Last night's game would have been a forgettable one from a Mariner perpective, except for what occurred during a memorable - if not stellar - Aaron Sele's start. I was at the game, with my wife, brother, dad, and a pair of friends. From our perch in section 329, row 25, we were witness to one of the most remarkable combinations of luck and defense I've ever seen at a baseball game.
From the beginning, it was obvious the A's had Sele's number. Line drives were shooting all over field. A few found the grass, but nearly every one ended up safe in the leather of a surprised member of the hometown nine. Adrian Beltre lept out of his shoes to snare a shot down the line. Jose Lopez dove to his left to snatch another. Jeremy Reed made two incredible running catches - one diving deep into the right-center gap a la Alex Diaz's famous '95 flop at Yankee Stadium. Randy Winn got a glove on another deep drive in left, nearly hauling it in. And when Oakland's pellets weren't foiled by amazing plays, they were simply smashed right into the webbing, making it easy on M's like Ichiro and Mike Morse.
The way he was pitching, Sele was very fortunate to get through a couple of innings, let alone log six innings. We had a great time at the game, amazed at his good fortune.
The bullpen continued coming back to earth, as Ron Villone and Jeff Nelson gave up the game-deciding runs on homers to M's killers, Kielty and Kotsay. [sidenote: Hmm, still seems like lefties have success with the long ball at Safeco...Swisher, Kielty, Kotsay. Maybe the M's could add some lefty power to take advantage of that someday? Eh? EH?].
Jeremy Reed crushed the ball in three of his four at-bats. Shame he couldn't have pushed that one to the wall a foot or two further.
My early season pick for the AL Cy Young is back from injury to face the M's tonight.
Harden vs. Pineiro. Enjoy!