Sometimes I hate being right. With the best pitcher in the American League (non-CC Sabathia division) going against a struggling Phil Hughes still trying to find his way, not to mention the fact that Seattle — bad as they are — was beyond overdue for a win, this game had all the makings of a Yankee loss, and of course that’s exactly what happened, as Felix Hernandez pitched the Mariners to a 9-2 victory, snapping the team’s franchise-record 17-game losing streak.
Hernandez went seven strong innings, striking out five though also walking a surprising four, but the Yankees of course couldn’t capitalize as Felix ultimately only gave up one run.
It’s really rather incredible. Though it’s obviously not news, throwing Felix Hernandez against the New York Yankees has become the surest thing in all of baseball. Dating back to the beginning of 2010, Felix has thrown 40 innings of six-run ball (1.35 ERA) against the Yankees, including 24 innings of one-run ball (0.38 ERA!) at Yankee Stadium. In fact, the run the Yankees scored against Felix today was the first run they plated against Hernandez at Yankee Stadium since May 2008! Now to be fair, Felix didn’t face the Yankees in the Bronx in 2009, but still. Total domination.
Phil Hughes was better than he was against the A’s last time out, and wound up turning in a quality start, going six innings and only giving up two runs, though he did yield nine hits to the pathetic Mariners’ offense. Not being able to watch this game I can’t say what kind of “stuff” Hughes had, but based on IM conversations and Twitter, it wasn’t great. However, he did get four swings-and-misses on his four-seamer (out of 60 total thrown), which averaged 91mph, and five on his curveball (out of 31 thrown), which averaged 74mph. Hughes probably pitched well enough to stay in the rotation for now, although I would imagine the Yankees will do whatever they can to rejigger their rotation so that Hughes doesn’t have to face the scalding-hot Red Sox offense next weekend.
The Yankee bullpen — so good this season — turned a 2-1 deficit into 7-1 in the seventh inning, due in part to some fielding shenanigans in the infield, a couple of balls hit over Curtis Granderson’s head, and just all-around lousy pitching by Cory Wade, Boone Logan and Luis Ayala. The bullpen actually gave up eight hits of their own, and it just seems funny to look at Seattle’s hit column and see “17.” Ah well.
While it would’ve been nice to sweep the hapless M’s, it’s tough to get too worked up over a loss in a game started by the man who owns the Yankees. All in all, the Yanks did what they had to do over these last six games in winning both series, and they’ll need to continue taking advantage of this cushy part of the schedule against the crappy Orioles this weekend.
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