ST. PETERSBURG -- When the Mariners face the Rays on Thursday, it will be the one-year anniversary of Felix Hernandez's perfect game against Tampa Bay at Safeco Field.
If the stars had aligned perfectly, Hernandez could have had a chance to face the Rays again on the same day, but alas, he isn't scheduled to throw in this three-game series and instead faces the Rangers on Saturday in Texas.
"I wasn't even thinking about that, but that would have been great, though," Hernandez said Tuesday.
The King naturally has nothing but fond memories from that Aug. 15 afternoon in Seattle a year ago.
"Awesome game," he said. "That day was perfect. Any time I jump on the mound, I want to throw a no-hitter or perfect game, so that's always in my mind. I'm not going to forget that day."
Hernandez hasn't been perfect this season, but he's been pretty darn good. He improved to 12-5 on Sunday with eight scoreless innings against the Brewers, lowering his American League-leading ERA to 2.28.
When Hernandez won the American League Cy Young Award in 2010, he went 13-12 with a 2.27 ERA. He was 13-9 with a 3.06 ERA last year. Hernandez figures to have nine starts remaining this season if he stays on schedule.