"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

No Surprises

Carlos Silva entered yesterday’s game with a 9.62 career ERA against the Yankees. After two innings, he and the Mariners were trailing 4-0, thanks in large part to a three-run home run Silva gave up to Jason Giambi. Mike Mussina gave those four runs back in the top of the third on a three-run Jose Vidro homer and a solo Adrian Beltre shot, but Silva held up his end of the bargain by giving the Yanks an extra run in the bottom of the frame and coughing up a two-run Bobby Abreu home in the sixth to give the Yanks a 7-4 lead.

Arthur Rhodes came on in relief of Silva in the bottom of the seventh with a 7.13 career ERA against the Yankees. He left three batters later having surrendered a run without getting an out. Brandon Morrow relieved Rhodes with a 15.00 career ERA against the Yankees and let in three more runs. Ryan Rowland-Smith relieved Morrow with a 19.29 career ERA against the Yankees and allowed one last Bomber tally before getting the final out.

Joba Chamberlain took over for Mussina in the sixth inning. He made a nice leaping stab of a bounding comebacker for the first out of the sixth and then struck out the next two batters. In the seventh, he gave up a lead-off single to Yuniesky Betancourt and walked Jose Vidro on five pitches with two outs, but stranded both men. He was effective, but inefficient, using up 40 of his allotted 45 pitches in those two frames, only 55 percent of which were strikes. Given the length of the bottom of the seventh, and the fact that Chamberlain was only five pitches under his target, the Yankees opted to end his day there.

Kyle Farnsworth entered the eighth inning having allowed 2.57 home runs per nine innings. With one out, Jeremy Reed won a 13-pitch battle against Farnsworth with a single. Three pitches later, Richie Sexson homered to the retired numbers. That set the final score at 12-6 Yankees.

Jose Veras pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, but it wasn’t without incident. With two outs and the count 1-1 on Beltre, Veras poured in a strike and home plate umpire Larry Vanover gave his strikeout call, prompting Jose Molina to pop out from behind the plate to shake Veras’s hand and the stadium P.A. to start blasting out “New York, New York.” Thing is, the count was only 1-2. Beltre pointed this out to Vanover, the song was cutoff, all of the players were sent back to their positions, and the at-bat continued for five more pitches before Beltre grounded out to officially end the game. Curiously, two of those pitches were right at Beltre’s head, but Beltre laughed both off (in the YES booth David Cone described them as curves that didn’t curve). Still, it seemed suspicious to me, and it was even stranger when Beltre, apparently because he was looking the other way, ran right into Veras on his way back to the dugout. Still, none of it appeared to mean anything. That was just about the only surprising thing about Saturday’s game.

The Yankees have scored 25 runs in the first two games of this series, have averaged 8.8 runs per game in their five games against the Mariners this year, and in going for the sweep this afternoon will face a pitcher with a 6.99 ERA on the season and a 12.23 ERA over his last four starts in Jarrod Washburn. Washburn, however, has a 2.52 career ERA against the Yankees. Here’s hoping Chien-Ming Wang’s calf is okay and that he can rebound from allowing seven runs to the Mets in his last outing. If the Yanks sweep, it’ll be just their second three-game sweep of the season, both of them having come against the Mariners.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver