BY SPNW Staff 06:30AM 08/20/2012

That Was The Week That Was (Aug. 13-19)

Felix Hernandez threw the 23rd perfect game in baseball history, and the first first for the Mariners, Wednesday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays. / Wiki Commons

The Mariners received a perfect game Felix Hernandez, had two walk-off wins and a sweep of the Minnesota Twins; the Sounders recovered from an ugly Aug. 12-18 by beating the hated Vancouver Whitecaps and taking over sole possession of third place in the MLS West; and the Seahawks romped past Peyton Manning and Denver in a game in which this was the major takeaway: the Seahawks have a quarterback controversy on their hands — and the wrong guy is leading. This Was The Week That Was:

AUG. 13-19, 2012

  • GOOD WEEK — Hard to have a better week than the one Felix Hernandez had, or John Jaso, for that matter. After Fernandez threw four pitches at four different velocities to Out No. 27 Sean Rodriguez Wednesday, securing the first perfect game in Mariners history, King County Executive Dow Constantine proclaimed Friday “King Felix County Day,” issuing Felix an official proclamation. “This is unbelievable,” Fernandez said. “That’s crazy. I love it, man. See, I’m part of Seattle. I can’t go anywhere.” Jaso won’t be buying himself drinks any time soon, either. In addition to masterfully catching Felix’s perfecto, Jaso cracked a two-run homer Friday in a 5-2 Mariners win and delivered his third walk-off contribution of 2012 Saturday in a 3-2 Mariners triumph.
  • BAD WEEK — Practically handed the starting QB job by Pete Carroll, Matt Flynn did his best to give it back Saturday by completing just 6 of 13 passes for 31 yards and no TDs in the Seahawks’ 30-10 win over the Denver Broncos. Flynn and WR Terrell Owens were not only not on the same page, they weren’t in the same library, as Owens failed to catch any of the five passes Flynn threw in his direction. Flynn threw the first pass behind Owens and the second over his head. Elvis Dumervil knocked away the third and Champ Bailey broke up a slant pass. The fifth incompletion was all on Owens. He sped past cornerback Chris Harris on a deep post and was wide open to haul in a perfectly thrown 46-yard TD, but it slipped through his fingers as he raced across the goal line.
  • PLAY OF THE WEEK — Ninth inning at Safeco Wednesday, Felix pitching: On a 1-and-2 count to pinch-hitter Desmond Jennings, Hernandez fooled him with a changeup for his 11th strikeout and out No. 1. Another pinch-hitter, Jeff Keppinger, looked at ball one, watched a slider go by him for strike one, and swung at and missed a high fastball for strike two. On the next pitch, Hernandez induced Keppinger to hit a ground ball out to shortstop Brendan Ryan for out No. 2. The last chance, .206-hitting Sean Rodriguez, the No. 9 hitter, looked at a ball. Hernandez missed outside for ball two, then walked around the mound.  Felix blew a slider past Rodriguez to make it 2-and-1, and a breaking ball for strike two. A called third strike. Out No. 3. Perfect game.
  • STAT OF THE WEEK — Safeco Field, site of Philip Humber’s perfecto April 21, became the first stadium to host two perfect games in one season. The only other ballparks to witness perfection more than once in their history are Dodger Stadium (Sandy Koufax and Dennis Martinez), Oakland Coliseum (Catfish Hunter and Dallas Braden), and “old” Yankee Stadium (David Wells and David Cone in the regular season, plus Don Larsen in the World Series).
  • EX-SEATTLE JOCKS OF THE WEEK — Ex-Mariner Freddy Garcia (1999-04) of the Yankees stretched his winning streak against the Rangers to eight years with a 3-2 victory Wednesday. Garcia last lost to Texas in 2004 . . . Ichiro had his second and third multi-hit game for the Yankees, going 2-for-4 Wednesday and 3-for-3 Thursday (hit .261 in Seattle, hitting .301 with New York) . . . Ex-Husky Jake Locker (2007-10) made his first start for the Tennessee Titans Friday night against Tampa Bay and had a less-than-dazzling performance, completing 4 of 11 passes for 21 yards and a pick . . . Ex-Mariner Mike Morse (2005-08) unloaded a grand slam for the Washington Nationals Friday, his 12th homer of the season . . . Vancouver’s Greg Biffle won the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Raceway Sunday by 0.416 seconds over Brad Keselowski with Enumclaw’s Kasey Kahne third in the 400-mile race. It marked Biffle’s second win of the year and vaulted him to the top of the NASCAR points race.
  • SUNDAY, Aug. 19 — Mariners complete a broom job on the Minnesota Twins, and win for the 12th time in 13 games at Safeco Field, with a 5-1 triump over the Minnesota Twins. Blake Beavan wins for the eighth time, Josh Kinney collects his first career save and Michael Saunders belts a two-run homer (first since July 24) as the Mariners run their winning streak to five. Mariners lead the majors in sweeps since the All-Star break with three . . . Sent off a 5-2 favorite under jockey Mario Gutierrez, Canadian-bred Taylor Said wins the $200,000, Grade III Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs in a photo finish over Winning Machine. Taylor Said clocks 1:33.3, just missing the record of 1:33.0 by Sky Jack in 2009, and earns $110,000 for the victory.
