Sewers back up into teams’ clubhouses
An odd, frantic postgame scene greeted anybody wandering the lower corridors or inner stairwells at this ballpark.
Seattle Times staff reporter
OAKLAND, Calif. – An odd, frantic postgame scene greeted anybody wandering the lower corridors or inner stairwells at this ballpark.
Mariners players scampered back and forth in their flip-flops, some wrapped only in towels, so they could hurry up one floor for a postgame shower ahead of their flight to Anaheim. A flood of raw sewage that impacted both clubhouses and the umpires’ dressing room at the Coliseum made showering and any postgame treatment in the training room impossible.
Instead, the Mariners were forced to hustle upstairs to the Oakland Raiders football locker room to shower. Once there, they had to cross paths with the hometown A’s, who were doing the exact same thing, before hustling back down to get their bags.
Some players, like Felix Hernandez and other pitchers who weren’t used in Sunday’s game, opted to skip the showers and wait until after the hourlong flight to Anaheim. Mariners manager Eric Wedge was one of those who avoided showering as well.
“Good thing my wife’s flying in to meet me for the series,’’ Wedge quipped. “I’ll be all nice and pretty for her.’’
• The four earned runs allowed by Hisashi Iwakuma on Sunday snapped a team record roll the Mariners’ starting pitchers had been on. Prior to Iwakuma taking the loss, the Mariners had received seven consecutive starts of at least seven innings in length with one run or fewer allowed.
Iwakuma looked like he might sustain the streak early on, surviving a two-on, one-out situation with a double play in the first, then a one-out triple by Josh Reddick in the second. Iwakuma then escaped a third-inning jam with runners at the corners and one out, extending his personal scoreless innings streak to 312 / 3.
But he could not keep the tightrope act going in the fourth, as back-to-back doubles and a single tied the score.
“The pitches that were hit were up in the zone,’’ Iwakuma said through interpreter Antony Suzuki. “And that’s when I needed to make the adjustment.’’
But the adjustment never came. Despite his early escape jobs, Iwakuma said he never could land the first-pitch strikes needed to get ahead in counts and make his breaking balls more dangerous.
• Former Mariners catcher John Jaso drew three walks off Iwakuma his first three times up. Iwakuma had walked just 14 batters all season and entered the game with a league-best 6.21 strikeouts-to-walks-ratio.
• The Mariners are the first team in major-league history to have two players in their 40s hit grand slams the same season. Henry Blanco did it on Saturday at age 41 while Raul Ibanez also turned the trick, against the Yankees in New York last month right before his 41st birthday.