Win streak at one
I don’t normally do game stories because I have a postgame show to do but I wanted to let you know what I saw and heard as the Mariners broke the 17-game losing streak and finally got a win
For the first time in 17 games I had an onfield victory interview to do and while I was waiting in the third base camera well during the ninth inning I took a couple of looks into the Mariners dugout. The first thing I noticed was that Felix Hernandez was still there despite being lifted from the game after the seventh inning. He wasn’t going to watch the final out of the first win in 21 days on a television in the training room.
“That was the first time I did it. I wanted this game so bad,” he said. “I want this game so bad I told myself, ‘It’s you, it’s you man. You have got to do something.'”
He said it wasn’t just him out there today though.
“Ackley is unbelievable, he can hit,” Hernandez said. “Carp is good too, not only those two guys, I mean everybody put in the good effort today.”
When the game ended there were the usual congratulatory handshakes, fist bumps and hugs, but they seemed to have a little extra today. The coaches stayed a little longer in the dugout and hitting coach Chris Chambliss seemed to be the recipient of the most embraces. In his office with the media 10 minutes later, Eric Wedge looked relieved but tired. I asked him at what point of the game did he first start to feel good about it.
“When it was over, literally,” he answered.
He then went on to say that when Carp hit the ball to center field and they started to put some distance on the Yankees he started to have a good feeling. He was very pleased to see what he saw from Hernandez as well. His No. 1 came in and finally was the stopper.
It was the first time we heard music in the clubhouse in 17 games but the scene was anything but raucous. It looked like any other win on getaway day, with guys hurrying to get their things together and tip the clubbies before they caught the bus.
Brendan Ryan appeared to be debating the close play at first base with a teammate and coach. He didn’t have the greatest day offensively but since he was the unofficial spokesperson of the losing streak we thought he should be one of the first to talk about the win.
“I wanted to get four doubles and drive in 11 today,” he said. “That didn’t happen but Ack and Carp got it done and Felix did his thing. It’s nice to turn the page on that streak.”
He then continued on with his praise of Felix.
“You can see when he smells blood. When you get a lead for him his stuff just gets better and better as he gets closer to the end,” Ryan said. “I certainly hope –”
He then stopped himself from saying something that he thought would be out of place for him to say. He regrouped for a second and then said it anyway.
“It’s a nice outing for him and hopefully he will be in a Mariner uniform the rest of the way and all that. It’s nice to get the W though.”
Today’s win was huge in that it ended the streak but also because the youth that Eric Wedge just hours before the game said shouldn’t be relied on to carry this team or break them out of it did exactly that. Dustin Ackley and Mike Carp were responsible for seven of the Mariners’ 17 hits and six of their nine runs. Ackley has looked nothing but comfortable at this level but to see Carp settle in and both contribute in the way that they did today was remarkable and hopefully a preview of what is to come.