The Seahawks officially went 1-1 last week but should have gone 0-2; Steve Sarkisian’s Huskies recorded a remarkable upset of No. 8 Stanford; the Sounders played to a lame draw at Vancouver, but qualified for the MLS playoffs anyway, and the Storm won a double-overtime thriller at KeyArena. And not that it’s time for the Mariners’ season to mercifully come to an end, but last week they lost twice on walk-off hits, fanned 20 times in another contest, got swept by the A’s, and had 1-5 road trip. This Was The Week That Was:
SEPT. 24-30, 2012
- GOOD WEEK — Nobody, probably least of all No. 8 Stanford and national bookmakers, expected the Washington Huskies to defeat the Cardinal, especially after the manner in which nationally ranked LSU destroyed Washington two weeks earlier. But the Huskies, especially defensively, brought just enough to score one of the bigger upsets of the Steve Sarkisian era, a 17-13 win in the first of five consecutive contests against ranked opponents.
- BAD WEEK — Mariners reliever Steven Pryor surrendered two walk-off hits, a ninth-inning single to Torii Hunter of the Angels Monday in Anaheim and a three-run homer to Brandon Moss of the Athletics in the 10th inning Saturday that gave Seattle a 7-4 loss. In the A’s game, Pryor inherited a base runner from Oliver Perez, walked the first man he faced on four pitches, then watched his first pitch to Moss sail over the fence. Worst walk-off loss of the year occurred Aug. 10 at Anaheim when Josh Kinney threw a walk-off wild pitch with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, allowing the winning run to score.
- PLAY OF THE WEEK — More like Play of the Year. With the clock running out, Russell Wilson teamed up with Golden Tate on a 24-yard pass that shouldn’t have been a touchdown — Tate was guilty of interference — but was, giving the Seahawks a 14-12 win over the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks celebrated the improbable play, the Packers fumed and the Twitterverse exploded in outrage. “These games are a joke,” tweeted Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman.
- STAT OF THE WEEK –An estimated $300 million in bets worldwide shifted on the final call when the Packers — ahead by five and 3 1/2-point favorites, were suddenly two-point losers. “Never have I seen such an egregious call that represented such a huge swing in money,” said Kevin Bradley, sports book manager for Bovada.lv.
- EX-SEATTLE JOCKS OF THE WEEK — Ex-Mariner Adam Jones (2006-07) went 4-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs in Baltimore’s 4-1 win over Toronto Monday . . . Ex-Mariner Adrian Beltre (2005-09) had a walk-off single to give Texas a 5-4 win over Oakland Monday . . .Ex-Mariner R.A. Dickey (2008) of the Mets won his 20th game Thursday, a 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, becoming the first knuckleballer in three decades to accomplish the feat . . . Ex-Mariner Doug Fister (2009-11) fanned an AL-record nine consecutive batters Thursday in a 5-4 win over the Royals (Seattle traded him for Charlie Furbush and Casper Wells) . . . With three more Saturday, ex-Mariner Ichiro (2001-12) of the Yankees surpassed 2,600 hits for his career (2,602, No. 78 all-time).
- SUNDAY, Sept. 30 — Marshawn Lynch rushes for 118 yards and a touchdown, but Russell Wilson is intercepted three times, Breno Giacomini commits two inane personal fouls, the Seahawks give up a TD on a fake field goal and lose to the St. Louis Rams 19-13. Seattle’s best chance to win comes with 5:32 remaining and the Seahawks facing second and one from their 29. Giacomini, who needs counseling, is guilty of a personal foul (his second, for a minus-15 yards), botching a potential game-winning drive . . . Sue Bird scores 22 points and hits a pair of threes in the second overtime, lifting the Storm to an 86-79 victory over the Minnesota Lynx in a WNBA playoff thriller at KeyArena that extends Seattle’s season to at least one more game . . . With the Mariners and Athletics tied 2-2 in the eighth, Shawn Kelley cedes a solo homer to Yoenis Cespedes and a two-run jolt to Josh Reddick, giving the Mariners a 5-2 loss to Oakland and a miserable 1-5 road trip.
