So tonight marked the beginning of the series I know a lot of people were looking forward to, and things did not start out of the gate quickly. An hour into the game, and it was just the top of the 3rd inning. I had hoped to be in bed by 10pm tonight after spending last night out at a neighborhood pub with Tom, but it wasn’t going to happen. Michael Pineda came out of the gate with a vengeance, and his impatience cost him. The price? One Mark Teixeira home run. After that, he slowed the game down. Way down. He only managed to make it five innings, giving up three runs on three hits, 5 walks, and 5 strikeouts. All of this on 96 pitches. It wasn’t a pretty game for him, but as a rookie facing the New York Yankees for the first time? I think he did an alright job. It’s good for him to have to battle a little every once in a while, and even though there were times throughout his tenure on the hill when he looked really annoyed, I don’t really think he has much to be ashamed of here. He didn’t get the win, but also didn’t get the loss. And he’ll be better for this from here on out – and that’s just fine.
AJ Burnett kept us down with one hit and no runs until the 5th inning, when his four-seamers and knucklers started losing their effectiveness, and the Ms managed to get two runs in. Burnett was replaced in the 6th inning by Boone Logan, who threw to one batter and was then replaced by Luis Ayala, who not only kept loading up the bases after Miguel Olivo’s single, but then gave us two more runs to allow us to lead the game.
After Pineda was pulled, David Pauley came in for some long relief. He pitched two solid innings, giving up only two hits, no runs, no walks. Pauley has a nice respectable ERA sitting at .95, and an FIP of 2.27 so far this year. Before Pineda was pulled, I had some doubts over whether or not our relief corps could handle the Yankees, but Pauley’s performance was really good, as was Jamey Wright’s in the 8th. Brandon League came in for a marvelously short and sweet 9th inning, sealing up the win for David Pauley, and giving me a little more confidence in being able to say that he’s “back” and over his ills from a few weeks ago.
If you didn’t see the game, or didn’t see the play when it happened, Franklin Gutierrez made yet another stunning catch in a long list of stunning catches. Here’s a link to it. I really don’t have anything to say about this that hasn’t already been said. Stuff like this renders me speechless, because it is what it is. Plays like this are pure and beautiful, and words just don’t do them justice. Brendan Ryan also made a play that was just super, helping Jamey Wright pick off Eduardo Nunez at second base for the final out of the 8th inning for the Yanks. If there’s anything I love more than seeing stuff like that done by our guys during a game, it’s the excitement exhibited when the deed is done; in this case, Ryan pointing to Wright after laying down the tag and yelling “Yeah, baby!” before running back to the dugout to bat. David Pauley also got some fist pumping in this evening, around the 7th inning on a final out. Love it.
And we won. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little surprised. Happy, but surprised. The Mariners gave me what I asked for, one win in this series. Others would be nice, but I don’t want to be greedy. We’re at .500 now for the first time since the beginning of April. I know it won’t stay there, but it’s nice to be able to say. Hopefully this will continue, game by game, baby steps. I am looking forward to tomorrow evening’s matchup, with Felix!
I don’t have any closing line for this one, other than that I’m really tired and need to go to sleep. So there you go. Have a good weekend!