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August 11, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Is King Felix the Cy Young favorite?

Felix Hernandez was downright nasty on Sunday against the Brewers. And he needed to be.

Milwaukee had bashed Seattle’s pitchers for 20 runs in the first two games of the series, the most runs allowed by the Mariners in a two-game stretch in a month. The bleeding needed to stop, and in that regard Felix played the part of surgeon.

He was so utterly dominant from the beginning, using all of his pitches to baffle the Brewers. At one point, he threw to hard-biting breaking pitches that bounced so hard in front of catcher Henry Blanco, they shot high up the backstop screen. Brewers DH Jonathan Lucroy, who also has spent plenty of time as a catcher in the majors, described Felix’s pitches this way: “He throws a lot of what I call strike-to-ball pitches.”

By that Lucroy means that Felix throws a lot of pitches that look like strikes initially, but quickly dart and duck their way out of the zone when the batter is swinging. Felix’s ERA is now 2.28 ERA and his WHIP is 1.08, both numbers nearly identical to when he won the Cy Young in 2010 with a 13-12 record. He is now 12-5 this year.

So, is Felix the favorite right now to win the Cy Young Award for a second time? Sports Illustrated thought so at the end of July. He’s third in the majors in ERA, third in innings pitched and second with 178 strikeouts. His biggest competition at this point: Chris Sale from Chicago (7-11, 2.77 ERA), Max Scherzer from Detroit (17-1, 2.84 ERA) and, believe it or not, Bartolo Colon from Oakland (14-4, 2.75).

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