Safeco a field of dreams for pitchers in 2012

Safeco a field of dreams for pitchers in 2012

SEATTLE -- Safeco Field's reputation as a pitcher's park certainly hasn't been diminished this season, as Wednesday's perfect game by Felix Hernandez was the second perfecto and third no-hitter at the stadium in 2012.

In the 57 games played at Safeco this season, the Mariners have been on the opposite side of a perfect game (the White Sox Philip Humber), had six of their own pitchers combine to no-hit the Dodgers and watched Hernandez throw the first perfect game in franchise history with Wednesday's 1-0 win over the Rays.

"I don't think it has anything to do with the ballpark," said manager Eric Wedge. "It's just baseball in general. Look at the way pitching is just leading the way. The game has reverted back some, which I don't think is a bad thing.

Perfection following perfection
The closest proximity in terms of time between perfect games
20 days Dallas Braden to Roy Halladay May 9, 2010 - May 29, 2010
53 days Philip Humber to Matt Cain April 21, 2012 - June 13, 2012
63 days Cain to Felix Hernandez June 13, 2012 - Aug. 15, 2012
290 days Mark Buehrle to Dallas Braden July 23, 2009 - May 9, 2010
427 days David Wells to David Cone May 17, 1998 - July 18, 1999
"You have to play good baseball to win games up here. You can't sit around and be sloppy and count on a three-run home run in the eighth or ninth inning. Those days are gone. The better baseball teams are going to win, because if you execute and play good baseball, you're going to have a chance to be on top."

Two of the the four no-hitters in franchise history were thrown this season, with Hernandez's perfection joining the six-man no-no by Kevin Millwood, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen on June 8.

Seattle became the first team in MLB history to throw a perfect game and have a perfect game thrown against it in the same season. Having Hernandez reverse Humber's humbling of April 21 was a welcome experience for a team eager to erase that memory.

"It's better in that order," said shortstop Brendan Ryan. "Much better in that order."

This is the first time in Major League history that two perfect games have been thrown in the same stadium in the same season.

Hernandez is now 6-3 with a 2.05 ERA in 12 home starts this season, with opponents batting .199 and striking out 106 times in 96 2/3 innings. Of course, he's not bad on the road either (5-2, 3.24 ERA).

The ace had thrown one previous one-hitter and four two-hitters in his career -- all on the road.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.