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KING FELIX ARRIVES WITH A NO-HITTER

For Immediate Release
July 23, 2006

     Chicago — The Rookie “KING” Felix Hernandez threw a No-Hitter, while the Mobsters offense exploded for 12 runs on 12 hits, as the Mobsters rolled to a 12-0 shutout over the Bottle Rockets of Tijuana.   The No-Hitter was the third of the MWBL season as, Aaron Cook of Canton, and Rich Harden of Coconut Creek both threw one earlier during the year.

The Mobsters finished its series with Tijuana with a 4-2 record. Winning the 1st game of the series, and then losing two straight before Felix took the hill for the 4th game, and the Mobsters never looked back.

Felix Hernandez
(5-3)  4.02

“I feel very proud,” Hernandez said. “Words cannot express what I feel. It was a tremendous feeling to go the full 9 Innings, and not let up a hit”

“I would personally like to congratulate Hernandez for his wonderful performance,” said Chicago’s manager John “Stray” Corrado. “After the third Felix had a comfortable lead and he was in a very good position. We kept fighting, and putting up runs, and Felix did the rest.  Felix was on a very low pitch count, and was close to the limit in the 8th, but the way he was pitching, I thought the decision was to show him respect and give him a chance to do something special.”

“Today, we finally hit, the pitching was great and the defense was working good,” said catcher Ivan Rodriguez. “It was good to show the Bottle Rockets that we can play some solid baseball.”  “The difference between winning and losing today, is that we can now leave with our heads up instead of down,” Rodriguez said.

Although the Mobsters struggled to put anything together in its second and third games, hitting a collective .156, the offense found its groove early and often for Felix.   Four of the nine batters for the Mobsters drove in 3 runs apiece. Dimitri Young, Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, and Chone Figgins combined to go 10 for 17, while knocking in all 12 runs.

“I was very pleased with the way we came out swinging the bats, for the first time being able to taste being ahead,” Chipper Jones said. “At the beginning of the game, we had no idea what it would lead to, because it was obviously Felix’s game.” The Mobsters scored 1-run in the second, and 4-more in the third, staking Hernandez to a nice 5 to nothing lead.

“I wanted to throw my fastball down so I could get as many ground balls as possible,” said Hernandez, who relied heavily on his fastball, curve and slider.

Rodriguez first thought that Hernandez had a chance to make history when he saw the pitcher go through the heart of Tijuana’s lineup for a second time, as Joe Mauer, Lance Berkman, and J.D. Drew were unable to do anything against him.   “They’re very experienced hitters that usually make adjustments in their second at-bat,” Rodriguez said. “The way he got them out, that’s when I thought it would be very tough for them to get a base hit today.”

Hernandez got some more support from his offense in the sixth, when the Mobsters added 3 more. In the seventh and eighth Chicago tacked on two more runs each inning 12-0 lead.

“Felix hit his spots the whole game, and the defense helped him out,” Andruw Jones said. “We have a lot of experienced guys on our team. We tried to work to our strengths instead of their weaknesses.”

From the fourth through the sixth, Hernandez threw just 18 pitches, keeping his pitch count to an impressive 77 through six frames.

“I didn’t even realize he was throwing a no-hitter until the 8th said Bottle Rockets manager Dave Myers,” It wasn’t a fun game to play with a guy pitching like that”.

Despite going over his pitch count by seventeen pitches, Hernandez came back out for ninth to face Rickey Weeks, Greg Zaun, and Joe Mauer. Weeks popped a foul to Ivan Rodriguez,. Zaun hit a lazy fly to center. Mauer popped a foul over on the 1st base side, that Doug Mientkiewicz who came in for defensive purposes gave a valiant effort, but drifted foul. Hernandez kept his calm and reared back and got Mauer looking on a 97MPH fastball right down the pipe.

Remarkably enough Hernandez struck out only 8 batters, and never really had a ball hit hard all night. “I just wanted to throw my fastball down so I could get ground balls and let the defense do the work,” Hernandez said. “For me it was very big to throw a no-hitter in my rookie season. I’m very happy with my job.”

“He’s going to have a very long career; he’s going to be very good, and today, you saw how good he is,” Corrado said. “For him, it’s a day he’ll never forget.”

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