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When Todd Wilhelmsen closed out the ninth inning of the Mariners’ 1-0 win over the Dodgers, it wasn’t just another save chance for the 28-year old right-hander. The third and final out that he recorded put the Mariners in the MLB record books as the 10th team in major league history to throw a combined no-hitter and the second team to accomplish the feat with the most pitchers used – six – joining the 2003 Houston Astros who last threw a combined no-no against the New York Yankees. It was also the third no-hitter in Mariners history. Kevin Millwood started the action, throwing six no-hit innings, but was forced to leave the game afterwards due to a groin strain. Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor combined to finish the seventh inning, Lucas Luetge and Brandon League handled the eight and Wilhelmsen came in and with just nine pitches need, finished the job off with a perfect ninth.
Why does it not surprise me? In so many ways, too. Why does it not surprise me one bit. I’ve spent so much of this week having to discuss Mets pitching, that this was just inevitable, I guess. Johan Santana threw a complete-game shutout against the Padres last Saturday, Dillon Gee has a 1.98 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 13.2 innings over his last two starts, and R.A. Dickey has killed it in his last two outings, going 2-0 with a 0.63 ERA and 21 strikeouts. The three of them have been absolutely masterful, helping both their ballclub and fantasy owners from all over. And by “all over” I mean the greater Flushing area, because who, outside of the die-hard Mets fans living in Queens, would have these guys on their fantasy roster. I mean, really.
Truth be told, I was planning on taking the day off here to rest up for a big weekend of baseball, but I don’t want to leave you all hanging here when so many Jered Weaver owners are dying to talk about his no-hitter on Wednesday. Far be it for me to ignore one of the most difficult feats…although with the frequency of no-hitters and perfect games over the last few years, maybe it’s not so difficult…in the game. For the pitcher to shut down an offense like that is tremendous and Weaver’s performance deserves the accolades. I won’t even trivialize it by mentioning that Jerome Williams tossed a three-hit, complete game shutout against these same Twins just one night earlier and how I talked about streaming pitchers when they play Minnesota. That wouldn’t be fair to Weaver or his owners that are strutting around today like proud peacocks.