Steve Zuakani exults after scoring his first goal in 17 months Saturday night in the Sounders' 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest
The Sounders demonstrated for the third time this season that their real owners are the San Jose Earthquakes, the Washington State Cougars suffered an epic, fourth-quarter choke, and the Mariners had a Jekyll and Hyde week by getting swept by Baltimore and nearly sweeping first-place Texas. This Was The Week That Was:
SEPT. 17-23, 2012
- GOOD WEEK — It’s not often that a Northwest athlete is elected to a national or international hall of fame, and it’s debatable whether golfer Fred Couples, with just one career win in a major, really deserved it. But according to World Golf Hall of Fame rules, Couples earned his way through its portals with 15 PGA Tour wins, a victory in the 1992 Masters, two Players Championships triumphs, five Ryder Cup appearances and 51 percent of the Hall of Fame vote.
- BAD WEEK — Has there been a more horrible homecoming game in Washington State’s largely lame football history? Favored by 18 1/2 points at Martin Stadium, the Cougars took a 31-14 lead into the fourth quarter and GAGGED on it, losing 35-34 to an 0-2 Colorado team that was coming off a 69-14 undressing at Fresno State the previous week. “Disgusting on every level,” said coach Mike Leach.”We need to act like we want to win.”
- PLAY OF THE WEEK — Steve Zakuani spent nearly 17 months recovering from a broken leg he suffered in a match at Colorado. He finally scored his first goal Saturday night since returning to the Sounders and afterward gave major credit to trainer Dave Tenney. “I give him a lot of credit for getting me into shape and maximizing the natural abilities I had speed and power. He made me fit. Playing 65 minutes that goes to Dave. He really pushes me in training. Coming back from this (broken leg), Daves had a huge role. I just ran towards the bench because all the coaching staff and the teammates that have been there for me. I just happened to see Dave and Daves a really important guy in my career.”
- STAT OF THE WEEK — When the Mariners went 0-for-17 with runners in scoring position Wednesday, it marked the most hitless at-bats in a single game in the majors with RISP since the Red Sox went 0-for-19 in a 12-inning game against the Yankees April 24, 2004.
- EX-SEATTLE JOCKS OF THE WEEK — Ex-Mariner Cliff Lee (2010) won his matchup with another ex-Mariner, R.A. Dickey (2008), by striking out 10 in Philadelphia’s 3-1 win over the Mets Monday . . .Ichiro (2001-12) went 7-for-8 in the Yankees’ doubleheader sweep of the Blue Jays Wednesday (4-for-4 with four stolen bases in the nightcap), came back Thursday with a 2-for-4, added a 2-for-3 Friday, and a 3-for-5 Saturday (yet another ex-Mariner flourishing out of the 206, Ichiro is batting .335 for the Yankees after hitting .261 for the Mariners) . . . Ex-Mariner Casey Kotchman (2010) hit a walk-off single to give Cleveland a 4-3 win over the Twins Thursday . . . Cameron Sandquist, a Redmond High graduate and junior at Yale, caught the longest touchdown pass in Bulldogs history, a 98-yarder in a 24-21 win over Georgetown . . . Ex-UW quarterback Jake Locker threw for a career-high 378 yards and two TDs in Tennessee’s 44-41 win over Detroit Sunday . . . Ex-Puyallup golfer Ryan Moore finished T3 at the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta Sunday, earning $448,000.
- SUNDAY, Sept. 23 — Trailing 3-2 with two outs in the eighth inning, the Mariners load the bases against Texas, but Luis Jimenez flies out to shallow center to end Seattle’s best chance to overtake the Rangers. The Mariners go 2-4 on the six-game home stand (0-3 vs. Baltimore, 2-1 vs. Texas), during which they went 3-for-45 (0.67 BA) with runners in scoring position . . . The Storm close out a weird regular season by defeating the Phoenix Mercury 71-57, the club’s third consecutive victory following four straight defeats. With the WNBA playoffs starting Friday, coach Brian Alger keeps minutes down for Lauren Jackson (12) and Sue Bird (19), the principal reason Jackson contributes only four points and four rebounds.
- SATURDAY, Sept. 22 — The Sounders lose to the San Jose Earthquakes for the third time in 2012 when Chris Wondolowski’s 30th-minute goal stands up for a 2-1 win in front of 38,948 at CenturyLink Field. The loss drops the Sounders from second to fourth place in the Western Conference . . . Washington State, leading 31-14 in the fourth quarter, collapses and “cougs” homecoming to the Pac-12’s worst team, Colorado, 35-34, when the Buffaloes score the winning TD with nine seconds to play . . . Michael Saunders whacks a second-inning home run and Blake Beavan makes it stand up for his 10th victory as he bests Matt Harrison in a 1-0 Mariner win. Harrison had won 10 straight against Seattle, four this season.
- FRIDAY, Sept. 21 — With Adrian Beltre (stomach) and Josh Hamilton (vision) missing from the Texas lineup, the Mariners snap a four-game losing streak and beat the Rangers 6-3 in front of a Fan Appreciation Night crowd of 17,893. Miguel Olivo breaks open a one-run game with a two-run homer in the eighth and Justin Smoak delivers three hits . . . Lauren Jackson scores 11 points in 11 minutes, including her 6,000th WNBA point, as the Storm defeat the San Antonio Silver Stars in front of 8,494 at KeyArena. “It’s the best she’s played since she’s been back (from the Olympics),” says coach Brian Agler.
- THURSDAY, Sept. 20— The NFL fines Seahawks WR Golden Tate a reported $21,000 for a hit he delivered to Dallas linebacker Sean Lee in the Seahawks’ win over the Cowboys. Under league rules, Lee was defined as a “defenseless player” because he did not see the block coming. Tate says he will appeal the fine. “I never have intentions of injuring a player,” says Tate. “I always want to play within the rules.”
- WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 — Brad Evans scores the winning goal in the 78th minute as the Sounders clinch a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals with a 3-2, group-stage victory over CD Marathon of Honduras. The Sounders, also receiving goals from Sammy Ochoa and Eddie Johnson, improve to 3-0 in CCL group play, ensuring a return trip to the knockout rounds of the competition, slated for March 2013 . . . Former Mariner Adam Jones tortures his old club again, banging a game-winning home run in the 11th inning to give Baltimore a 3-1 win over Seattle and a sweep of the three-game series.
- TUESDAY, Sept. 18 — The Orioles score two runs in the 18th inning off Lucas Luetge and defeat the Mariners 4-2 in the longest game played at Safeco Field since Aug. 1, 2000, when Seattle defeated Boston in 19 innings. The Mariners lose for the 15th time in 2012 in their last at-bat. After the game, the Mariners announce that Hector Noesi, awful on Monday, has been removed from the rotation. . . Felix Hernandez becomes the Mariners’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, a prize given to the player who best represents the game with positive contributions on (that eliminates Hector Noesi) and off the field . . . The Storm snap a three-game losing streak by beating the Chicago Sky 75-60 in a game in which forward Tina Thompson surpasses 7,000 career points, increasing her WNBA record.
- MONDAY, Sept. 17 — Making his first start since June, Hector Noesi botches the job, lasting just four outs in a 10-4 loss to the Orioles. Noesi allows six earned runs on eight hits and looks so bad doing it that manager Eric Wedge says, “He just wasn’t very good. He’s got to do better than that.”
When Hector Noesi lost to Baltimore 10-4 Monday, his combined record with the Mariners (2-12) and Rainiers (2-6) fell to a brutal 4-18.
Tuesday’s five-hour, 44-minute, 18-inning game at Safeco was the fourth-longest in team history (longest: 6:06, April 13-14, 1982 at California).
Ichiro might have run out of steam in Seattle, but not New York. In five games between Wednesday and Saturday, he went 14-for-20, a .700 BA.
The Mariners recorded their sixth 1-0 victory of the season Saturday night (vs. Texas), the most 1-0 wins in a season in franchise history.
2: Minutes it took for San Jose to score a goal against the Sounders Saturday — the earliest goal the Sounders have conceded all season.
Jo Jo White, left, greets a fan during a parade for the Rainiers. See Wayback Machine (below). / David Eskenazi Collection
READS OF THE WEEK
Thiel: Defeat Leaves Sounders 0-3 Vs. San Jose: Not much doubt about the identity of the MLS Wests bad-asses the San Jose Earthquakes own the Seattle Sounders. San Jose came to Seattle Saturday night, planted one in the home teams grill 90 seconds into the match, and the Sounders never quite got over it. The 2-1 defeat meant the Sounders lost all three MLS regular-season matches to San Jose. They have lost only four other MLS games. Thats ownership . . . MORE
Thiel: Big ‘MNF’ Stage Comes With Imposters: The NFLs showcase event, Monday Night Football, arrives in Seattle next week. Too bad on the timing. Feels like were the father indulging the college-age daughter who brings the mouth-breathing, doper boyfriend who will stooge up the holiday meal. Cant really kick him out. Cant enjoy him, or the meal. The food is good, but you have to look up from your plate sometime . . . MORE
Wayback Machine: Jo Jo, Sparkplug From ‘Joe-Jah’: For a long time in the era spanning the baseball seasons 1939 through 1949, Joyner (Jo Jo) White almost ranked as a demigod in Seattle. His celebrity rivaled the kind that Jim Zorn and Steve Largent enjoyed in the 1970s, Jack Sikma and Downtown Freddy Brown had in the 1980s, and Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Gary Payton and Ichiro reveled in after that . . . MORE
Thiel: No Secrets Anymore In College Football: In the void after the glorified scrimmage against Portland State Saturday and the bye before facing frightful Stanford Sept. 27, Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian admitted Monday that he is fully engaged in a highly unscientific tactic to help beat the imposing Cardinal . . . MORE
That Was The Week That Was (Sept. 10-16): After months of wrangling, investor Chris Hansen and the Seattle City Council finally agreed that Hansen could take the next step in building an arena in Sodo; the Seahawks began their home schedule with a remarkable, 27-7 romp over the Dallas Cowboys; the Huskies routed Portland State in a game they absolutely had to have; the Sounders missed a chance a securing an MLS playoff berth, and the Mariners began their fade into the off-season . . . MORE
There are other people in the Hall of Fame that are maybe (only) good players, but good is a good thing. Ive been good at it for a long time, and I hope to continue to play a few more years” — Fred Couples, after the Seattle native earned election to the World Golf Hall of Fame
“It’s tremendous. It’s a goal we set for ourselves, that we want to qualify tonight, and we were able to accomplish that” — Sigi Schmid, Sounders coach Wednesday, after his club beat CD Marathon of Honduras to reach the knockout round of the Champions League tournament
“She played amazing. I have no idea how she does that” — Ann Wauters, Storm center, after Lauren Jackson scored 11 points in 11 minutes in Seattle’s 85-75 win over the San Antonio Silver Stars Friday
“We want to go complacent when were ahead, and then we want to panic when something good happens for the other guy” — Mike Leach, WSU football coach, after the Cougars squandered a 31-14 lead and lost to Colorado
“We just took two games from the division winners right there. We should feel pretty good about ourselves. I think it says a lot about our character winning that game” — Josh Kinney, Mariners, after Seattle defeated Texas Saturday