A GRIP ON SPORTS
The Seattle Mariners have suffered some devastating defeats over the years. The one in August, 2001, in Cleveland, which ultimately cost the M's a chance to win more regular season games than any team in baseball history, comes to mind. But last night's may just have been the worst considering the circumstances. Read on.
• Remember that Cleveland loss? I sure do. The M's, en route to a record-tying 116 regular-season wins, led the Indians 12-0 after three innings and 14-2 after hitting in the fifth. And lost 15-14. But that was a team that was going to win 116 games. This team? It's not – understatement of the year alert – going to win 116 games. But it does have one of the more dominating pitchers of the last few years and he was on the mound last night in Anaheim. Felix Hernandez was given a 7-0 lead after the M's had hit three times. It was 8-1 going into the bottom of the fourth. And Felix, the M's horse of horses, couldn't hold it. He gave up seven consecutive hits in the fifth inning. Heck, Felix had never yielded seven hits in an inning in his career, let only seven back-to-back-back-to ... ah, heck, you get the picture. If Felix can't hold a seven-run lead, who can? And what hope does this team have? As for the first question, Felix had a bad day. More than likely, that's it. He had a bad day. He took responsibility for the defeat, shouldered the blame, moved on. Let's hope that was all it was, a bad day and not some sort of injury. That would be awful, and make the second question's answer, none whatsoever. What the heck, it probably already is. Sadly, it is June 21 and there is no hope this will be a successful season. Heck, there is no hope this will be a fun season, not when the M's best pitcher, The King, can't hold a seven-run lead. Look at all the fun things that happened in the first three innings. Nick Franklin drove in a run and started another rally. Kyle Seager hit a two-run home run and a double (and had another RBI double again in the eighth). Michael Saunders got a hit. Talk about the young guys coming through. But all for naught. All for just another defeat.
• WSU: If you are wondering, the Cougars have about 70 percent of their receiving yards returning this year. ... Oregon State will face Mississippi State today, hoping to win twice in the next two days and advance to the championship series. All UCLA has to do against North Carolina is win once and they are in the title series.
• Indians: Looking at the Boise roster – the Hawks are in town for a five game series, weather permitting – and Chris Derrick saw a familiar name. Gretzky. Trevor (pictured) is a Hawk outfielder/first baseman. Chris has the story. By the way, last night's game was rained out and will be part of a Saturday doubleheader. The weather should be better by then.
• Shock: Win tonight and the Shock can go into their bye week knowing they have pretty well locked up a playoff spot. And, as Jim Meehan's advance shows, it will help them keep San Jose at bay for the division's second spot.
• Mariners: OK, we went over the particulars of last night's 10-9 loss, though we didn't really explain how the final score came to be. Seager (pictured) doubled in a run in the top of the eighth for a 9-8 M's lead, then Carter Capps couldn't get an out in the bottom of the frame and the Angels scored twice. Immaterial. The blown lead is what everyone wanted to talk about. ... The offense came through yesterday but hasn't been doing that much recently. ... Jason Bay's hamstring is getting better, though he's still not ready to go and wasn't in the lineup on Thursday. Either was Mike Morse. ... Next up for the M's: The A's and Bartolo Colon tonight at Safeco.
• The Heat have won two consecutive NBA titles, which makes them a dynasty these days. And had some folks on the radio saying LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan. OK, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Speaking of that, I will be on the radio today from 3 to 6 p.m., joining Dennis Patchin and Rick Lukens on Rick's birthday. Wait until Rick hears I don't like root beer floats. I'm sure he'll go bonkers. Until later ...