Felix Hernandez showed up today in a big way for Mariners. Lucky for the Yankees, David Phelps also brought his A game. The King did precisely what he’s paid to do. He gave the Mariners seven innings of one run baseball, allowing just one run on five hits with two walks while striking out seven. Felix looked a little shaky in the beginning of the game. His pitch count was in the forties after just two innings. But he settled down and dominated the Yankees, as he always does. David Phelps matched Hernandez almost pitch for pitch. He gave the Yankees six innings of one run baseball, allowing three hits and three walks with six strikeouts.
Both starters let runs score in the second inning. Brett Gardner singled in Jayson Nix, getting one of his four hits on the day. That gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead, something particularly rare against the King. The Yankees gave that lead right back in the bottom frame. Brendan Ryan reached on an infield single that scored Kelly Shoppach. Just like that the game was tied. After that both starters settled in and gave strong performances.
The Yankees didn’t take the lead again until the top of the ninth inning. Christ Stewart laced a single against Yoervis Medina with Ichiro Suzuki on base. Raul Ibanez fielded the ball in the outfield and came up throwing. The throw was off target and probably not fast enough to catch a hustling Ichiro. That score made it 2-1, and it was Mariano Rivera time. Mo was actually shakier than usual, allowing two hits and a walk, but he got the save. The remainder of the Yankee bullpen was stellar as always. Boone Logan and David Robertson had two strikeouts apiece and allowed just one hit between them.
There wasn’t a lot of offense in this game, but the standout players were Brett Gardner and Chris Stewart. Not only did they knock in the only two Yankee runs, but they pretty much represented all the Yankee hits as well. Of the Yankees’ seven hits four were Gardner’s, two were Stewart’s and one was Nix’s. No other Yankee got a hit. In fact, the remainder of the offense was a complete no-show, with Mark Teixeira standing out for striking out four times.
Monday is an off-day for the Yankees. The team will continue its West Coast swing on Tuesday when the Bombers play the Athletics. CC Sabathia will take the mound for the Yankees, while former Yankee Bartolo Colon toes the rubber for the A’s.