Chone Figgins finally has a new task: Tracker of balls and strikes. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest
MLB: Pre-All Star Game road show, Mariners at Oakland Mon-Wed; at Anaheim Thurs-Sun (ROOT)
PREDICTION: Mariners now engaged with Angels for second-best in AL West going into All-Star break
Texas extends its lead in the AL West this week (series wins against Baltimore and Oakland) while the bat-free Mariners mess up against the A’s, losing two of three, leaving the series with the Angels for No. 2. M’s take three of four because the Angels have no answer for burgeoning folk hero Dustin Ackley and Ichiro has an answer for his All-Star snub. Manager Eric Wedge looks to avoid another pitch-count embarrassment
, so he finds a job for clubhouse puzzle Chone Figgins: Keeping track of balls and strikes.
Womens World Cup: USA vs. Sweden, 2:30 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN)
PREDICTION: U.S. wins, 2-1, sweeps first round, avoids Brazil in first quarterfinal match. Whew.
Brazils Marta, tied for second in World Cup goals (12) with Seattle soccer icon Michelle Akers, scores a hat trick in Wednesdays game against Equatorial Guinea and grabs the top spot from Birgit Prinz (14), Germanys 33-year-old striker who is struggling to remain relevant in this years tournament. German paparazzi follow the U.S. team around town, waiting for them to one-up the German women in tourney promotion
with a naked pillow fight.
MLS: Sounders FC at LA Galaxy, 7:30 p.m. Monday (ESPN2)
PREDICTION: Sounders light up the scoreboard, win 2-0
After a 10-game unbeaten streak, the LA Galaxy (9-2-8) have to lose sometime, plus the league’s top team is missing its top two goalies, as well as superstar David Beckham, out with a back injury. Even with Sounders (8-4-7) Fredy Montero and Brad Evans out due to quad and hammy pulls, respectively, the relatively rested Sounders (only an Open Cup game, mostly reserves, in the last week) finally piece it together against their nemesis, which is 4-0-4 at home this season. Sounders, with a six-game unbeaten streak themselves, have lost five in a row to Galaxy.
Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series: Race #3, 9 a.m. Saturday, Sky Country Trailhead, Cougar Mountain, Issaquah
PREDICTION: Womens field benefits by tough Texan’s absence
The womens 10-mile record on the hilly Cougar Mountain track was set in 2006 by Chris Kimbrough, a 41-year-old mother of five from Austin, TX, who entered the race because it coincided with a trip to Bellevue to visit her in-laws. She showed up in the course log only once since, finishing first in the womens division last year, two minutes off her record pace. Not sure how Kimbroughs family dynamics will play into this years travel plans (in-law relations can be so sticky) but her absence will surely play well into the plans of any eager, young female runner.