Pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen is like a hitter on a hitting streak – he doesn’t want to talk about it while it’s going on.
Asked about his first eight appearances out of the bullpen this season, or a stretch of games going back to mid-August of last year, the big right-hander shrugged.
"I’m feeling pretty good,” he allowed.
Going into play tonight, Wilhelmsen’s 12 strikeouts led all American League relievers. His earned run average this year is 0.90, and going back to Aug. 20 last year, Wilhelmsen is 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA, having allowed opponents a .134 batting average.
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“I’m throwing strikes, using my fastball and curve and the other day I threw three changeups,” Wilhelmsen said. “The fastball runs away from right-handers, runs into left-handed hitters.”
And it’s thrown over the top of his 6-foot-6 frame, on a downward plane, at about 97 mph.
In just his second major league season, Wilhelmsen is Seattle’s primary setup man. He said he tries to view anyone in the batters box as just another hitter, although he knows better.
“Jeff Francouer,” he said, mentioning the Kansas City outfielder. “He hit a single against me once, then hit a home run on a curve ball. I can’t wait to face him again.”
"No, for the challenge,” Wilhelmsen said. “He’ll probably get another curve – just not where he wants it.”