- SATURDAY, Sept. 29 — Washington State plays Oregon close — 23-19 — for a half, but then the No. 2-ranked Ducks score 21 points in the third quarter en route to a 51-26 rout at CenturyLink Field in front of 60,929. WSU quarterback Connor Halliday throws for 348 yards and Marquess Wilson catches 12 passes for 182 yards to become WSU’s all-time leader in receiving yards, but Halliday is sacked seven times and the Cougars finish with a minus-8 yards rushing . . . The Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps play to a tepid, 0-0 draw at B.C. Place, but the one point enables Seattle to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season . . . Brandon Moss rips a walk-off three-run homer off Steven Pryor in the 10th inning as the Athletics rally from a 4-1 deficit and beat the Mariners 7-4, who fall 19.5 games out of first place.
- FRIDAY, Sept. 28 — The Minnesota Lynx put the Storm on the brink of elimination from the WNBA playoffs with a 78-70 victory in Minneapolis. The Storm whittle a 10-point Minnesota lead to six with 3:49 to play, but Lauren Jackson misses a 3-pointer and an 11-footer that would have brought Seattle to within one . . . Blake Beavan can’t keep the ball down, coughs up home runs to Coco Crisp and Stephen Drew, and the Mariners lose to the Athletics 8-2. Getting home runs from Michael Saunders and Trayvon Washington, the Mariners extend to 17 the number of consecutive games in which they have hit home runs.
- THURSDAY, Sept. 27 — Keith Price throws a 35-yard TD pass to Kasen Williams with 4:43 to play and Desmond Trufant foils a Stanford drive with a late interception as Washington shocks No. 8 Stanford at CenturyLink Field. Although the Price-Williams hookup becomes the winning TD, it’s a 61-yard Bishop Sankey TD run late in the third quarter that brings the Huskies back from a 13-3 deficit. Washington, which allowed Stanford 1,289 rushing yards the past four years, holds the Cardinal to just 65 . . . The Mariners score four runs in the seventh inning and, aided by a spectacular Franklin Gutierrez catch, deliver a serious blow to the Angels’ playoff hopes with a 9-4 victory . . . Boat builder, oarsman and lifelong rowing coach Stan Pocock becomes the 2012 recipient of US Rowing’s Medal of Honor. Pocock, son of legendary boat builder George Pocock, coached at UW from 1947-55 and also coached multiple crews in the Olympics.
- WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 — Torii Hunter’s walk-off single off Steven Pryor gives the L.A. Angels a 4-3 win over the Mariners in a game that likely ends Felix Hernandez’s Cy Young candidacy. Hernandez allowed two runs on five hits over 6.0 innings, but remained winless in September (0-3, 5.75) . . . The No. 5-ranked UW volleyball team rallies from a 2-1 deficit and upsets defending national champion UCLA at Alaska Airlines Arena.
- TUESDAY, Sept. 25 — Justin Smoak becomes the fourth player in franchise history to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in the same game, but the Mariners whiff a major league record-tying 20 times in a 5-4 loss to the Angels. The only other time the Mariners fanned 20 times was against Roger Clemens April 29, 1986. L.A.’s Zach Greinke fanned 13 in the first five innings, becoming the first pitcher to accomplish that feat since Randy Johnson in 2001 for Arizona. Smoak joins Larry Milbourne (July 15, 1978), Donnie Scott (April 29, 1985) and David Segui (April 1, 1998) as the only Mariners to homer from both sides of the plate.
- MONDAY, Sept. 24 — The Seahawks score a dramatic — and wildly disputed — 14-12 win over the Green Bay Packers when Russell Wilson throws a 24-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate as the clock expires. The NFL later rules that Tate committed offensive pass interference, which should have been called, but wasn’t. It also rules that Tate had possession, even though it appeared he didn’t. The ruling delights Seattle fans and shocks Green Bay . . . By a vote of 6-2, the Seattle City Council approves an amended agreement with investor Chris Hansen to advance his plan to build a new sports arena with up to $200 million in public bonds. King County now must vote on the re-done proposal . . . Without any explanation other than he broke a team rule, WSU boots Reggie Moore off its basketball team. Moore was WSU’s third-leading scorer last season.
The Seahawks, who never had more than five sacks in a game last season, had eight vs. Green Bay in the first half, four by Chris Clemons in one quarter.
Clemons’ four sacks tied (in one quarter) the single-game franchise record. Previously, Jacob Green, Michael Sinclair and Michael McCrary had four.
ESPN’s SportsCenter immediately following the Seahawks-Packers game was the most-viewed in the show’s 33-year history, drawing 5,092,000 households.
