I’m not going to delve terribly deeply into this one since I’d been expecting a Yankee loss in this game since last Sunday, but I do want to note two significant happenings from last night’s 5-4 Yankee loss in extras to the Mariners:
1) They scored against Felix Hernandez! Not only that, but they scored more than one earned run against the King for the first time since May 3, 2008! The damage came via a two-run homer off the bat of Mark Teixeira (who also walked three times against Felix, making him the only Yankee hitter who appears to be truly comfortable against the King), a solo shot by Robinson Cano and a triple from (who else?) Curtis Granderson.
2) Near the beginning of the broadcast, David Cone and Ken Singleton were talking about last year’s Cy Young voting, and how Felix won the voting despite not having the traditional gaudy win total dinosaur baseball writers still salivate over. Cone, being the advanced statistics aficionado that he is, began talking about how Felix was obviously the deserving winner based on the fact that all of his numbers aside from his win total — which, as we know, is more or less completely out of his control given that he doesn’t have the ability to score runs for the putrid Mariner offense — also known as “peripherals” in stat-nerd speak, were incredible. This prompted me to toss off the following tweet:
Not five minutes later, David Cone did exactly that. And it was glorious.
Anyway, the Yankees fell to 6-9 in one-run games on the year, losing their second-straight one-run contest in yet another game they probably should’ve won. If you’d told me prior to this weekend the Yanks would hang three runs each on Michael Pineda and Felix, I’d have (a) called you a liar, and (b) figured the Yanks would’ve been a pretty good bet to win both games, but alas, they could not.
Ivan Nova was pretty terrible in this one (a mere 3.2 IP, 5 hits, 4 runs, three walks and only one strikeout), which is rather unfortunate when you consider he was facing one of the limpest offensive attacks in the American League. I’m still not a Nova believer, and I can’t say this outing makes me any more confident in his ability to be effective going forward. Not being able to strike anyone out appears to be catching up to Nova, even with a 50% GB%. Hector Noesi gets a gold star for coming on in relief and pitching 2 1/3 shutout innings, while David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain also did their jobs. The Mariners managed the scratch the game-winner out in the 12th off the bat of Adam Kennedy, yet another in a long line of scrubby players who always seem to get big hits against the Yankees.
Of course, had the Yankee offense actually bothered to do something — anything — against a Mariner bullpen that yielded three measly hits and no walks over five more scoreless innings, maybe they could’ve won this game. Thus, the 2011 Yankees’ bizarre reverse MO of actually getting to tough starters but not unleashing on the bullpen after years of following this formula to a tee continues. Not to discredit the Mariner bullpen, but really, the Yankee offense has to be better than three baserunners over five innings.
The team will look to not get swept in Seattle this afternoon, for what would be the first time since either 1995 or 1996 (I saw this stat somewhere on Twitter but can’t remember which year it actually was). Fortunately CC Sabathia‘s on the hill; hopefully he shows the Yankee pitching staff how one is supposed to attack a crappy offense.