This loss to the White Sox might be different

Aug 24, 2012, 11:14 PM | Updated: Aug 25, 2012, 7:23 am

By Shannon Drayer

Surely it couldn’t happen again, could it? US Cellular Field has been a house of horrors for the Mariners the past three years but after coming back to score six in the ninth Friday night and take the lead it looked like finally it was the Mariners who had the magic on the South Side of Chicago.

I didn’t see the ninth inning coming. Down 7-3 that kind of comeback was too much to ask for. But then Montero hit the home run, and the ball got rolling. I had to make a mad dash for the field for the victory interview which is a challenge in Chicago because the press box is easily the furthest from the field in baseball. Didn’t help that the elevator wouldn’t come either so I was tearing down ten flights of stairs to get to the tunnel.

When I got into the camera well there was already a runner on and it was clear Wilhelmsen was not hitting his spots. It wasn’t going to happen again, was it?

I have horrible memories from that camera well. Three times in 2010 I was down there waiting to get on the field for the walk off interview and three times I had to turn around and go back to the tunnel to wait for the manager in the clubhouse instead.

April 23, 2010, Andruw Jones hit a walk off home run of Mark Lowe. The next night Alex Rios did the same thing to David Aardsma. The next afternoon Paul Konerko hit a home run off Brandon League for the go ahead run in the 8th of what was a 3-2 win for the Sox.

June 1 this year with the score tied 4-4 in the eighth Shawn Kelley gave up 3 runs and the Mariners lost 7-4. All very tough losses and the 22-4 record against the White Sox over the last three years isn’t pretty either.

The good news is it appears these losses have scarred me more than the team.

“We won the last 3 innings, we have just got to go out there and just keep at it and win the first 9 tomorrow,” Trayvon Robinson said at his locker after the game. “There ain’t nothing bad about it, got to just keep going.”

While “moral victory” is a term you would never want to use around Eric Wedge he is the first one who can always look beyond the win or the loss to what is important for the future and he saw a lot tonight.

“It was a great comeback by our guys,” said Wedge. “That’s what I’m thinking about right now.The fight of our position players and what they did to come back was just unbelievable effort.”

An unbelievable effort with two guys in Eric Thames and Michael Saunders ready to run through a wall or each other to try and make a game saving play in the ninth. With the crowd roaring they could not hear the other yelling so neither pulled up. Both were running all out and both were shaken up after hitting the wall and each other after the play.

Trayvon Robinson ran over to check on them after the collision and the three walked slowly back, Thames looking a little worse for wear than Saunders. Wedge and the trainers met them about 30 feet in front of the dugout and Wedge put his arm around Saunders and gave him a pat on the shoulder with some words as well as he left the field.

“You have to appreciate the way they went after the baseball. That says so much to me and says a lot about our kids,” he said.

It was a loss but as I said on the post game show tonight it was the most encouraging loss I have seen against the White Sox in a long time. They may have come up a run short but they continued to move forward with their progress. They played together beautifully in the six run eighth inning. Their confidence is growing as is the trust in their teammates. They are playing together more and more like a team every day. It’s part of the development process, something tough to measure but easy to see.

A “W” would have been nice but what we saw tonight was perhaps even more important than a single win.

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This loss to the White Sox might be different