Doug Fister began his season as a Class AA reliever, but after two shutout appearances jumped to Class AAA, where he slid into the Tacoma bullpen.
When the Mariners asked him to start, he made 17 starts for the Rainiers, going 6-4 with a 4.13 earned run average - 2-2 with a 2.35 ERA over his last six starts.
Tonight, he starts for the first time as a big leaguer, facing a White Sox team desperate for a win to keep their wild card hopes alive.
Should the Mariners win, they'd match their season-best by moving seven games above .500 again.
A control pitcher whose minor league command was marvelous, Fister needs to stay ahead in the count and give Seattle innings.
It's Fister vs. John Danks.
Nerves and outs
It's pretty clear Fister is a bit nervous tonight - he's walked two and hit a batter in three innings - but he's been toughest when he had to be.
With two on and one out in the third, for instance, Fister got Jermaine Dye on a pop up and Jim Thome on a ground ball.
That's good pitching for anyone.
Using a fastball that's topped out at 89 mph and a curve that touches 75 mph, Fister has changed speeds on both and thrown a changeup, too.
So far, good job despite a bit of tentativeness at times.
Danks, meanwhile, has matched him zero for zero.
After three: No score
Adrian Beltre doubled to right center field one out into the fourth inning, and Russell Branyan singled him home - Branyan's club-leading 68th RBI.
The kid has a lead, and starts the fifth inning with 63 pitches thrown.
After four: Mariners 1, White Sox 0
Nice job, lad
Manager Don Wakamatsu talked about wanting Fister to have a 'positive' experience in his first start, which translated to getting him out of the game while pitching well.
In the sixth inning, having allowed one hit - an infield single - and no runs, Fister made it an easy call.
The right-hander threw 94 pitches and has the rest of his career to pitch into the seventh or eighth inning. For now, he's made his impression, taken a big ovation into the dugout with him.
Figure the bullpen has it from here.
In the sixth: Mariners 1, White Sox 0
The bullpen takes the seventh
Miguel Batista walked the first man he faced, and the Safeco Field crowd got a bit restless.
The next batter, Carlos Quentin, grounded into a double play. Then Batista walked Alexi Ramirez. And Chris Getz.
Wakamatsu went to Mark Lowe.
Lowe got Scott Podsednik.
Six outs left. Do the Mariners have, like, another run in them?
In the seventh: Mariners 1, White Sox 0
Lowe does it again
Lowe's 52nd appearance of the year is over, and he ended it striking out Jim Thome to wind down the eighth inning.
Seattle is three outs from win No. 60, and David Aardsma will try to get them.
In the eighth: Mariners 1, White Sox 0
The ninth - yike!
Aardsma in, and Paul Konerko flied to the wall in center field - a shot that had 19,385 fans gasping.
Then A.J. Pierzinsky walked. Quentin singled. Ramirez homered into the Chicago bullpen.
The Mariners got a two-out single from Beltre in their half of the inning to get the game to Branyan - their home run and RBI leader.
Branyan flied out.
It's a final: White Sox 3, Mariners 1