UPDATE: John Jaso received a gold Rolex watch from Felix Hernandez prior to the game.
OAKLAND -- Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez has a gift waiting for A's catcher John Jaso. Whatever that present is, it's a surprise to Jaso, who caught Hernandez' perfect game when he was a member of the Seattle Mariners.
"I don't even know if he really has one," Jaso said jokingly. "A fastball in the back?"
As Hernandez' catcher, Jaso knows better than anyone what the 2010 Cy Young-winner has in his repertoire. Could he provide inside information on the Mariners' ace that will lead to the A's first Opening Day victory over him in three years?
[PHOTO GALLERY: Mariners vs. A's -- What to watch for]
"I really can't and I really don't want to," Jaso said. "Felix throws so many different pitches in certain counts, especially with two strikes. What does he go to for his strikeout pitch? A change up? A curveball? A slider?"
"I don't want to say watch out for his change up and then he's flipping curveballs up there," he added.
Well, so much for that. Jaso thinks telling his teammates what to look for might hurt their chances. He also doesn't see his knowledge of Hernandez as an edge. Hitting, as he says, is totally different than catching.
"Especially when he is on, he's insanely good," Jaso said. "I would say don't swing at balls, that's the best chance you've got."
Hernandez is tough to beat. He is 13-6 with a 2.82 ERA against the A's. Last season, Hernandez faced Oakland five times. With the Japan Opening Series, Hernandez' first three starts of the 2012 season were against the A's.
"We face him an awful lot," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It is what it is."
Maybe the A's will get lucky and Hernandez' gift for Jaso will be a pitch over the heart of the plate.