Hisashi Iwakuma (2.60) and Felix Hernandez (2.69), ranked 1-2 in the American League in ERA, were selected to the All-Star team Saturday, the only Mariners chosen for the July 16 contest at Citi Field in New York. For Iwakuma, also the MLB leader in WHIP (0.88), it’s his first All-Star selection, while Hernandez will join the AL’s elite for the fourth time.
Two other Mariners, outfielder Raul Ibanez and reliever Oliver Perez, had been considered All-Star candidates, but Seattle’s poor record — 38-49, 12.5 games behind — obviously worked against them. Ibanez, who sat out Saturday’s 13-4 shellacking administered by Cincinnati, has 21 home runs, a pre-All-Star record for a 41-year-old. Perez, who recorded his second save Friday night, has not permitted an earned run in 31 of his 35 appearances.
Iwakuma had a tremendous start to the season, going 7-1, 1.79 before struggling in his past four starts with three losses and a no-decision. Although he hasn’t won since June 10, Iwakuma has walked just 18 batters in 18 starts while striking out 103.
Hernandez (8-4, 2.69), the 2010 Cy Young winner, ranks among AL leaders in six of 10 pitching categories. He has 124 strikeouts to 24 walks.
Hernandez has been Seattle’s only All-Star selection in each of the past two seasons. The last time Seattle had more than one All-Star was 2011 when Hernandez, rookie Michael Pineda and closer Brandon League made the team.
Seattle has not had a position player selected to the AL All-Star squad since 2010, when Ichiro made his 10th and final appearance for the Mariners.