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Mariners Post A 6-Man No-Hitter Against Dodgers

Jesus Montero loved it

I thought they were going to do it.

Considering how the Los Angeles Dodgers have played without Matt Kemp and with the cast of Andre Ethier and seven Regular “Reggie” McBland hitters in their lineup, I was certain that the Dodgers would find a way to win tonight’s game in Seattle. Even more, I was fairly sure they could do it without earning a hit. It wouldn’t be a new concept to them.

Alas, the Seattle Mariners did the thinkable against such a lineup — shut them out, shut them down and got a 1-0 victory while maintaining the no-no.

It was the just the third no-hitter thrown by the Mariners in their history, and certainly the one with the most subdued celebration. Well, subdued except for Jesus Montero; the kid found his inner Yogi Berra in that leap. The relative sanity shown after the 27th out probably had a lot to do with the fact that the Mariners went through half of their staff to capture the small piece of history. The Mariners used six pitchers — Millwood, Furbush, Pryor, Luetge, League, Wilhelmsen — to complete the no-hitter. It is the sixth combined no-hitter in MLB history and just the second that used more than four pitchers.

The lone company for the M’s is a game that I as a Yankees fan remember well. Look at that pitching box score for the Astros. Granted, Roy Oswalt lasted just one inning due to injury, but having a game started by Oswalt and then buttoned up by the trio of Brad Lidge, 2003 Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner? That’s pretty strong.

Similar circumstances took place in Seattle tonight as Millwood was unable to start the seventh inning despite throwing just 68 pitches. The cause was a strained right groin. By the way, people need to start wondering what is in Millwood’s water, because look at what he has now done since May 13:

37 IP, 30 Ks, 1.46 ERA, 0.89 WHIP.  In a word … whaaaaaaaaa?

Anyway, Charlie Furbush was fine in the seventh. Stephen Pryor couldn’t find the plate to start the eighth, walking Bobby Abreu and Jerry Hairston Jr. on nine pitches. In came Lucas Luetge, and after James Loney put down an ugly-but-successful sacrifice bunt, I told myself that the time had come.

I know this blog has been off and on for three years — I think this post turns it back on for a little while — but I hope I have justified just how much I don’t like the Los Angeles Dodgers. I grew up and live in the Los Angeles area, but I can’t stand them. That’s because my father brainwashed me into becoming Yankees fan. What can I say? I lack independent thought.

Again, the point is I’m not fond of the Dodgers. I especially can’t tolerate a Dodgers team that somehow holds the game’s best record despite the absence of an MVP-caliber Triple Crown threat and with the inclusion of guys such as Juan Rivera, James Loney and Hairston Jr. making up the heart of their order. But as showcased throughout their entire series at Philadelphia earlier this week, the Dodgers find a way to win. The Dodgers are basically a bunch of 2008 Joe Saunders’s, presented in team form.

I had no doubt they would find another ridiculous way to put a rabbit out of their batting helmet. The situation was second and third with one out and possible All-Star A.J. Ellis in the box. Brandon League had just entered the 1-0 game. The way I figured it, League would promptly throw a wild pitch, give up a sac fly, and that would be game. Instead, Ellis flipped a ball into left field where $9 million defensive replacement Chone Figgins charged in to catch the fly and make a decent throw home. I have a feeling pinch runner Alex Castellanos would have been safe if he had tagged from third, but it would have been close.

Tony Gwynn Jr. ended the threat with a strikeout. Because that’s what Tony Gwynn Jr. should be doing.

Dee Gordon led off with ninth by jabbing a slow grounder to shortstop Brendan Ryan. I think the speedy Dee and the ball arrived simultaneously at first, and although the tie is supposed to favor the runner, Ted Barrett portrayed the anti-Jim Joyce and called Gordon out to keep the no-no intact.

Elian Herrera lined out. Ethier grounded out, and the Mariners began to celebrate as if they had just won an interleague game in June.

Hey, a no-hitter; four walk-offs; Strasburg and Harper showed out in Boston; The Yankees went back-to-back-to-back and flirted with a no-no themselves. In all, it was a pretty awesome Friday night in baseball, and tremendous opening act for what should be a very fun Saturday in sports.

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