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TTLE -- Felix Hernandez pitched like a man possessed on Wednesday afternoon, earning himself a spot in baseball history. But it took his teammates a good six or seven innings to realize what was actually happening at Safeco Field.
"I didn't really realize it until the last two innings," left fielder Trayvon Robinson said. "I kept it to myself, though."
No need for Robinson to be ashamed. He wasn't alone. Most of the Mariners admitted to not fully grasping the situation until at least the sixth inning. Shortstop Brendan Ryan, who was among those players, said he is in the habit of trying not think about that kind of stuff, but he accidentally caught a peek of the scoreboard in the sixth inning on Wednesday. It was a similar situation for right fielder Eric Thames, who didn't need a scoreboard to tell him what was happening.
"Wait a second, we haven't seen a guy on base yet," Thames -- who said it felt like a normal game up until the later innings -- told himself.
Out in the bullpen, it was no different for the relievers. Once they grasped the situation, though, the challenge became being able to talk about the game without referencing what Hernandez was accomplishing. It became, "Hey, if we win this game, should we charge the field?"
Of course, reliever Carter Capps was not involved in those talks. The rookie was given a gag order in the seventh inning, as the veterans were afraid he would accidentally jinx Hernandez.
The players might not have known what was going on for half the game, but the dominant manner in which Hernandez was mowing down hitters was not lost on them.
"For him and [catcher John Jaso] to be on the same page the way they were, it was just outstanding," Ryan said. "I don't know if I've ever seen anyone's stuff that good. For him to throw an 0-2 type of pitch for a strike when behind in the count 2-0, it's that type of thing. I was joking earlier saying I don't even think [Mike] Trout could hit Felix today. It was incredible."
For Ryan, the moment was a little extra sweet because the Mariners were on the wrong end of Philip Humber's perfect game earlier this season. But despite the redemption, the moment was more about the history moment for King Felix.
"I heard things about him before I came over here and then just seeing his last few starts, the legend's true," Thames said. "Today just adds to it."