What could be better than getting to watch the Washington Huskies beat the USC Trojans live ay Husky Stadium? Well, getting to leave at halftime because you’re starting at second base tonight against C.C. Sabathia and the New York Yankees.
I spoke to Mariners Class AAA call-up Matt Tuiasosopo after today’s thrilling 16-13 win by Washington. Remember, his brother is a quarterbacks coach for U-Dub while Matt was recruited to be a Washington QB. Tuiasosopo told me he attended the first half of the game and then had to leave to come here to Safeco Field.
“I could tell by the way we were playing and hanging around that if we could keep hanging around we might pull it off,” he said. “Being there was great. It was just a great atmosphere.”
Too bad he couldn’t stay. Normally, that would be a big deal — missing such a huge finale.
“Nah, I’d much rather be here, believe me,” he said. “Starting against Sabathia and the Yankees, that’s a pretty big deal.”
Mariners reliever Sean White played for the Huskies baseball team, but left the school in 2003 and doesn’t know any of the current football players or coaches.
“I thought they had a chance at an upset, given the injuries and the game being played here,” he said. “They let them just keep hanging around, hanging around.”
Most of the Mariners, who support other college programs, were thrilled to see USC get beaten. Chris Jakubauskas is a big Oklahoma Sooners fan and said the more top teams that get knocked off, the better his club has a shot at making it back from their opening week upset loss to BYU.
Poor Mike Carp didn’t have it so good, though. He grew up in SoCal and is a USC fan.
By the way, anyone besides me think that 2nd-and-6 play (the “roughing the passer” moment) had a kind of Montana-to-Clark tinge to it? I realize it wasn’t a TD or anything, but it pretty much decided the game and may be the biggest pass Jake Locker ever throws. Anyhow, first thing I thought of was “The Catch” when I saw that one completed. For this U-Dub program, that might be as big as Montana-to-Clark became for the 49ers franchise. I know Washington has won before, but not in a long time. This one was a program-changer.
And, oh yeah. Was anyone besides me thinking, before that winning drive, that Locker might be better off choosing baseball for a living? I’ll tell you what, he showed me a lot on that final drive. Both on the 2nd-and-6 and the 3rd-and-15 prior. A defining drive for him, no doubt.
Oh yeah, baseball. So, I, like many of you, saw left fielder Bill Hall dogging it on that blooped double that fell in front of him in the seventh inning of last night’s game. Did some digging around and it turns out the Mariners know that Hall is not 100 percent because of that sore quadriceps muscle in his leg.
In fact, manager Don Wakamatsu said, when I asked him about it at today’s scrum, that he had to think long and hard about letting Hall play today.
“I think it’s all his quadriceps,” Wakamatsu said. “I think…he wants to come over here and prove he can play every day. He’d told us it was a bruise. I think it was a little bit more of that and today we had a tough decision whether to play him out there or not. We’re making sure he’s able to do that. He says he is. We’ll watch him. I think he’s probably about 90 percent. He’s not 100 percent out there.”
As for Hall slowing down on the double?
“We saw the same thing,” Wakamatsu said.
The M’s are apparently limited in their options for replacing Hall at the moment. I’m told that Ryan Langerhans fell ill just before gametime last night and is a no-go. Seattle apparently contemplated sending Tuiasosopo out there in left field tonight, but thought better of it, Also, the team does not want to send Michael Saunders out there against Sabathia, given how he’s struggled of late, hasn’t started in a while and is working on things behind the scenes.
No use throwing him to the wolves with Sabathia.
So, you’ve got Hall out there for now.
Jack Wilson had an MRI done on his injured ankle and that no structural damage was found. But there is some deep bruising in there and he won’t be accompanying the team on its road trip to Tampa Bay and Toronto next week. At best, Wilson will play during the final homestand, but nobody really knows for sure.