SEATTLE – Once Felix Hernandez had pitched himself and the Seattle Mariners into history, manager Eric Wedge was asked to try to put Felix’s perfect game into context.
“Felix is consistently so good, but today he went to another level,” Wedge said. “On top of everything else, it was a 1-0 game, and you know how fragile they are.
“You’re talking about a pitcher with great talent and all the intangibles. First and foremost, I’m a baseball fan – and this game was exciting for Felix, his teammates, the fans and anyone listening on radio or watching on television.”
“In the clubhouse after the game, they took advantage of me,” Felix said, grinning.
“The beer shower,” catcher John Jaso said.
Rookie Trayvon Robinson played left field Wednesday, and he knew how different the game was by what he was feeling from the stands.
“The energy out there was amazing,” he said. “I told myself before the eighth inning, ‘Anything out here, I’m going for it.’ We all knew how special this was.”
Second baseman Dustin Ackley knew early on.
“By the third or fourth inning, you’re thinking, ‘He may be perfect today,’ ” Ackley said. “That’s an adrenaline rush.”
One of the few “uh-oh” moments came in the seventh inning, when B.J. Upton rolled a ground ball toward the left side of the infield. Third baseman Kyle Seager dived and missed.
Shortstop Brendan Ryan fielded it and threw out Upton. Was it a tough play?
“Only because Kyle got in the way,” Ryan deadpanned. “You stay focused. The last inning, you’re just praying somebody doesn’t bloop one over first base.”
The best defensive play of the day may have been the first one, when Tampa Bay leadoff hitter Sam Fuld drilled a ball deep to right-center field and Eric Thames ran it down.
“I got loose before the game, but you’re not really game loose,” Thames said. “I just ran it down. It was the first play of the game. I didn’t get really nervous until about the seventh inning.
“I just watched the swings guy were taking against him. It was ridiculous what he was doing.”
Left-handed reliever Charlie Furbush could rejoin the Mariners’ bullpen Friday, when the team opens a series with the Minnesota Twins.
“He threw two innings in Tacoma (Tuesday) and was so efficient we had him throw 15 more pitches in the bullpen when he was done,” Wedge said. “He’s close, but I can’t say any more about that.”
Seattle has the day off before opening a three-game series Friday with the Minnesota Twins at Safeco Field.email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @LarryLaRue