Over the course of their last three games, including that 14-inning victory over Chicago, the Seattle Mariners have scored one run in each.
Ryan Rowland-Smith is a confident Aussie, but even he would have to wonder if he and the Seattle bullpen can beat the New York Yankees, 1-0 – which means the Mariners offense must awaken.
Against lefty Andy Pettitte, manager Don Wakamatsu is starting five left-handed hitters – Ichiro, Ken Griffey Jr., Russell Branyan, Jack Hannahan and Michael Saunders.
It probably won’t help that the Mariners starting lineup has hit 81 home runs this season – while New York’s has hit 147, but Seattle hasn’t won many of its 60 games on power.
No, the Mariners need Rowland-Smith to hold the Yankees in check get help from his defense and – who knows? – maybe a couple of runs from his offense.
That would be Seattle baseball. Yankee baseball? That was played last night – when New York won, 11-1.
It’s Rowland-Smith vs. Pettitte.
Hey kids, a rally!
Rowland-Smith threw a 22-pitch first inning, and after shutting New York down has gotten more support than the last three Seattle starting pitchers.
Ichiro and Franklin Gutierrez singled, Jose Lopez doubled home a run and Griffey got another home with a ground ball.
That’s a lead, folks, and Rowland-Smith will retake the mound trying to make it hold up.
Jose gives one back
Lopez drove in his 67th RBI in the first, and just gave one back that won’t show up in the box score.
In the second: Mariners 2, Yankees 1
Holding the line
Rowland-Smith is dealing, though he may be using too many cards.
It’s not always what you throw as how you throw it.
Rowland-Smith, so far, has attitude. That works.
Another gift-wrapped run
Two outs, runner on second and Derek Jeter rolls one toward the left side of the infield.
That’s two earned runs against Rowland-Smith, who should have a shutout.
In the fifth: Mariners 2, Yankees 2
A word on Mr. Pettitte
The veteran lefty has pitched a bend-but-don’t-break six innings, worked out of trouble and struck out 10 men.
He’s even through six. Nice job.
It’s up to the bullpens
Pettitte went six. Rowland-Smith seven. Neither will get a decision.
Good as Pettitte was, Rowland-Smith was better – allowing three hits in seven innings, throwing 99 pitches.
In the eighth: Mariners 2, Yankees 2
Ninth inning heroics
Great match up between Mark Lowe and Mark Teixeira and on the third pitch, Teixeira hit it out to right field to break the tie and put New York ahead.
Mariano Rivera’s 1-2-3 ninth inning saved it.