THEN PAINLet me paint a picture for you. You have two uber talented pitchers facing off against one another in one of the best pitching match ups of the season. One is a 2 time Cy Young award winner while the other is a Cy Young winner in the making. Both hail from Venezuela, one is 29 years old and the other is 22. Both are very likely to end up the Baseball Hall of Fame one day.
Let us skip to the top of the second inning. The Mariners have the bases loaded with 2 outs. The batter walking up to the plate is none other than Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez. His first at bat of the season is against perhaps the best pitcher in all of baseball, Johan Santana. I am pretty sure all Mariners fans had accepted the fact the top of the second inning was going to end with the bases being left loaded. Felix had other plans. The first pitch he saw he crushed to deep right center field for a GRAND SLAM!! FELIX! Are you kidding me? What are the chances? I am not even sure Felix looked at the ball as it was being thrown toward him. He just swung with all his might and probably was hoping it might sneak through for a single. In a season that has been a complete train wreck for the Mariners it is nice to see guys like Felix have success. It is nice to see him work so hard and be rewarded. Maybe this was the baseball God's way of patting him on the back and rewarding him for his hard work this season. Just how special was Felix's slam...
1. First grand slam by a pitcher in inter league history
2. First HR EVER by a Mariners pitcher
3. First time in 37 years an American league pitcher has hit a grand slam
Pretty impressive. When asked what his approach was going into his at bat he replied by saying “My approach? Just swing. I closed my eyes, I was happy and I was thinking that’s all I need — four runs.”Sadly his night didn't end with the joy it should have. In the 5th inning Felix went to the plate to cover a play and was run into and his ankle rolled. He tried to stay in the game but couldn't put pressure on his foot and they took him out of the game. Fortunately it was only a mild sprain and he isn't expected to miss any time, just have his next start pushed back a few days. PHEW! Regardless of how his night ended, he will never forget what he accomplished in the top of the second inning. I know I won't soon forget.
The bullpen did a great job of shutting the Mets down after Felix left the game giving up only 1 earned run. Thank goodness because it would have been a shame for us to lose this one after what Felix did. The guy is a fighter, he wanted to so badly to stay in this one. Glad the guys could pull together the win.