Mariners ace Felix Hernandez will finally get a chance to pitch in the All-Star game Tuesday night in New York after sitting on the bench the last two seasons. But fans hoping to see fellow Mariner Hisashi Iwakuma in the All-Star game will have to settle for the pre-game introductions.
Hernandez has been named to four All-Star teams, but only thrown eight pitches total, The Seattle Times Larry Stone reports.
Felix faced three batters in 2009, but was kept out of the 2011 All-Star game in Phoenix and last year's edition of the mid-summer classic in Kansas City. While the rules up to 2011 made any pitcher who saw action the Sunday before ineligible, Texas manager Ron Washington kept King Felix out of the 2012 game to protect his arm.
"This year, I want to pitch," Felix told Stone. While Felix pitched Saturday against the Angels, American League manager Jim Leyland has told him he'll get to pitch in the game. He'll likely see just one inning of action, as Leyland has previously said that will be the limit for anyone who pitched Saturday.
Felix will be joined in the dugout by Seattle teammate Hisashi Iwakuma. But a disappointed Iwakuma, a first time All-Star, won't get into the game because he pitched Sunday.
"He's sad because he wants to pitch," Hernandez said of Iwakuma. "But you know what? He just has to take care of himself and be ready for the second half."
Stone reports the All-Star game is a family affair for Felix. His parents flew to New York from their native Venezuela, while Felix brought along his wife, Sandra, 7-year-old daughter Mia, and 4-year-old son Jeremy.
Felix and Iwakuma have both posted a stellar first half to the season. Felix is 10-4 with a 2.53 ERA, while Iwakuma has a shining 8-4 record with a 3.02 ERA. The Mariners return to action to start the second half of the season Friday in Houston.
You can hear the 84th All-Star game live from Citi Field in New York starting at 5 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle.