This is going to get buried under what will probably be a massive Jeff recap, unless he finishes that before I finish this [late update: he did!], but whatever. New rule, when the Mariners actually throw a no-hitter instead of are no-hit, I have to post the numbers.*
*Offer void in Utah
I thought about just skipping the hitting numbers because, who cares? But the hitters were important, or important enough. Actually they were very important because they were also (aside from John Jaso) the fielders and the fielders are a very important part of no-hitters. They are arguably more important than the pitchers! Tonight featured tremendous plays from Kyle Seager and Brendan Ryan on separate Dee Gordon infield hit attempts. Seager I am 100% confident got Gordon out. Ryan, I am much less sure.
Do you want yet another example of how results-based everything in our lives is? Take Ryan's play in the ninth inning. Remove the no-hitter context and it's still a fabulous play, right? It's a Web Gem, Highlight Reel worthy play and should only build the case for Ryan deserving like four Gold Gloves for this season alone.* Whether you think, or believe, that Gordon was safe or out, we can all reasonably agree that it was a very close call, right? And that no matter the outcome — no matter the outcome! — that was a fantastic play by Ryan, right? Yet, if Gordon had been ruled safe, how many times would Ryan's play ever be shown again? It's still the same play but how much it gets remembered ends up being decided by the umpire, not really by Ryan, Smoak or Gordon. That's so weird. And should not be so.
*Except he won't get one because he's hitting .160-something. This is another example of results ruining stuff.
|Batter||#P||PA||RB||1B/2B/3B/HR||nBB||SO (sw)||Sw (cnt)||GB/FB/LD/IF|
|I Suzuki||14||4||3||3 / 0 / 0 / 0||0||0 (0)||8 (8)||2 / 1 / 1 / 0|
|D Ackley||22||4||2||1 / 0 / 0 / 0||1||2 (2)||9 (6)||1 / 0 / 0 / 0|
|K Seager||19||4||2||1 / 0 / 0 / 0||1||0 (0)||7 (6)||1 / 0 / 1 / 1|
|J Montero||16||4||1||1 / 0 / 0 / 0||0||1 (1)||11 (8)||0 / 1 / 1 / 1|
|J Smoak||19||4||0||0 / 0 / 0 / 0||0||1 (0)||8 (7)||2 / 0 / 0 / 1|
|M Saunders||19||4||1||1 / 0 / 0 / 0||0||2 (2)||13 (10)||1 / 0 / 0 / 1|
|J Jaso||17||4||1||1 / 0 / 0 / 0||0||1 (1)||9 (8)||2 / 1 / 0 / 0|
|M Carp||12||3||1||0 / 0 / 0 / 0||1||1 (1)||4 (1)||0 / 0 / 1 / 0|
|(Def) C Figgins||1||1||0||0 / 0 / 0 / 0||0||0 (0)||1 (1)||1 / 0 / 0 / 0|
|M Kawasaki||11||3||0||0 / 0 / 0 / 0||0||1 (0)||6 (5)||2 / 0 / 0 / 0|
|(Def) B Ryan||0||0||0||0 / 0 / 0 / 0||0||0 (0)||0 (0)||0 / 0 / 0 / 0|
P = number of pitches seen, RB = reached base, nBB = unintentional walks and hit by pitches, sw = swinging strikeouts, cnt =contact
Huzzah for Ichiro and his three singles, including the one that he eventually scored the game's only run on. In part thanks to his own speed, Dustin Ackley drawing a walk, Kyle Seager just barely getting a hit (and imagine how the whole game changes if Gordon catches that*) and like seventeen billion other things that combined in such a way so as to make this current reality come to pass.
*You know what else is really stupid? The no-hitters or perfect games that aren't because they went to extra-innings. That's just stupid. They should still count.
Do you ever just sit there and think about it? One stupid totally trivial little 50/50 fluctuation happens like 50 million years ago and maybe instead of this baseball game, this no-hitter, we instead just witness the Mothman people destroy the Mole People in a battle of space polo. Also, we have fins. And maybe Game of Thrones is real instead of a fantasy. Who knows! Oh man, I have a headache now. Moving on to the pitchers.
|68||18||61.8||1||25 (5)||6 (4)||4 / 4 / 1 / 2||0 / 0 / 0 / 0|
Kevin Millwood wasn't mowing the Dodgers down the way a Felix Hernandez can buzzsaw through lineups. He didn't make the Dodgers look silly; Millwood made them look feeble though. It's a different sort of dominance. Instead of "here's my best stuff and haha, you fell down." it's more like "oh. You again? Ehhhhh, here." Millwood was pitching like he had better places to be and the Dodgers were an inconvenience.
|10||3||70.0||0||5 (3)||1 (1)||1 / 1 / 0 / 0||0 / 0 / 0 / 0|
I did not expect the no-hitter to last very long once Furbush entered the game. Unscientifically, it felt like relievers entering in this sort of situation are even less prepared than usual. Imagine sitting in the bullpen during the middle innings of this game. You've probably ordered out for some ribs and beers. Millwood's cruising and you're facing this pathetic NL team. You might be scanning the crowd for people to leer at or make fun of because you're an awful person (I assume). The last thing on your mind is entering a zero-zero game and then whammo!
So all in all, Charlie Furbush did really well and I'll look past the error. He probably still had BBQ sauce on his fingers.
|15||3||26.7||2||3 (2)||1 (1)||0 / 0 / 0 / 0||0 / 0 / 0 / 0|
For about three hours now I was a little confused why Eric Wedge was so desperate to pull Furbush for Pryor just to face Juan Rivera. It is only just now, literally now as I type this, but not literally now as you read this, that I realized I had transplanted Juan Pierre for Juan Rivera in my head. It makes way more sense now. And if you're wondering why I wasn't jostled out of disbelief that a team would DH Juan Pierre, that is how little I think of the National League.
Stephen Pryor, for now, is a fastball. He's a very difficult to hit fastball, but when he cannot locate his fastball he will have trouble. Tonight he could not locate his fastball and he had trouble. He is lucky that it did not cost the team and instead Stephen Pryor gets credited with the win tonight. Pryor's first career win was a no-hitter. He can now forever say that and tiptoe around the context of said no-hitter.
|3||0||66.7||0||2 (0)||0 (0)||0 / 0 / 0 / 0||0 / 0 / 0 / 0|
Not the opposite of Stephen Pryor, because Lucas Luetge doesn't throw 95% sliders, but he throws a whole bunch of breaking pitches. Tonight there were three of them and then a harmless bunt.
|9||2||88.9||0||6 (3)||1 (1)||0 / 0 / 1 / 0||0 / 0 / 0 / 0|
HOW HARD WAS THIS, BRANDON?
JUST DO THIS EVERYTIME!
YOU HAD THE TYING RUNNER ON THIRD AND YOU STILL THREW MOSTLY SPLITTERS AND THEY WERE GOOD AND ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHH
|9||3||88.9||0||6 (1)||0 (0)||2 / 0 / 1 / 0||0 / 0 / 0 / 0|
Both Wilhelmsen and League allowed a line drive that was caught in the later innings as our attention fully shifted to preserving the no-hitter. Millwood allowed a single one as well. Three line drives being caught is not exactly balancing on a tight rope but a couple inches, a split second, and one of those easily falls in. Again, through no fault of anyone. As a species we are just utterly terrible at giving luck/chance/whatever any credit at all. People get congratulated after winning the lottery. What? There was no skill involved!
Which isn't to say that Wilhelmsen wasn't good overall, or that tonight's game was 100% lucky. There's a middle ground to everything and advocating against one extreme does not and should not imply that you are advocating for the equally, but opposite, extreme. There's something about sports and particularly no-hitters that put me in a mood to reflect on happenstance. Consider how lucky you've been. You might not consider yourself lucky, but if you are reading these words then chances are that, relative to the world of possibilities, you are. So, um, thanks Mom and Dad. Thank you, quantum vibrations. And woo, go M's!