Sometimes a game plays out exactly how you expect it to, and last night, for me, was one of those games.
The A.J. Burnett - Felix Hernandez matchup has auto-loss written all over it. A.J. Burnett is A.J. Burnett, and Hernandez has owned the Yankees over the last two seasons (4-0 with a 0.51 ERA).
Sure enough, this game was over after three batters. Burnett gave up a leadoff single to Ichiro, walked Chone Figgins, and then gave up a three-run bomb to Russell Branyan. With the way Hernandez throws the ball , three runs were more than enough. Branyan would hit a second homer off Burnett later in the game.
The Mariners, a team with the worst offense in the sport, scored 6 runs and banged out 12 hits against AJ over 7 innings last night, dropping his record on the year to 9-and-11.
Hernandez, on the other hand, completely shut down the Yankees lineup over 8 innings, allowing just 4 hits, 3 walks, and striking out 11. How dominating has the right-hander been against the Yankees this year? Check out this via Ian Begley:
Lefty Grove and Bob Feller are the only other pitchers since 1920 to go at least eight innings, strike out at least nine and allow one or fewer earned runs against Yankees in three starts in the same season.That's some impressive company.
The Yankees did have their chances to get back in the game, but that's when Felix was at his best (or the Yanks were at their worst). Derek Jeter doubled with one out in the 4th and was left stranded. An inning later they had their best opportunity of the night when they loaded the based with one out, but Hernandez struck out Ramiro Pena and Brett Gardner to end the threat. For the game the Yanks were 0-for-7 with RISP and left 6 men on base.
Besides losing the game, Alex Rodriguez's return to the lineup lasted all of one at-bat. While running out a grounder in the 2nd, A-Rod felt the same tightness he experienced when he first injured the calf, left the game, and is now day-to-day.
If you're trying to find positives in this game, good luck because there aren't many. Chad Gaudin threw two scoreless innings....yea, that's about it. At least Boston and Tampa both lost so the Yanks didn't lose any ground.
Javier Vazquez takes the mound for the Yankees in game two tomorrow, with left-hander Jason Vargas starting for Seattle. First pitch is at 1:05 pm, and the game will be on YES.