The Seattle Mariners won the first game of a three game series against the New York Yankees 7-4 tonight. The Mariners who are currently in last place in the AL West came into the Bronx as definite underdogs to the storied Yankees who currently sit on top of the competitive AL East. Cliff Lee got the start tonight against young Phil Hughes in front of 45,780 fans who produced a dull roar in the background tonight as the Mariners managed to have one of their best nights offensively of the season. Lee did not have his best stuff tonight as was evident early in the game where Cliff Lee started out several Yankees batters with a ball instead of his normal 0-1 count. Cliff Lee who is on everyone’s mind with the trade deadline approaching proved he was human tonight giving up a walk for the first time in 38 innings, as well as allowing 3 earned runs including two homers to Nick Swisher. Lee who was interviewed after the game tipped his hand regarding his desire to play for a winning team when he said “It is fun playing in front of a knowledgeable fan base that doesn’t need a tele-prompter to know when to cheer”. Well Cliff try sitting in the stands with them for 25 years! You do deserve to play on a winning team in the limelight and the Mets apparently want you. But hey can you just stick around for a few more starts to make things more interesting for those of us who do love the game and the way you do your job?
Offensively the Mariners looked aggressive most of the night with the exception of a couple of base running gaffes early in the game that didn’t cost us anything but looked a bit bush-league. Russel Branyon was in the lineup tonight and though he didn’t do anything spectacular he did get a hit along with everyone else on the team tonight which is the first time I remember that happening all season. Franklin Gutierrez provided the only home run for the Mariners in the top of the fourth; otherwise it was a team effort in getting runs scored. Rob Johnson had a pair of doubles tonight and narrowly missed a third in his last at-bat, nice to see him produce. Another guy who produced was Jack Wilson who knocked in a couple of runs with a two-out single in the 6th inning. Wilson has come back from his injury playing good defense and has boosted his average up to .273 which is third on the club.
The Mariners managed to keep the crowd subdued for most of this game until the bottom of the ninth when the Yankees put a little rally together. After Posada doubled in Robinson Cano making it 7-4 with one-out the energy in Yankee stadium changed as the fans smelled blood. However after a quick visit to the mound by Rick Adair, Lee settled down and got the final two outs sending the fans home shaking their heads wondering who those guys from Seattle were. Well to be honest it felt like a different team to me tonight as well and I believe the addition of a genuine power-hitter batting third made a difference. We shall see as this season moves along as the pressure is not only off the other hitters to be who they are not, but in all reality the pressure is off the whole team when you are in last place at the moment. Hopefully our team can play looser, have fun and win some more games like they did tonight. http://jeffsmariners.com
Tagged: Cliff Lee, Jack Wilson, New York Yankees, seattle mariners