Kregg Lumpkin (20) carries the ball in Seattle's final preseason game Thursday against Oakland. Lumpkin made the cutdown to 53 as the final running back. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest
The Washington football team opened in less-than-dazzling fashion, defeating San Diego State 21-12, but the Washington State Cougars looked as if they were still coached by Paul Wulff instead of Mike Leach. The Mariners, salvaging part of a three-game series with the Angels with a 2-1 win Sunday, made a push to reach the .500 mark, and the Seahawks settled on a 53-man roster . . . sort of. Sounders had the toughest week: They traveled 11,200 miles to earn one point. This Was The Week That Was:
AUG. 27-SEPT. 1, 2012
- GOOD WEEK — Steve Sarkisian’s Huskies had a good week only because they didn’t lose to San Diego State. UW threatened to blow away the Aztecs early, but after scoring on their first two possessions, Washington’s offense went pointless the rest of the game. But UW’s defense, non-existent in 2011 and for the last several years, actually HELD! (we are not making this up, as Dave Barry would say). Thats a nice thing to know you can lean on your defense,” said coach Sarkisian. “We havent been able to do that much.”
- BAD WEEK — After an offseason of hype about Mike Leach’s offensive genius, his Washington State Cougars went touchdown-less in a 30-6 undressing administered by the BYU Cougars in Provo, UT. Quarterback Jeff Tuel threw for 229 yards, but the WSU rushing game generated a pathetic minus-5 yards. “We’ve got to be a mentally tougher team,” said Leach. “When something negative happens, we can’t have these bassett-hound looks on the sidelines. Right now, we’re too fragile. It’s too easy for us to get disappointed.”
- PLAY OF THE WEEK — Eric Thames‘ opposite-field home run leading off the eighth inning Monday in Minnesota enabled Felix Hernandez to beat the Twins 1-0 and join Ferguson Jenkins (1974) and Bert Blyleven (1976) as the only pitchers since 1969 to win four 1-0 games in a single season.
- STAT OF THE WEEK — The Mariners hit 28 home runs in August, the most they have clubbed in a calendar month since September of 2009, one reason (the other was outstanding starting pitching) the Mariners went 15-12 in August. This is the first time the Mariners have had back-to-back winning months (15-11 in July) since posting four straight (June-July-August-September) in 2009.
- EX-SEATTLE JOCKS OF THE WEEK — Ex-Mariner Adrian Beltre (2005-09) of Texas ended the week Aug. 19-26 with three-homer game and a cycle. He began Aug. 27-Sept. 1 with a 3-for-3 day with a home run and four RBIs against Tampa and ended it by going 4-for-5 in a 5-3 win over Cleveland . . . Ex-Mariner Rafael Soriano (2002-06) gave up a three-run, walk-off homer to Colby Rasmus Monday, giving the Yankees an 8-7 loss to the Blue Jays . . . Former Seattle prep star Martell Webster signed a free agent contract with the Washington Wizards Wednesday . . . Former Mariner R.A. Dickey (2008) of the Mets pitched a five-hit shutout for his 17th win Friday.
- SUNDAY, Sept. 1 — Making his first start in 500 days (recovery from a broken leg), Steve Zakuani assists on a Mauro Rosales goal as the Sounders come away from Dallas with a 1-1 draw, but more important, one MLS point . . . Hisashi Iwakuma pitches his second gem of the week, allowing five hits and no runs over 7.1 innings, and Jesus Montero and Carlos Peguero homer as the Mariners avoid getting swept by the Angels with a 2-1 victory. It’s Iwakuma’s fourth consecutive start of not allowing more than one earned.
- SATURDAY, Aug. 31 — Led by an efficient but unspectacular QB Keith Price — 25 of 35 for 222 yards and a touchdown — the Washington Huskies hold off San Diego State at CenturyLink Field 21-12. Price connects with nine receivers, 15 of his throws going to TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (9) and Kasen Williams (6) . . . Felix Hernandez, winner of nine consecutive decisions, loses his first game since June 12 when the Los Angeles Angels beat him 5-2, largely on Mike Trumbo’s two-run single in the eighth inning. Mariners lose their second consecutive game of the home stand after winning 15 of 16 at Safeco Field . . . One day after supposedly settling on a 53-man roster, the Seahawks pull a stunner by releasing TE Kellen Winslow Jr., son of the namesake Hall of Famer, when Winslow refuses to take a pay cut.
