ADDITIONAL NOTE 10:50 p.m.: Just found out post-game that Felix Hernandez has been scratched as the starter for Wednesday’s game. Hector Noesi will replace him. The Mariners will re-evaluate options tomorrow, but Eric Wedge told me the DL is not one of them.
Tom Wilhelmsen had a defining moment tonight. Wilhelmsen has looked great at times this season, but the eighth inning of this 8-6 win over the Angels is probably where we’ll look back and figure this is where the M’s gained the confidence to make him a closer.
There were runners on second and third in a two-run game and the night was about to go up in smoke because Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo — with 18 homers between them — were due up next.
In came Wilhelmsen and the Angels just couldn’t touch him.
Pujols tapped a gentle comebacker to the mound and Wilhelmsen had lead runner John Hester hung up between third and home. Wilhelmsen made one mistake — throwing to third when he could have just run Hester to the bag because the runner behind him had moved up there already.
That allowed Hester to run back and forth some more, letting Pujols move up into scoring position.
But it mattered not, as Wilhelmsen gor Trumbo to swing through a nasty curveball that broke into an unhittable location off the plate.
That was just filthy stuff.
And Wilhelmsen finished things off in the ninth. He hit the second batter, Torii Hunter, but got through the rest unscathed.
For now, until Brandon League works through his issues, this guy looks like the closer. Probably will be once League gets traded as well.