Justin Smoak launched a pair of three-run home runs in Seattle's 21-8 rampage over the Texas Rangers Wednesday. / Wiki Commons
Big week for busting out. In games at Texas Tuesday and Wednesday, the normally feeble Mariners scored 31 runs, or 13.6 percent of their season total; in five races Saturday, the normally superb University of Washington men’s rowing team exceeded its own lofty standards by winning five gold medals, including a national championship in the varsity eight. Even Sue Bird of the Storm did some busting out too. Shooting 32.2 percent from the floor through three games, she knocked down 27 on Tulsa Friday. That Was The Week That Was:
MAY 28-JUNE 3, 2012
- GOOD WEEK — Hard to have a better week than the one enjoyed the University of Washington men’s rowing program. Head coach Michael Callahan’s Huskies entered five boats at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association national championships in Cherry Hill, NJ., and all, including the varsityeight, won gold medals and set course records. The eight clocked 5:21.482, coming with two seconds of equaling the world record.
- BAD WEEK — In two losses, 5-3 to the Angels, 7-4 to the White Sox, normally reliable but suddenly shaky Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was rocked for nine earned runs on 15 hits, including five home runs. He also walked five batters and pitched 11.0 innings in the two starts. “The fastball was up, it was doing nothing,” Hernandez said after giving up two dongs to Gordon Beckham of the White Sox. “It was in the middle. I’ve got to have my fastball to have a good game.”
- PLAY OF THE WEEK — It’s not an individual play, but the second and third innings the Mariners played Wednesday in Texas were two of the most historic in franchise history. En route to a 21-8 victory, the Mariners scored eight runs in each, becoming just the fourth team since 1900 to score 8+ runs in back-to-back innings. For good measure, the Mariners became the first team since 1880 to score 20 runs in a game in the same season in which they had a perfect game pitched against them.
- EX-SEATTLE JOCKS OF THE WEEK — The Colorado Rockies designated Jamie Moyer, the Mariners’ all-time wins leader, for assignment, a move that will likely end the 49-year-old veteran’s major league career . . . The PGA named Seattle native Fred Couples captain of the U.S. Presidents Cup team for a third consecutive time. Couples guided the U.S. to victories over an International squad at Harding Park in San Francisco in 2009 and at Royal Melbourne in Australia in 2011. Couples joined Jack Nicklaus as the only U.S. captains to serve at least three times (Nicklaus served four).
- WHERE ARE THEY NOW? — Nesby Glasgow, a member of the University of Washington’s 1977 Rose Bowl champions and a 14-year veteran of the National Football League, including Seattle from 1988-92, is a special projects director with The Pacific Institute, which specializes in professional growth and leadership developemt.
- SUNDAY, June 3 — Kevin Millwood, so effective in his four previous starts, has zilch when he faces the White Sox in the finale of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field: allows seven hits, issues five walks, hits a batter and throws a wild pitch in a fantastic Steve “Rainbow” Trout imitation as the Mariners lose meekly 4-2.
- SATURDAY, June 2 — Michael Callahan’s rowers snatch an unprecedented five gold medals at the International Rowing Association Regatta in Cherry Hill, NJ., becoming the first school ever to win all five races — open four, varsity four, freshman eight, second varsity eight and varsity eight — in the same national regatta . . . John Jaso (again) and Chone Figgins (what?) deliver run-scoring hits in the 12th inning as the Mariners rally for a 10-8, 12-inning victory, snapping both a seven-game losing streak to the White Sox as well as Chicago’s nine-game winning strea For the sixth time in his career, Ichiro goes yard twice.
- FRIDAY, June 1 — The Mariners fall behind 4-0, rally to tie and then Michael Saunders misplays a routine fly ball to center, leading to three unearned runs and a 7-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox. The ball hits Saunders in the face, giving him a shiner . . . UW crews remain undefeated at the IRA Regatta in Cherry Hill, NJ., all five boats winning their semifinal races by open water . . . Sue Bird, who had been off to a miserable start, bounces back with 27 points as the Storm win for the first time, beating the Tulsa Shock 76-58 in front of 7,489 at KeyArena.
- THURSDAY, May 31– UW sends all five of its boats into the IRA semifinals at Cherry Hill, NJ. The UW’s varsity eight boat, defending national champions, top ranked and undefeated, are seeking back-to-back titles for the first time since 1940-41. UW beats Princeton by two seconds . . . .The Sounders women, at full strength with national team members Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapione and Sydney Leroux, dispatch the Colorado Rush 2-1 in front of a packed crowd at Starfire Sports Stadium.
- WEDNESDAY, May 30 — The Mariners erupt with a 21-hit, 20-run scoring orgy in dousing the Texas Rangers 21-8 at Rangers Ballpark, most by a Seattle team since Sept. 30, 2000. Justin Smoak leads the onslaught with a pair of three-run bleacher-reachers in a game in which the Mariners bat around in the second and third innings, scoring eight runs in each, second most in franchise history in any consecutive-inning span. Kyle Seager also stars, getting four hits in support of winner Blake Beavan . . . Sounders open defense of their U.S. Open Cup with a 5-1 win over the Atlanta Silverbacks at Starfir. Forward Sammy Ochoa scores twice in the one-sided match . . . Lorenzo Romar lands a significant commitment from 6-3 guard Nigel Williams-Goss of Happy Valley, OR., who also attracted interest from Harvard, UCLA, Oklahoma and UNLV . . . The University of Washington announces its 2012 Husky Hall of Fame class. Headed by former football star Lawyer Milloy, it also includes Giuliana Mendiola (women’s basketball, 2001-04), O.D. Vincent (golf, 1987-89), Dave Hoffman (football, 1989-92), Chet Crile (tennis, 1990-93) and Tiffany Simpson (women’s gymnastics, 1996-98, 2000).