- FRIDAY, Aug. 30 — The Seahawks, who began training camp with a three-man quarterback derby, keep just two, Russell Wilson and Matt Flynn, after releasing No. 3 Josh Portis, who later signs on with the practice squad. Seahawks also oust WR Deon Butler and WR Jermaine Kearse, who starred at Washington . . . Absolutely nothing good happens for RHP Kelvin Millwood, who needs 117 pitches to get through five innings in what becomes a 9-1 loss to the Angels. Millwood finishes August 0-4 and with just one win since May 23.
- THURSDAY, Aug. 29 — Seahawks finish the preseason 4-0 for just the second time in franchise history by defeating the Oakland Raiders 21-3 in a game in which Seattle has 335 yards to Oakland’s 101. Backup QB Matt Flynn completes 11 of 13 for 105 yards, which would have made him No. 1 if he’d done it two weeks earlier . . . Despite four forays deep into BYU territory by the early third quarter, Washington State comes away with no TDs in Mike Leach’s head coaching debut with the school, a 30-6 setback to Brigham Young . . . Alex Caskey, Sammy Ochoa and Fredy Montero all score goals — and assists — in a 3-1 win over Caledonia in a Champions League match in Couva, Trinidad . . . The Mariners score four runs in the sixth inning and hold on for a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins. After Blake Beavan departs with a 5-2 lead, three Seattle relievers nearly give the game away, but a shaky Tom Wilhelmsen induces Ben Revere to bounce out to end the game with two runners aboard . . . The Phoenix Mercury defeat the Storm 75-68 at KeyArena, prompting coach Brian Alger to say, “We’re just not a hungry basketball team at this point.” Seattle’s two big stars come up lame, Sue Bird with five turnovers, Lauren Jackson with only six points.
- WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 — The Minnesota Twins, a team the Mariners have owned in 2012, erupt for six earned runs off Jason Vargas and defeat Seattle 10-0 at Target Field, the season’s biggest margin of defeat. The Mariners flail against Sam Deduno, who limits Seattle to just two hits . . . The UW men’s basketball team, touring Spain, defeat Zaragoza 74-73 when Shawn Kemp hits a six-foot jump hook with 20 seconds left in OT. Abdul Gaddy scores a team-high 17 points for the Huskies, 2-0 on their European junket.
- TUESDAY, Aug. 28 — Hisashi Iwakuma allows one hit and an unearned run in six innings as the Mariners continue their mastery of the Twins with a 5-2 win at Target Field. The Twins demonstrate a Mariner-like, first-half ineptness by getting their leadoff hitter aboard in four of Iwakuma’s six innings, without being able to cash . . . Osvaldo Alonso of the Sounders is selected the U.S. Open Cup Player of the Tournament two weeks after the tourney ended with Seattle failing to win a fourth consecutive championship.
- MONDAY, Aug. 27 — Felix Hernandez throws another mini-masterpiece, a 1-0 complete-game shutout over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. It’s his fifth shutout and fourth 1-0 victory. Eric Thames gives Seattle its only run with an opposite-field homer leading off the eighth. Mariners welcome back OF Franklin Gutierrez for the first time since June 28, and he responds with a hit and two stolen bases. “It felt good writing his name into the lineup today,” says manager Eric Wedge.
3: Number of pitchers since 1969 to win four 1-0 games in a season, including Ferguson Jenkins (1974), Bert Blyleven (1976) and Felix Hernandez (2012).
0.69: Assists per 90 minutes by Mauro Rosales of the Sounders, best in MLS history among players with more than two career starts.
