Noesi nearly realized running dream

Noesi nearly realized running dream

TORONTO -- Starting pitcher Hector Noesi was brimming with excitement Friday night after manager Eric Wedge told him to go get his spikes and warm up in case the Mariners needed a pinch-runner in the top of the 10th inning in what turned into a 9-5 victory over the Blue Jays.

With Justin Smoak, Jesus Montero and Alex Liddi filling the bases, Michael Saunders then launched a grand slam that lifted Seattle to victory and ended any need for Noesi, who charged into the happy celebration wearing a batting helmet.

The Mariners had used all their position players by that point and Wedge wanted to make sure he had somebody ready in case of injury.

"Not sure why he had the helmet on," Wedge said with a chuckle Saturday. "That was false hustle. I just told him to get the spikes on."

Noesi was still living the unfulfilled dream a day later.

"I didn't do it, but it was great," said Noesi, whose next start will be Tuesday in Tampa Bay. "I was starting to warm up and stretch, because I'd been sitting the whole game. I was just waiting for the moment. But I was hoping we'd get a hit and get a run in."

Noesi, who came up in the Yankees organization before being traded to Seattle this offseason, has never had a professional at-bat or appeared as a pinch-runner.

"No, but I can run the bases. And maybe hit, too, sometimes," Noesi insisted. "I played third base when I was younger, until I was 18."

Noesi assumed if he'd been called upon, he'd have replaced Smoak at third or Montero at second.

"It's just a game. You have to enjoy it," he said with a smile. "If they'd put me in, maybe I'd steal third base. And maybe home plate."

Wedge said Noesi would only have been used in an extreme emergency, however, since the Mariners would have needed to insert him on defense in the bottom of the 10th with no one else left on the bench.

How far would the scenarios have had to play out for all that to happen?

"Pretty far," Wedge said. "But you never know. If somebody gets hurt, depending on who it is, you just never know. When you get to that spot, you've got to be prepared for it."