5: Events at CenturyLink last week: one NFL, two Pac-12 and one MLS game, plus a music concert, making it the busiest week in stadium history.
Washington’s 17-13 win over No. 8 Stanford marked the Huskies’ first victory over a ranked club since UW beat No. 24 Oregon State in 2 OTs in 2010.
READS OF THE WEEK
Thiel: Seahawks Offense Remains Liability, Not Asset: The law of averages caught up to the Seahawks, although it was always right there in the huddle throughout the season. Behind on the road, the Seahawks offense, with a rookie quarterback, a game plan more conservative than Rush Limbaugh and no game-breakers among the receivers, doesnt play catch-up very well . . . MORE
Thiel: For A Half, Ducks Let Cougars Have Fun, Then . . . When the Cougars skipped, floated and hopped joyously across the Clink rug into their halftime locker room Saturday night, I think I understood better Washington State coach Mike Leachs laments that his team doesnt quite get this winning thing . . . MORE
Seattle Games Has Run Its Course For Cougars: Connor Halliday surprised the small collective tuned in to Monday’s press conference when a reporter asked him about Washington State’s annual trip over the Cascade Mountains to play a conference game at CenturyLink Field . . . MORE
Thiel: Storm Has Formless Year To Shape Quickly: After a wildly discordant WNBA season, Brian Agler has herded his cats into one spot for one good win, from which he hopes to claw to a second . . . MORE
Thiel: A Stunner — Huskies Outsmart Stanford: The Huskies billed the evening as a blackout, with dark uniforms and dark fan garb. Wrong theme. It was a knockout evening. But no one would have believed Washington was the puncher. Not against Stanford, the eighth-ranked team that beat USC around the same time Washington was obliterated 41-3 at Louisiana State. Not the Cardinal team that a year ago rolled UW 65-21 by rushing for a soul-crushing 446 yards . . . MORE
Thiel: Subplot: Refs Stood For The Under-Valued: Once I saw the mock photo of Jon Stewart during the first segment of The Daily Show Wednesday wearing a Marshawn Lynch jersey and no pants butt pixelated from the TV audience I knew the Seahawks Fail Mary play Monday night had gone immortal . . . MORE
Wayback Machine: July 4, 1939 Fireworks Show: Last week, in what one ESPN blogger described as a throwback game for the ages, Ichiro went 7-for-8 in leading New York to a day-night doubleheader sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. The former Mariner icon, flourishing in the Big Apple, made a game-saving catch in the opener, had the game-winning hit in the nightcap and became only the fourth player in the live-ball era to record a pair of four-hit, four-steal games in his career . . . MORE
Thiel: Seahawks On Right End Of Wrong Deed: As the parabola of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilsons final pass became apparent in play, in the end zone there was no doubt that the Seahawks, the Packers, a stadium of fans, and the world that cares about Monday Night Football were about to witness the worst collision between clown cars in the history of the circus . . . MORE
That Was The Week That Was (Sept. 17-23): 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 . . . MORE
“I think if you asked Golden Tate to take a lie-detector test and ask him did he catch the ball or did M.D (Jennings) catch that ball . . . M.D. caught that. It was clear as day. At least that’s what my eyes saw” — Greg Jennings, Green Bay wide receiver, on the final play of the Seattle-Green Bay game
“For our fans and everybody, I know you can’t ask for more than winning on the last play of the game on Monday Night Football when all else looks like it’s dead and gone. So I’m excited for everybody to enjoy it. I still don’t really feel that it happened” — Pete Carroll, Seahawks coach, after the final play on Monday Night Football
(Expletive) NFL. Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs” — T.J. Lang, Packers player, on his Twitter account
“I just feel bad for the fans. They pay good money and the game is being tarnished by an NFL who (sic) obviously cares more about saving a little money than having the integrity of the game diminish a little bit” — Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay quarterback
“I wanted to beat them more than anyone else. Just the fact they have been beating us. The last couple of years its been beatdowns, especially on the defensive side of the ball. And I feel like they didn’t really respect us” — Justin Glenn, UW safety, after Washington’s 17-13 upset of Stanford Thursday
“I thought that we competed in this game better from start to finish than we’ve competed in any other game this year. We need to learn from this game and grow from it, but there are a lot of positives in this game. The results aren’t what I would like, but I thought the personal effort as far as individual players I thought was the best work we’ve done during the season” — Mike Leach, WSU football coach, following his team’s loss to No. 2 Oregon Saturday night