I’ve attended two Seattle Mariners games this year in which Hernandez started the game with 3 hitless innings and wound up pitching 9 innings and allowing 5 hits in the first instance, and 8 innings while allowing 2 hits in the second instance.
Felix came up through the minors with the similar sort of hype that previously surrounded Bob Feller and Dwight Gooden. He now has four 2-hit or 1-hit complete games in his career, and, according to Baseball-Reference, 23 games with at least 8 innings pitched and 4 or fewer hits allowed.
When will he pitch a no-hitter? The easy answer is to be evasive and say it’s anyone’s guess, with a possible reference to Randy Johnson going from mid-1990 to mid-2004 without a single no-hitter despite a pitching style that was much like Nolan Ryan’s but more effective.
My guess is that Felix, aided by the trend of declining offense around MLB and an anti-hitter environment at Safeco Field, will do it sometime in 2011 or 2012–barring injury, a trade, or some other unforeseeable obstacle.
(The prediction came true, with perfection added, and to celebrate the occasion, the Mariners put out this poster of the game:)