Just like in last night’s game, the Yankees struck early. This time it was a solo home run by Derek Jeter in the first inning but after that they were shut down Hisashi Iwakuma for four innings.
Iwakuma pitched five innings, gave up one run, six hits, struck out three and walked three.
As for Ivan Nova, he struggled mightily with his control today and because of that his outing was over after only five innings. He gave up two runs on two hits – in the first inning – and walked a career-hit six batters. He also struck five and threw 107 pitches.
After Nova walked the first two batters in the bottom of the sixth, Joe Girardi called on Clay Rapada who got Mike Carp to ground into a 3-6 double play. Then Girardi brought David Phelps into the game and he got Casper Wells swinging. The Yankees went down quietly in the top of the seventh, as did the Mariners in their half of the inning.
Another thing that was similar to last night’s game was that the fireworks happened in the eighth inning, only this time the fireworks were four runs by the Yankees to give them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The inning started with Derek Jeter getting hit by a pitch thrown by Josh Kinney. Hmm, that’s weird. A Yankee batter getting hit by a pitch by a Seattle pitcher? It’s not like that’s happened at all this series…
The Mariners brought in Lucas Luetge to face Robinson Cano who greeted him rudely with a single. Mark Teixeira followed Cano with a single of his own to load the bases.
Now, this is the time in the game when everyone – including me – began to get nervous. Bases loaded with no outs and the Yankees have not mixed well at all lately. And when Curtis Granderson popped out to Kyke Seager in foul territory, everyone’s sense of deja vu was kicking in.
Girardi reached into his bag of tricks and sent Jayson Nix to the plate to pinch hit in place of Raul Ibanez. The Mariners countered with a change of their own, bringing in Shawn Kelley to face Nix.
This time, thankfully, the Yankees won the battle. Nix rewarded his manager with a hard hit double to the left centerfield gap. Jeter, Cano and Teixeira all scored and the Yankees were up 4-2.
Following an intentional walk to Eric Chavez and an Andruw Jones strikeout, Russell Martin singled to left scoring Nix.
The Yankees were up 5-2 and that’s how it would remain.
David Robertson relieved Phelps and threw a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts and a groundout. After the Yankees’ quiet top of the ninth, Rafael Soriano came in to close the game. He got two quick outs before giving up a soft single to Casper Wells – which turned out to be the only hit the bullpen would give up today. He got Carlos Peguero to strikeout swinging to end the game and picked up his 26th save.
I think the Yankees are probably as happy as we are to be heading home. I’m sure they want to forget all about this road trip.
Today’s victory puts the Yanks back at the 20 games over .500 mark and amazingly enough, despite their 2-5 record in their past seven games, their run differential was 0 – they scored 21 and gave up 21.