  • SATURDAY, Aug. 18 — Second-half sub Fredy Montero breaks a 0-0 draw with his sixth goal in seven Cascadia Cup matches and Eddie Johnson adds an insurance goal as the Sounders defeat Vancouver 2-0 in front of 55,718 at CenturyLink Field. It’s the third crowd of 50,000 the Sounders have attracted in a month . . . John Jaso delivers a walk-off sacrifice fly in the ninth to give the Mariners their fourth consecutive victory, a 3-2 decision over the Minnesota Twins . . . Seahawks pound Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 30-10 as rookie QB Russell Wilson, for the second straight week, outplays presumed starter Matt Flynn. Wilson completes 10 of 17 for 155 yards and two TDs, generating 21-second half points, to Flynn’s 6 of 13 for 31 yards and no TDs . . . With Sue Bird (stomach flu) and Lauren Jackson (still partying after the Olympics) missing, the Storm are no match for the L.A. Sparks, losing 82-71 in a KeyArena game the Storm trailed by as many as 16 points. Sparks won the season series 5-0.
  • FRIDAY, Aug. 17Hisashi Iwakuma is perfect through four innings, John Jaso belts a two-run homer and the Mariners defeat the Minnesota Twins 5-3 for their third win in a row. Iwakuma allowed four hits and collects his fourth victory since joining the rotation . . . One day after booting H-back Joshua Perkins and walk-on Willis Wilson off the squad for violating team rules, UW football coach Steve Sarkisian reinstates the two . . . UW hoops coach Lorenzo Romar hires Brad Jackson, who coached Western Washington to the Division II title in 2012, as an assistant, replacing Raphael Chillious, headed to Villanova.
  • THURSDAY, Aug. 16— Following a pre-game celebration to honor three-time Olympic gold medalist Sue Bird, the Storm launch the second half of their WNBA season with a 72-58 rout of the Phoenix Mercury, largely sans Bird, who checks out early with the stomach flu. Camille Little picks up the slack with 17 points and six rebounds as Seattle improves to 10-10 without Australian Olympian Lauren Jackson, still MIA . . . UW football coach Steve Sarkisian boots redshirt freshman Joshua Perkins and walk-on tailback Willis Wilson from the team for a violation of team rules, without offering details.
  • WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15Felix Hernandez throws the first perfect game in Mariners history and the 23rd in major league history, defeating Tampa Bay 1-0 at Safeco Field. With 21,889 watching, Hernandez strikes out 12, including Sean Rodriguez to end it. Elliott Johnson of the Rays describes Felix’s this way: “I saw one fastball out of nine pitches. They all look like fastballs out of his hand but it winds up being a breaking ball, or that split-fingered-looking change-up — whatever that thing is.”
  • TUESDAY, Aug. 14 — Newly acquired Eric Thames, who had struck out three times and facing an 0-and-2 count, delivers a ninth-inning walk-off single, scoring Chone Figgins, that gives the Mariners a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay, snapping the Rays’ seven-game winning streak . . . Former Oregon guard Brett Kingma, who starred at Jackson High In Mill Creek, announces on his Twitter account that he will transfer to Washington State. Kingma, who averaged 3.1 points as a freshman, will have to sit out the 2012-13 season.
  • MONDAY, Aug. 13Blake Beavan’s disastrous third inning — four earned runs on five hits — fuels Seattle’s first home loss in eight games as the Tampa Bay Rays beats the Mariners 4-1. After Beavan retired the first batter in the third, the Rays produced five consecutive hits, effectively ending his personal, four-game winning streak . . . Obits: Johnny Pesky, a beloved figure in Red Sox history and a former manager of the Seattle Rainiers (1961-62), dies in a Boston hospice at 92. Pesky played for the Red Sox for 10 years, compiling a .307 career batting average. Pesky came out of Portland, where he attended Lincoln High School . . . Seattle native Jerry Grant, who raced Indy cars, open-wheeled cars and stock cars in the 1960s and 1970s, dies in Santa Ana, CA., at 77. Grant had three top-10 finishes at the Indianapolis 500 between 1965-76 and had a fifth-place finish at the 1967 Daytona 500.
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    4: Ranked teams the UW football team will play in 2012: No. 1 LSU (9/9), No. 18 Stanford (9/27),  No. 5 Oregon (10/6), No. 3 USC (10/13).
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    When the Mariners promoted No. 1 Mike Zunino from A Everett to AA Jackson Monday, he had hit .373 with 10 homers an 35 RBIs in 29 games.
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    7: Walk-off wins by the Mariners in 2012 after newcomer Eric Thames (Tuesday) and John Jaso (Saturday) had game-winning hits.
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    5,697: Games played in Mariners history before the team received a perfect game, Felix Hernandez’s gem Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.
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    Mariners starters recorded 42 straight outs between the ninth inning Tuesday and fifth inning Friday, longest streak in major leagues since at least 1947, when records of every at-bat were first kept.
  • Among his thousands of assignments, Rod Belcher (right), with Seattle pitcher "Kewpie" Dick Barrett, broadcast Rainiers games for two years beginning in 1957 (see Wayback Machine below). / David Eskenazi Collection


