When you checked the names on the marque, you probably quickly decided that this would be the west coast game you wouldn’t stay up to watch. With King Felix Hernández on the hill for the Seattle Mariners and Phil Hughes hanging by his fingernails for the Yankees, this game was a Yankee loss written in ink. A funny thing happened, though. The Yankees won.
Don’t beat yourself up about going off to bed early. Judging by the lineup he trotted out, even Joe Girardi seemed to have chalked this one up. Nick Swisher was playing first, Eric Chavez was at third, Chris Dickerson was in right, and rookie Austin Romine was behind the plate.
It wasn’t exactly Murderers’ Row, but it was good enough as the Yanks jumped on Hernández in the top half of the fourth. Perhaps Mark Teixeira said it best when he explained , “He left a few balls up in the zone, in the middle of the plate, and we made him pay.”
Teixeira led off the fourth with a long home run deep into the Seattle night, and his teammates followed along. Including Tex’s homer, the Bombers had a single, two doubles, two home runs, and the King seemed like a commoner.
Hernández settled down, but all that heavy lifting in the fourth inning sucked a lot of the life out of him, and he was forced out of the game after the sixth. It didn’t much matter, though, because Hughes was dealing. He gave up just five hits and a single run, and stated his case to remain in the rotation for at least another turn. I doubt if Girardi even knows what he’s going to do.
There were two other notes of interest. Romine made his first career start at catcher, and he picked up his first major league hit, a sliced line drive to right field. Later on, when the game was salted away at 9-1, Girardi (or at least I assume it was Girardi) teased us by asking top prospect Dellin Betances to throw a bit in the bullpen. It would have been great to get a sneak peek at the 6’8″ Betances, but it didn’t happen on this night. Maybe later this series.
It’s hard to complain, though. A great night all around for the Yanks. Yankees 9, Mariners 3.
[Photo Credit: Otto Greule, Jr./Getty Images]