Mariners Break 17-Game Losing Streak Vs. Yanks behind Felix

I know King Felix was on the mound, and I strongly suspected going into this series that the Mariners would not lose 18 in a row after it. But still, I have to confess to being a bit miffed at how today’s woeful 9-2 loss unfolded. Had it stayed, say, 2-1, it would have been easier to take. But the Mariners have the worst offense in the majors, made all the more atrocious since they have a DH. Yet they banged out 17 hits and plated 9 runs 5 earned versus the Yanks, undoubtedly feeling more confident as the game wore on and the lead widened.

Hughes was overall fairly good. Although surrendering 9 hits in 6 innings to the worst offense in the majors, he walked only 1. His problem was also efficiency, not too surprisingly, needing 101 pitches to work that stint. But he kept the Yanks in the game against a front-line starter, and the game was a mere swing away from tied after five. On the whole, that’s not too shabby, and not to be overlooked as the Yanks look for an effective, reliable rotation down the stretch.

The bullpen had a rare but costly letdown, allowing 8 hits and 7 runs/3 earned. Ayala gave up 2 hits in 1 1/3, and was the best of the four relievers the Yanks used. Logan wasn’t sharp, allowing a big triple that blew the game open. Wade before him was hurt by Cano’s throwing error. Noesi looked bad and rusty in allowing the last two runs to score, but by the 9th when he pitched, the outcome was largely academic.

The Yanks have an off day tomorrow before Baltimore comes to town Friday.

Published in: on July 27, 2011 at 6:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Yanks Pull Out Big 5-4 Win

In one of my very favorites wins of the year, one that appeared unlikely early on, the Yankees gutted out a big, come-from-behind 5-4 win in Tampa Bay last night. Grandy continued his terrific play by going 2-3 with 2 runs, 2 stolen bases, and 2 walks. Gardner continues to shine, going 1-3 with a run, a stolen base, 2 walks, and a huge break-up of what would have been an inning-ending double play that allowed the tying run in Swish to score in the 8th inning. Andruw Jones had a big walk to load the bases, and Russ pushed across the winning run with a bases-loaded walk, in the 9th. Swish was 1-3 with 2 walks. Cano had an RBI single in the 2nd.

To be fair, even though he was all over the place and, when he was close to the plate, getting squeezed by home plate umpire Ed Hickox, AJ hung in there after a dreadful first inning. He kept the game close while the stellar Yankees bullpen allowed but a hit and a walk–both from Noesi who looked good–in the remaining 3 2/3. Robertson is so dominant, fanning two in the 8th last night to lower his ERA to 1.21, and raise his K total to an amazing 59 in just 37 2/3 IP. That’s officially ridiculous. Mariano, His Eminence, got his 24th save of the year and his 583rd of his incomparable career on a mere 8 pitches, making Upton look silly on a K.

This win was huge, allowing the Yanks to keep pace with a surging Boston, padding the lead in the loss column to 7 over TB, and stealing one when it looked so unlikely early on. This was one I was extremely glad to stick with.

Edit: One would be hard pressed to find a bigger difference maker in the Yankee lineup right now than Gardner, who really ought to be batting lead off. He is highly disruptive on the bases as last night’s great, clean wipe out slide also showed. While he ought to bat first, that he is batting above ninth more often at least solidifies a bottom third that has scuffled. Still, Girardi needs to do the right thing and move Gardner up.

I was reminded of Geoff from The BPS last night when Teixeira smack yet another one into the teeth of the shift–the shift works, and has done much to tamp down on Teixeira’s average. Heck, Tampa even employed it when Teixeira batted right-handed. I like that Teixeira has steered the ball to the other side a couple times lately, for it shows that he’s adjusting, but he needs to drive the ball the other way with consistency to reduce the shift on him, and I don’t see it happening any time soon. I love the guy, and his defense (including a terrific catch by the stands to end the game) is first rate. But his declining average (.239) is worrisome, all the more so as A-Rod recovers from surgery.

I’d like to see Noesi pitch quite a bit more. He is nasty when he keeps the ball down, and I am a big fan of the mid-90s heat.

Hard to imagine where the Yankees offense would be without Grandy. He is every bit the player I had hoped for when they traded for him, and this season stands right with his monster 2007 season as his best.

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