- TUESDAY, May 29 – For the first time since April 17 vs. Cleveland, the Mariners bat around in an inning (8th) and romp past the Texas Rangers 10-3 to snap a five-game losing streak. The win is just the Mariners’ third in their last 16 tries in Arlington. Kyle Seager leads the way with two doubles and a single after scuffling through a 2-for-28 stretch. Seager ends the game with 26 RBIs for the 2012 season. But this is the most instructive number: Texas’ Josh Hamilton ends the game with 56 RBIs, 30 more than the Seattle RBI leader.
- MONDAY, May 28 — The Mariners run their losing streak to five with another lame offensive effort at Texas lowlighted by Brendan Ryan’s failure to complete an inside-the-park home run in the eighth inning with no outs.”Who knows what happens if we score there,” Ryan says after the 4-2 loss. “Maybe we have a small parade in the dugout and, boom, now there’s electricity and we take off from there and all the momentum goes our way. Who knows?” Third base coach Jeff Datz takes the bullet for sending Ryan, after which manager Eric Wedge says, “He’s (Ryan) always going to be all out. But obviously if we’re going to send him there, he needs to be safe in that situation.”
TOP 5 NUMBERS
38: Days that elapsed after Philip Humber threw a perfect game against the Mariners (April 21) until he picked up his next win — last Tuesday.
2: Number of teams in baseball history to score 20 runs in a game and are victims of a perfect game in the same season (1880 Cleveland Blues; 2012 Mariners).
Felix Hernandez allowed three home runs Friday at Chicago, his first trio of gopher balls since May 7, 2010, when the Angels beat him 8-0.
70: Years that have elapsed since UW men won the International Rowing Association Regatta back-to-back, from 1940-41 to 2011-12.
5: Number of Grand Finals won by UW men’s rowing team at the IRA Regatta, making the Huskies the first school in history to achieve such a feat.
Joe DiMaggio, Jeff Heath, Earl Averill and Frankie Crossetti at an April, 1969, Seattle Pilots game. See Wayback Machine below. / David Eskenazi Collection
READS OF THE WEEK
Now Do You Buy Into Eric Wedge’s Optimism?: The Mariners entered Wednesdays contest with the Texas Rangers having scored the fifth-fewest runs in the American League (207). There are a myriad of takeaways from Seattles astonishing three-touchdown (21-7) romp, but two stand out. First is that the Mariners scored 21 runs in Game 3 of the three-game series one day after scoring 10 in Game 2. Which means . . . MORE
Thiel: SoDo Fixes Need Good Plan, Not Fast One: On a trip to Central Washington a few years ago, King County Council member Joe McDermott learned something about freight, the Port of Seattle and its busy SoDo neighborhood during a conversation with a hay grower . . . MORE
Wayback Machine: Jeff Heath, ‘An Oak Of A Bloke’: For six hours, from mid-morning to mid-afternoon Oct. 3, 1972, pedestrians passing the corner of Fifth and Pine in downtown Seattle witnessed a thickset, bushy-haired man wearing a ball cap and a large sandwich board attempt to engage everyone who passed near him. Printed on the board: Stop King Station Site. Petitions Here. . . . MORE
That Was The Week That Was (May 21-27): The Mariners opened the week with a rousing, Felix Hernandez victory over Yu Darvish and ended it in last place, without a closer, and having yielded the clubs first pinch-hit grand slam since May 6, 1988. The University of Washington rowing program fared a whole lot better, but the Sounders only marginally better. That Was The Week That Was . . . MORE
“I don’t like to use the word never or always, but you really don’t want to make the first out at home plate, and I did that. I felt at the time he was going to make it. That’s why I sent him, but it didn’t happen that way” – Jeff Datz, Mariners third base coach, after sending Brendan Ryan home on an inside-the-park home run attempt Monday that didn’t work
“I understand some people may feel that this is bypassing the system and playing against the rules, but, again, my priority is our team, our organization. We are willing to play within whatever rules are set by U.S. Soccer, but it’s their tournament and we’re going to do whatever we can to protect our brand and our organization in that process” — Adrian Hanauer, Sounders owner, explaining why he purchased the “hosting rights” to the third-round U.S. Open Cup match with the Atlanta Silverbacks, originally scheduled to be played in Atlanta
These guys really put it together these last couple nights. Youre seeing a lot of what weve been talking about with the potential of these young players. Its fantastic to see” — Eric Wedge, Mariners manager, after his club scored 31 runs (21 Wednesday) against the Texas Rangers Tuesday and Wednesday
“The past four games we haven’t been able to score first, so that was the main thing, get the first goal” — Andy Rose, Sounders, after Seattle defeated the Atlanta Silverbacks 5-1 in U.S. Open cup play Wednesday
“It was just a lazy fly ball, a lazy little line drive to center. It just kind of moved on me at the last second. And as everyone saw, I got hit in the face” — Michael Saunders, Mariners center fielder, after his two-base error led to three unearned runs and a 7-4 loss to the White Sox Friday
“That’s a top-notch staff and a top-notch program. They’re always going to be knocking on the door or winning. It’s not great for us, but at the same time they are the best program right now and they worked hard to get there” — Mike Teti, University of California rowing coach, after Washington five gold medals at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association national championships Saturday.