3. Leonys Martin Makes The Game-Winning Grab- April 29th
Leonys Martin was a stud in the outfield all year long. In April alone he chased down balls, sacrificed his body and did whatever he had to to help the M’s win. No play exemplified that more in April, when he ran full force into the outfield wall to record the final out against the Kansas City Royals to win 1-0.
Both teams struggled on offense all day long. The Mariners got only one hit. It was a Seth Smith home run. Meanwhile, Felix Hernandez would throw 7.2 innings of shutout baseball to keep the lead in tact. Hernandez would go on to tie Jamie Moyer for the most wins in Mariners history, but this isn’t about the King.
So, when the Royals had a runner on second with two out in the ninth, nerves were high. The power-hitting Salvador Perez cranked a ball deep. So deep in fact, it almost left the park. Martin raced a long way to the warning track -always keeping his eye on the ball- reached up and made a great catch inches before smashing into the wall at full speed.
It was a herculean effort and it would end up being one of the best defensive plays all season long. His teammates would make a tape-outline on the wall where Martin made the spectacular catch. And, while it was done in humor, it was a good reminder to all Mariners fans that saw it, that we should remember that greatness of that play.