KANSAS CITY -- Though nearing All-Star veteran status, Felix Hernandez still boasted the giddiness of a first-timer during his third Midsummer Classic appearance on Tuesday.
"This never gets old," Hernandez said, smiling, before the National League's 8-0 win. "I'm enjoying everyone. It's such an honor to be here alongside these guys. It's just amazing."
Accompanied by his parents, wife and two children, Hernandez came to Kansas City with a 3.13 ERA. His 6-5 record isn't nearly as pretty, but it comes during another tumultuous season for the struggling Mariners, who are in the cellar of the American League West with a ledger reading 36-51.
The right-hander, still just 26, was hoping to get into the game after missing out on the chance last year, and campaigned by reminding AL manager Ron Washington that Tuesday was his bullpen day, anyway.
"So maybe I can throw one inning," Hernandez said in the afternoon.
But it wasn't to be, as Hernandez -- who threw 114 pitches in Sunday's start in Oakland -- was confined to the role of spectator, not once seeing action, as expected.
He'll leave the Midwest just as grateful for the experience, though.
"It's fun to pitch in an All-Star Game," he said, "but it's also fun just to enjoy all of this. I have my family here, and it's fun for them, too. This is special. It's an honor, not just to represent Seattle but Venezuela, too. It's amazing."