The story that some found itself floating around the Seattle Mariners cluhouse Saturday morning was that closer Tom Wilhelmsen – who finished the 1-o no-hit victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers Ffriday – wasn’t aware it was a no-no when he entered the game.
Wilhelmsen has a certain goofiness to his personality, but the story isn’t true. He knew what was going on, he just wasn’t putting it first in his mind.
“The best way I can explain it is, that was the item in my shopping cart that wasn’t on the list when I left home,” Wilhelmsen said. “My first thought was pressrve the win.”
Wilhelmsen did both, becoming the sixth pitcher used in the Mariners combined no-hitter, and yes, it created some history and a couple of issues.
First, the history: This was just the fourth no-hitter ever thrown against a team with the best record in baseball, was the sixth interleague no-hitter thrown and Jesus Montero – 22 years, 193 days old – became the seventh youngest catcher to handle a no-hitter since 1900.
“It was tough, trying to take charge of the game with six different guys,” Montero said, “but the guys pitched great. It was awesome.”
Felix Hernandez was in the clubhouse when the game began, but by the fourth inning he was afraid to go to the dugout.
“Kevin (Millwood) hadn’t allowed a hit, and I wasn’t going to mess it up doing something different,” Felix said. “When Kevin came out of the game, I went to the dugout. It was unbelievable – it felt like I was pitching! It was a great game for everybody.
“I want one now more than ever!”
As for Millwood, he spent the morning getting an MRI on his strained groin muscle, and the results won’t be released by the team until post-game.
Now, the issues? Wilhelmsen kept the ball that was the last pitch thrown, but given that five other pitchers played a role in the no-hitter, he admitted he wasn’t sure what he should do with it.
“It’s in a safe place for now, and I have asked a few people what I should do with it,” Wilhelmsen said. “I’ll keep asking until I get the answer I want.”
Today, the Mariners throw a largely right-handed lineup at Dodgers leefty Clayton Kershaw:
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chone Figgins LF
Jesus Montero DH
Justin Smoak 1B
Kyle Seager 2B
Miguel Olivo C
Michael Saunders CF
Alex Liddi 3B
Brendan Ryan SS