A GRIP ON SPORTS
I don't know what to say. It was actually a pretty successful Saturday around these parts yesterday, at least for the local baseball clubs. Read on.
• I'm not sure there will ever be another day this summer when I'll be able to write the Indians and Mariners combined to win three games in a day, but that's what happened Saturday. The minor league club, rained out earlier in the week, hit Avista for a doubleheader against Boise last night and won back-to-back one-run games. And if that wasn't enough of a shocker, the Mariners rallied from a late three-run deficit to win against the Oakland Athletics. Add in the fact Franklin Gutierrez returned to the lineup and remained healthy the entire game, and you have a Saturday of surprisingly positive occurrences. I really did not see that coming.
• Indians: If you didn't know, Spokane entered Saturday's doubleheader winless at home. But that changed after the first game, a 3-2 win. And guess what? The Indians liked it so much, they did it again, the second time 4-3. Chris Derrick has a story and a blog post from the long, happy night for the home team. … John Blanchette took a walk down the memory base path with Boise manager Gary Van Tol (pictured), the former Gonzaga coach. And not just with him. John's column includes a mention of former Indian – the Triple-A variety – Bill Buckner. … Speaking of former Indians – Triple-A variety – the old Dodger infield of the 1970s (and former Indians) got together the other day.
• Preps: Summertime is the time for all-star games. There were football and basketball ones this weekend.
• Shock: No, Spokane didn't play again. But San Jose did. And the SaberCats, nipping at Spokane's heels in the West Division standings, posted a huge upset over Arizona. … Salt Lake City is this close to getting its financial house in order.
• Mariners: Trailing 5-2 going into the bottom of the seventh, the M's looked to falling even deeper into their midseason funk. But the old guy came to the rescue. And the young kid too. Raul Ibanez belted a three-run home run to tie the game and Nick Franklin added a two-run single in the eighth to put Seattle ahead for good in a 7-5 victory over the Athletics. … It was win that was needed considering the M's rebuilding plan is in shambles, according to Larry Stone. Stone also has a notebook, power rankings and awards on this Sunday. … Gutierrez was back in the lineup Saturday night after being activated from the disabled list. To make room, the M's put Michael Morse on the 15-day DL and designated for assignment Eric Thames. Remember Thames? He's another guy the M's got in a trade, this one coming last July 31. The guy they traded for him, reliever Steve Delabar, is 4-1 with a 1.75 ERA for Toronto. … Taijuan Walker is in Tacoma, though his trip there was no fun.
• Sounders: The Sounders had been hot. But Real Salt Lake has been even hotter and showed it last night, winning 2-0 in Salt Lake City. Even Seattle coach Sigi Schmid just had to tip his hat and say RSL was the better team last night.
• That's it for this Sunday. I overdid it a bit last night, having a real wild night reliving my college days in a movie theater. Yep, Kim and I went and saw “Monsters University.” I recognized three or four guys who seemed to be based on friends from my UC Irvine days. Until later …