Punch In The Gut

With the Yankees up 2-1, Mariano entered in the ninth and fanned the first two batters.  He then allowed a long double to Mike Sweeney off the wall and, with the great Ichiro coming to bat and Gutierrez in the on-deck circle, the Yankees pitched to Ichiro and he smacked the first pitch out to right, 3-2 Mariners.  It was Mariano’s first blown save since April 24 in Fenway.  The HDLR was stunned, to say the least.  Before getting to the game recap, thanks to Mike, Jay, Cliff, Nick, and Mike for stopping by the Digital Living Room.  Despite the stunning loss, it was good fun talking baseball, beer, and more.

Although Mariano blew the save, there is some culpability to go around for last night’s loss and the deprivation of Burnett of his 12th win, for he was excellent.  It started in the first with a missed opportunity to score runs, emphasis on the plural, off the terrific Felix Hernandez.  Jeter singled and JD hit a ground-rule double that prevented Jeter from scoring, but the Yanks started the game with second and third and no one out.  They had to score both of those runners, but only managed to plate Jeter.  Teixeira grounded out to first, holding Jeter on the first out.  A-Rod’s sac fly scored Jeter, 1-0 Yanks, but Matsui grounded out to end the threat.

A.J. was excellent all night, holding down the Mariners with sharp breaking pitches and a crackling, well-placed fastball.  He allowed a run in the third but was otherwise very good on a night when he had to be–for himself and the team down the stretch.  He allowed but 7 hits, a run earned, 3 walks, and fanned 6 on 104 pitches/66 strikes.

The offense was stagnant, and was held down by some inefficiency and good defense.  Gutierrez robbed Swish of extra bases and probably an RBI in the fourth.  But in the sixth, the Yanks took the lead on JD’s lead-off double, his moving to third on a passed ball, and Teixeira’s sac fly, 2-1 Yanks.  Burnett held the lead by pitching around Hall’s one-out double.  He also helped himself by twice picking off Ichiro, once when Ichiro stumbled, and once on a bad call.  The Yanks blew a chance for more in the seventh when Swish led off with a double, Melky walked with one out, and Molina grounded into the DP that everyone in the HDLR urged him not to–very costly not to have had Jorge, who could have done the same or produced an RBI hit.

Hughes was great in the eighth, fanning one and throwing good gas.  But after fanning two, Mariano made two bad pitches.  Personally, there is no way I would have pitched to Ichiro.  I would have walked him and gone after the righty Gutierrez.  Girardi made a bad call there.  Ichiro is a future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, has over 200 hits in each of his nine major-league seasons, and had three more last night before the walk-off homer.  No way should Girardi have let their best player beat the Yanks.  The result was losing a game in the loss column to both the Angels and Boston, the latter of whom is playing Baltimore while the Yanks are out West, where weird things sometimes happen.  Last night was one of those nights.

Thankfully The Big Guy (17-7, 3.42 ERA) goes tonight against righty Doug Fister (2-2, 3.53 ERA), who beat the Yankees August 16.  Get back on the winning track and reduce that magic number, guys.

Published in: on September 19, 2009 at 8:11 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Unfortunately Mariano was bound to blow a save and I would rather it happen now than in October. The best way to answer the Mariners is to win the next two games and take the series.

  2. girardi gave away the game twice. he could have had any number of guys hit for molina but he chose to stick with the worst and slowest hitter on the team and the inevitable GIDP happens. then with a runner in scoring position he lets ichiro hit. absolutely no excuse for either of those decisions.

  3. Sorry about leaving without saying anything Jason last night I just feel asleep on my PC desk.

    I hate to say this but I kind of agree with Pete Abe on this. Not on the not PH hitting for Molina thats on Girardi. Ichiro is a future HOF but so is Mo as Abe says one-run lead in the ninth inning to the greatest closer in history should be enough.

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