Danny Hultzen, the Mariners prized minor league pitching product, fell to 1-4 with a 6.09 ERA after the Rainiers lost to Las Vegas 6-1 Wednesday.
The Seahawks went 4-0 in the preseason for just the second time in franchise history, but . . . they also did it in 2009 and finished that year 5-11.
In three starts against the Angels this season, “King” Felix Hernandez is 0-2 with a 5.75 ERA. His ERA against the rest of baseball is 2.16.
Lou Almada (left), here in spring training with his 18-year-old brother Mel, during Seattle Indians spring training in 1932. (see Wayback Machine below). / David Eskenazi Collecton
READS OF THE WEEK
Thiel: Angels Look Ready, Beating Felix 5-2: Saturday was a Felix day at Safeco. It wasnt a Felix game. At least, as we lately have been trained to expect. What it was, was part of the coming-out party for the Anaheim Angels. They clobbered the Mariners silly Friday night, 9-1, then outsmarted their ace Saturday, 5-2. Theyve won 9 of 11 games and look every bit the stretch-run powerhouse they are paid to be . . . MORE
Thiel: Wilson Chills, Defense Hot In Seahawks Win: Starting a quarterback in the first game of his NFL career is a rare, large deal, so the saga of Russell Wilson will continue to deserve the hubbub. Hes no God particle, but hes several atoms up from rookies Dan McGwire and Rick Mirer, a couple of black holes in the Seahawks early QB universe . . . MORE
Thiel: Huskies Finish 6-6 This Season; Deal With It: The awkwardness in the University of Washingtons football motto for this season, Take the Next Step, is that its a bit mindful of those rehab programs that have 12-step models. But I suppose when a team has been 0-12, the unintentional irony is almost clever . . . MORE
Wayback Machine: Lou, Mel — The Almada Brothers: After 22 1/2 seasons of confinement in the artificial light and sterile atmosphere of the Kingdome, Seattle Mariners fans reveled in the great outdoors for the first time July 15, 1999, when Safeco Field, constructed for an outlay of $517 million, opened its doors and retractable roof to the nearly universal acclaim of a sold-out house . . . MORE
Biggest Man Has Has Cougs’ Biggest Coaching Job: At six-feet, five-inches and several biscuits more than 300 pounds, Joe Salavea still looks every bit the nose tackle that pancaked over-matched offensive linemen during his nine-year NFL career . . . MORE
That Was The Week That Was (Aug. 20-26): Shortly after the T.O. experiment predictably fizzled, rookie Russell Wilson was named the winner in the Seahawks astonishing quarterback competition; the Mariners had a fabulous start to the week but a lamentable, rain-soaked ending, and the Sounders had the fourth hat trick in franchise history in a six-goal extravaganza against Chivas . . . MORE
“Before I came here, I only heard of his pitching line, day in and day out. Seeing it for myself, I don’t know what he’s throwing. From the outfield, it’s weird. You see it. Guys are swinging through it. On video, I see how much it moves. He’s the real deal. That’s why he’s King Felix. I’m officially a believer” — Eric Thames, Mariners outfielder, after Hernandez beat the Twins 1-0 Monday
“I barely got him. Barely. I barely nicked his uniform” — Justin Smoak, Mariners first baseman, after he tagged out Ben Revere running up the first base line on a play that preserved Seattle’s 5-4 win over Minnesota Thursday
“I thought he was solid as rock tonight. He hit almost everything. We have a terrific quarterback position right now. I’m very happy about it” — Pete Carroll, Seahawks coach, after No. 2 signal caller Matt Flynn completed 11 of 13 passes against the Raiders Thursday
“We have everybody back. There’s no excuse as to why we didn’t do it. This is our job. We’re supposed to play hard every game, and we didn’t do that” — Camille Little, Storm, after the club lost 75-68 to 4-19 Phoenix Thursday
“Being able to control our destiny is really important. We can analyze it a little bit and sort of decide which game we’re going to push for that victory” — Sigi Schmid, Sounders coach, after the Sounders earned a 3-1 win over Caledonia in a Champions League match Thursday