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Best Seat in the House

Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

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April 2, 2008 1:24 AM

M's - Game 2. A Better Day for Photos.

Posted by Rod Mar

On Opening Day, the Mariners won, but I felt like I'd lost.

Last night, Seattle lost, but I felt I'd "won" as a photographer.

Which means, I had a pretty decent shoot and felt like I'd made the photos that needed to be made.

Of course, I was motivated and seeking redemption for the foibles of our Opening Day coverage.

Seattle's Felix Hernandez took the mound for the start and pitched great, which he is capable of and usually does. But more than pitch, Hernandez also fielded the ball excellently for a pitcher, which is great for photographers because pitchers pitching look like, well, pitchers pitching

You get the point.

There were other pretty unusual plays as well, and I managed to get good frames of those as well.

In the second inning, Seattle's Jose Vidro attempted to steal second base and collided with Texas infielder Ian Kinsler. The ball rolled away and the two of them collided. No faces, but unusual for baseball.



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 1/800 sec.,f2.8)

As I mentioned Felix Hernandez was great both with his arm and his glove, except for on this play, when he threw wide of first on a bunt and second baseman Jose Lopez couldn't catch the ball despite diving.



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 1/800 sec.,f2.8)

In the top of the fourth, Hernandez had knocked down a ball hit by Texas' Milton Bradley before throwing him out and falling down. Hernandez is helped up by shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt:



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 1/800 sec.,f2.8)

The infielders gathered to check to see if Hernandez was okay, and he playfully slapped third baseman Adrian Beltre as Yuniesky Betancourt watched. After the game, Hernandez told reporters that the infielders were teasing him to either "Catch the ball or let it go. Don't do stupid stuff!"



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 1/800 sec.,f2.8)

In the bottom of the fifth, fans in centerfield tried to put a little mojo on Texas centerfielder Josh Hamilton, who makes a warning track catch on a blast by Seattle's Brad Wilkerson in the bottom of the fifth inning. Hamilton would haunt the Mariners later in the game with his game-winning home run in the ninth.



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 1600, 1/800 sec.,f2.8)

During the spring, everyone (well, except for Ichiro) was making a big deal of his 0-twentysomething start during exhibition play. Ichiro went hitless on opening day, but went 3-5 in game two, including this base hit to right. There are four photo boxes on the field level, two on each side of home plate and on either side of the dugouts. This photo is shot from the box nearest home plate on the third base side of the field.



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200mm/f2.8 lens @ 145mm, ISO 2000, 1/800 sec.,f2.8)

In the sixth, Seattle pitcher Felix Hernandez faced a bases loaded jam and escaped unscathed. After knocking down a ball hit by David Murphy in the sixth inning, he fired for a force out on Texas baserunner Hank Blalock to save a run.



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 2000, 1/1000 sec.,f2.8)

Hernandez fell on that play as well, and celebrated from the ground.



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 2000, 1/1000 sec.,f2.8)

With the bases still loaded, Hernandez got Texas' Gerald Laird to pop out to end the inning. His celebration was nice, and I didn't notice his visible breath in the cold until later.



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 2000, 1/1000 sec.,f2.8)

Unlike on Opening Day where reliever Sean Green earned the win, on this night once the bullpen took over, things went downhill for the Mariners.

Eric O'Flaherty gave up two runs in the eighth. I was busy transmitting, but grabbed a quick shot in case he earned the loss.



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 2000, 1/1000 sec.,f2.8)

In the ninth, normally automatic closer J.J. Putz came in to protect a one-run Seattle lead. Unfortunately for him, he gave up a two-run homer to Texas' Josh Hamilton and the Mariners were unable to answer in the bottom of the ninth.



(Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 400mm/f2.8 lens, ISO 2000, 1/1000 sec.,f2.8)

Because of our deadlines, we published two different sports covers. Kudos to the editors and designers for creating two nice pages under pressure.




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