    Thiel: Mariners Do A Thing The Best It Can Be Done: As reporters-turned-kids squeezed into the press box elevator on the way to speak to history, the bald guy jammed in late into the giggle-fest. “So,” I said, “do we credit Jack Zduriencik for not trading Felix Hernandez?” . . . MORE

    Perfection At Safeco! King Felix Makes History: No matter how many more times Felix Hernandez takes the mound in his major league career, he will never wear the title “King Felix” more regally than he did Wednesday against Tampa Bay. On a perfect Seattle afternoon at Safeco Field, the 26-year-old Hernandez tossed the 23nd perfect game in major league history, defeating the Rays in a 1-0 baseball and Mariners classic . . . MORE

    Wayback Machine: Broadcast Legend Rod Belcher: In his recap of the first official home game in Seattle Pilots history (April 12, 1969), Seattle Times columnist Georg N. Myers used two dozen paragraphs to describe the pageantry that escorted the new team to its initial American League test. The festive preliminaries, in a Sicks’ Stadium ballpark still undergoing renovation, included tributes to Emil Sick, the man who built the facility, and Fred Hutchinson, who had once helped fill it . . . MORE

    Thiel: Greatest Olympics Story Was Great Britain: Time seems more expensive these days than a gallon of gas. Professionally speaking, the arrival of the football training camps of the Seahawks and Huskies, along with the turgid seasonal sagas of the Mariners and Sounders,  and the persistent roil of the Chris Hansen arena proposal, left me only fragments in which to watch the Olympics . . . MORE

    That Was The Week That Was (Aug. 6-12): Athletes with state connections reaped five more Olympic medals in London, the Sounders produced a perfectly horrid week, the Seahawks made their preseason debut with two new quarterbacks and, as part of a mostly nightmarish road trip, the Mariners suffered a pair of walk-off losses in a three-day span . . . MORE


    “They have some interesting people there. I’m really a big fan of [Jesus] Montero. I like the top of their batting order. I think they’re good players. They’re really getting interesting” — Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay manager, after his club beat the Mariners 4-1 Monday at Safeco Field

    “You get dealt a hand and you have to play that hand. That’s our schedule, let’s play it” — Steve Sarkisian, UW football coach, on the fact that the Huskies will face four ranked teams in 2012, including No. 1 LSU Sept. 9

    “Good for him and good for us. That’s arguably the best closer maybe in the game right now (Fernando Rodney) with all the pitches that he throws, particularly that fastball and that changeup and the way he changes speeds and that arm action. He just did a good job of staying in the path of the baseball and got enough of it to get it over the infielder’s head” — Eric Wedge, Mariners manager, after newcomer Eric Thames delivered a walk-off single against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday

    “I don’t have any words to explain this. After Philip Humber threw one at us, I knew I have to throw one. I just have to. So this is for you guys (Seattle fans)” — Felix Hernandez, Mariners, after his perfect game Wednesday

    “I thought that if we could get through six innings, we’d cruise. Felix never struggled. He kept making his pitches the whole game. His curve was hard, with such a big break. A human being can’t hit that. But with the stuff Felix has, you sometimes feel like something like this is inevitable. The guy deserved the odds to fall in his favor today” — John Jaso, Mariners, who caught Hernandez’s perfect game

    “Felix is so good, but today is a special day. You’ve got to have a little bit of luck, but when it comes to Felix, no doubt he has great talent, but he brings a lot of intangibles. He just has a great deal of confidence in his stuff. You knew he was feeling it and was going to work to finish it off. It’s exciting for Felix, for his teammates, for the fans that were here, or watching on TV. That’s an excitement you don’t get to feel on a consistent basis” — Eric Wedge, Mariners manager

    “That would have been a really big event for us in the first half, to score on that play. It was unfortunate. He’s got to get back in action and that was his first time out there. So he’s been very much on point in practice. He’s worked very hard. He’s caught a lot of deep balls in practice so I know he can make those plays for us.” — Pete Carroll, after Terrell Owens dropped what should have been a 46-yard TD pass in Denver Saturday

    “You could say we’re starting to mesh more as a team. A lot of exciting things have happened this year and I think we are kind of growing as a group. That’s kind of a cool thing” — John Jaso, Mariners catcher, after his walk-off sac fly Saturday gave Seattle its fourth straight win, 3-2 over Minnesota


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