NEW YORK -- It is impressive for any pitcher to dominate the Yankees the way Felix Hernandez did this season, but his success against the reigning World Series champions might be one of the most impressive of all-time.
The Mariners right-hander came within three outs Friday night of pitching his fourth consecutive complete game against the Yankees. That would have been the first time it happened to the Bronx Bombers since Blue Jays right-hander Dave Stieb did it in 1983-84.
But Stieb faced Yankees teams that finished third in the AL East both seasons, going 91-71 in '83 and 87-75 in '84.
Hernandez is the first pitcher since Jaime Navarro in 1990-91 to go the distance in three consecutive starts against the 27-time World Series champs.
But Navarro, now the pitching coach for Triple-A Tacoma, faced Yankees teams that went 67-95 in 1990 and 71-71 in '91, finishing fifth in the AL East each season.
None of the Yankees teams that either Stieb or Navarro faced had a lineup dominated by All-Stars like the 2010 version, which also has the best record in the Major Leagues.
Felix also joined Bill Krueger (1991), Jeff Nelson ('95) and Jeff Fassero ('97) as the only Mariners to beat the Yankees three times in the same season.