"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


Cliff Lee was good on Tuesday night, limiting the Yankees to a pair of Nick Swisher solo home runs and two meaningless ninth-inning tallies on his way to a complete game victory. Felix Hernandez was great Wednesday night, limiting the Yankees to a trio of walks and just two hits, one of which was a pop-up to second that Chone Figgins lost in the gloaming and Colin Curtis hustled into a double, on his way to an 11-strikeout complete game shutout. Lee and Hernandez thus became the first two pitchers to throw back-to-back complete games against the Yankees since 2000 and Hernandez became the first visiting pitcher to shutout the Yankees at the new stadium.

Meanwhile, the Mariners scored seven runs against the Yankees in each of the last two contest. Phil Hughes, who was not only pitching on nine-days’ rest but also fighting off a cold, gave up all seven on Tuesday. Last night, Javier Vazquez turned in a bare-minimum quality start (6 IP, 3 R), striking out eight but using up 113 pitches in the process, then the bullpen coughed up four more Mariner runs in the final three frames. All but one of those Seattle runs came on home runs. Milton Bradley hit a solo shot of Vazquez in the second. Michael Saunders had a pair, a solo of Vazquez in the third and a two-run jack off Chad Gaudin in the eighth. Lefty-swinging Russell Branyan, just reacquired before this series to give the Seattle lineup some thump, did his part with a two-run shot off Damaso Marte in the seventh. The other Mariner run came with two outs in the third when Vazquez hit Branyan with an 0-1 pitch, Bradley reached on an infield single, and Jose Lopez singled Branyan home from second.

The lone legitimate Yankee hit was a double down the left field line by Mark Teixeira to lead off the fourth. He never got to third base as Hernandez retired 17 of the next 18 men (the exception being Curtis’s dropped pop-up) until Ramiro Peña, who entered the game with the subs in the top of the ninth, walked with one out in the bottom of the ninth and Hernandez up past 100 pitches.

Amazingly, this was just the second time all season that Lee and Hernandez registered back-to-back wins, though the first time was just two turns ago. In their last six combined starts, Lee and Hernandez have gone 5-0 with five complete games. In the sixth game, Hernandez allowed just one run in nine innings, but the Mariners lost in 13.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Recap

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1 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 1, 2010 8:55 am

Let us not talk of the past!
Anybody know anything about this guy?
Hector Noesi

2 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 1, 2010 9:07 am

was at the game last night, honestly by about the 7th inning I had switched into "at this point I just wanna be able to say I saw Felix go nuts in person" mode...kinda like the Pedro game in '99.

From a Yankee standpoint it was one of the most forgettable games I've ever been to, but from an objective baseball fan perspective...wow.

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 1, 2010 9:08 am

[1] From my man Kevin Goldstein over at Baseball Prospectus:

He doesn't have a ton of stuff, but he sure knows how to pitch. He doesn't have a pitch that any scout would put a 60 on, but his fastball has average to plus movement with some cutting action, his curveball is solid, his change is good, and he absolutely pounds the strike zone and pitches without fear. After giving up five runs over six innings in his Double-A debut, Noesi's ERA in 1.17 in seven games, including 44 whiffs and just seven unintentional walks in 46 innings. It's not a crazy high ceiling, but Noesi sure looks like a major-league starter and could be a nice trade chip in the coming month.

4 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 1, 2010 9:14 am

[3] Oops. I didn't follow the link in [1]. Turns out Lombardi quoted the same paragraph. Of course that begs the question, what more do you want to know, OYF? Kevin covers it all there. I wrote about Noesi in my campers piece back in February:

A slender Dominican right-handed starter, Hector Noesi has posted some absurd K/BB ratios in his brief minor league career and holds a career mark of 5.74 (!) thanks to a 9.1 K/9 and minuscule 1.6 BB/9. The catch is that Noesi has been a bit old for his leagues because of something of a checkered history. Noesi hit the DL with a strained shoulder in 2006, served a 50-game drug suspension in 2007, then finished that year by having Tommy John surgery. That meant he was essentially starting over in Rookie ball at age 21 in 2008. Last year was his first in full-season ball, and he spent most of it in the Sally League at age 22. Still, his peripherals held in his nine High-A starts as he walked just four men (four!) in 41 1/3 innings, resulting in an even 10:1 K/BB. Noesi throws a low-90s heater that he can get up to 95 mph and compliments it with an outstanding curve with a big break and a two-seamer, all of which he, obviously, throws for strikes. He should make the leap to Double-A this year at age 23. He’ll be helped by his home park, but we should nonetheless learn a lot about his legitimacy as a prospect now that he’s finally reached the upper levels.

5 OldYanksFan   ~  Jul 1, 2010 9:25 am

[4] Very nice. I think a lot of folk are seduced by 'Stuff', but I am a 'Command' guy first. And I especially love pitchers who have had great command from day 1.

So, I guess my question to you and others is: (barring injury and the unforseen).... is this guy likely to be a (ML) Yankee pitcher?

6 Shaun P.   ~  Jul 1, 2010 9:36 am

[5] Well, KG thinks so, and I happen to agree with him. With his command, even if he doesn't get a ton of strikeouts, he can certainly be a 4/5. The Twins have had 3 or 4 guys like that in their rotation every year for what, the last decade at least? It certainly hasn't hurt them.

One caveat: I would like to see how he handles AAA first before we get too excited.

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