One and done: Olson's single-pitch debut yields DP

One and done: Olson's single-pitch debut yields DP

SEATTLE -- A year ago, veteran left-handed reliever Joe Beimel made his Mariners debut in impressive fashion, getting an out without ever throwing a pitch as he picked off a runner at first base to retire the side in his initial outing. But Tyler Olson, the rookie who has taken Beimel's place in the bullpen this spring, may have found a way to top even that in his Major League debut on Tuesday.

Olson recorded two outs with the first and only pitch of his big league career, as he strode in from the bullpen with one out in the ninth and induced a double-play grounder from Erick Aybar in Seattle's 2-0 loss to the Angels.

"It was crazy," said the 25-year-old from Gonzaga University. "It's a dream come true. This is something I worked for for a really long time. Just to have that opportunity to come out in a big league game [leaves me] speechless."

Olson was the surprise of Spring Training for the Mariners, earning a roster spot despite never pitching above Double-A ball. He's been a starter all his life but has found a niche in Seattle's bullpen as the second lefty to start the season.

After the game ended, he was still trying to absorb his rapid one-pitch arrival in the Majors.

"It was too quick," he said. "But that's the job we're supposed to do as relievers, come in and get out of the inning as quick as we can and protect the guy that was in there before. The way I see it, that's his run, and I don't want it to score. I'd rather give up my own run than someone else's."

Manager Lloyd McClendon hadn't planned on using Olson in quite that situation for his first outing, but Yoervis Medina -- after throwing a scoreless eighth -- saw David Freese reach on an error to open the ninth. And after Medina struck out C.J. Cron, McClendon summoned Olson to face the switch-hitting Aybar.

One pitch later, an inside fastball that Aybar rolled to third baseman Kyle Seager, Olson was standing back in the Mariners' dugout.

"It wasn't the ideal situation, to be honest," McClendon said. "But he hadn't pitched in six days and I needed to get him in there. Medina had 19 pitches and I didn't want to overuse him. It turned out for the best. I wish I could say I planned that. It worked out pretty good."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.