don Larsen’s name was on everyone’s mind from around the fifth inning until Robinson Cano punctured the tension with two outs in the eighth inning. The Mariners’ first baseman lined his longtime teammate’s first pitch for a clean single into center field, ending not just Hernandez’s perfect game and no-hit bids, but also his evening. He left to a deserved standing ovation with the final line of seven and two-third innings with one hit, no walks, and a dozen strikeouts. Miguel Diaz came in for the final out of the top of the eighth, giving way to Phil Maton, who pitched a perfect ninth for the save.
The two team will have a day off for travel before the series reconvenes in Seattle for Game 3. The Padres will send lefty Adrian Morejon to the mound, opposing veteran right-hander Chris Archer.