SEATTLE – Tom Wilhelmsen became a part of history on Friday night.
On Saturday, he was still trying to decide what to do with a piece of that history. Wilhelmsen was the last of the six Mariners pitchers who combined to hold the Dodgers hitless Friday, and he’s the one who has the ball from the final out of that game.
The unorthodox nature of Friday’s no-hitter is embodied by that fact that even Wilhelmsen isn’t quite sure who that ball belongs to.
“I don’t know how that works,” Wilhelmsen said. “It’s in a safe place for now, and I have asked a couple of folks what the right thing to do is. And I will continue to ask until I find the answer I want to hear.”
Friday was a night to celebrate, there’s no question about that. It was the third time in Mariners history they held an opponent hitless. The question was who should be on the receiving end of all the congratulatory hubbub. It’s only the 10th time in big league history that multiple pitchers combined for a no-hitter.
“No one knew how to react or who to celebrate with,” said Charlie Furbush, the second pitcher Seattle used. “We got to all celebrate together because everyone got to do their job and be a part of it.”
Everyone from Ichiro Suzuki, whose single and stolen base put him in position to score the winning run, to Kyle Seager, who drove it in, on down to defensive replacements Chone Figgins and Brendan Ryan, who each made significant plays late in the game.
And then there were the pitchers, all six of them. Catcher Jesus Montero brought in pictures for each of them to autograph in the clubhouse before Saturday’s game, commemorating Friday night’s collaboration.
A strained groin knocked Kevin Millwood out of Friday’s game after six innings. It’s not known if he will be missing any starts.