It’s over: Yankees 2, Mariners 1.
Here’s some of what manager Eric Wedge had to say after:
On Felix Hernandez’s health: He was just having trouble catching his breath, so we just had to give him a blow out there. He got a little bit too amped up for a few moments. So Rick went out there and slowed him down for a few minutes and he was fine.
On Hernandez’s performance: He’s throwing the ball well. He’s strong. He had to work early on to find it and kind of get into the groove. But once he did, then he was much more efficient from then on. He did a great job. I can’t say enough about what he’s doing.
On changing things: “We can’t keep watching this. We have to be better offensively. When we do create opportunites, we’re not taking advantage of it. Having said that, we have to create more opportunites because you’re not going to come through every time, but we’ve damn sure got to do better than we’re doing right now. I know we’re beat up, we’re tired, I appreciate all that. But we’ve got to stick our nose in there and do a better job of fighting through ABs. We’ve got veterans out there, we’ve got young kids out there. Regardless or where they’re at, we’ve got to collectively be better offensively. … We’re trying everything we can. You make a move here, you make a move there. Right now we’re trying to get some of these guys back healthy. We’ve made moves that we’ve had to make already.
We had a chance to win yesterday and today and we didn’t do it. Until the offense gets going you have to fight through every game. You’ve got to get going offensively so you can loosen up and play. We’ve got guys out there capable of doing it, but they’ve got to do it.”
Ninth: Yankees go ahead on two-out single by No. 9 hitter Chris Stewart, bringing in Ichiro who was on second after leading off inning with a walk. Yankees lead 2-1 going into the Mariners half. Rivera gets the save.
Eighth: Felix leaves after seven. One run, earned, five hits, two walks, seven strikeouts. Furbush in for Mariners, gets two outs, Medina comes on to get the third. Robertson on for the Yankees. Liddi greets him with a double to right. Ryan bunts Lidi to third. But Bay and Franklin stike out. 1-1.
This note from the club:
For Felix, he recorded his 22nd career no-decision (2nd this season) when pitching at least 7.0 innings and allowing 0 or 1 run (7.0,5,1,1,2,7 today vs. the Yankees)…since his debut season in 2005, the 22 no-decisions with these parameters are the most in baseball. Cliff Lee has 17 such no-decisions since 2005 with 7.0 or more IP, 1 or fewer runs allowed.
Seventh: Mariners nightmare averted. Hernandez comes off mound flexing arm. Wedge and training staff head to mound. Crowd holds breath. But false alarm. Felix stays in and strikes out Gardner, who had been 3-for-3.
Sixth: Wells gets on by Ryan throwing error. But no damage. Mariners go in order. 1-1.
Attendance: 43,389, a season high.
Fifth: Gardner double, but no other damage in the Yankees half. Mariners go even more quietly. 1-1. Pitching change for Yankees, however, as Logan comes to the mound and retires Mariners in order.
Fourth: Hernandez clicks in for another clean inning, including second strike out of Ichiro. Then Mariners go just as quickly. 1-1.
Third: The nice quick 1-2-3 Hernandez needed. Mariners go quickly too, with Seage walking and then being erased on Morales 4-6-3 DP. 1-1.
Second: Yankees move ahead 1-0 on three singles. Hernandez already at 43 pitches. Mariners pull even in the bottom as Shoppach doubles, and comes home on a Ryan single. 1-1.
First inning: Yankees load the bases, and with two outs, Hernandez strikes out Ichiro. Mariners go quietly. 0-0.
Play ball: We’re under way. Ceremonial first pitch thrown out by Sounder and U.S. national team forward Eddie Johnson.
Lineup: The Mariners are going with a little bit of a new-look lineup today, with Nick Franklin moved up the the No. 2 spot.
Here’s a bit of what manager Eric Wedge had to say about it.
“(Morales) was feeling better. They did some good work on him yesterday. We’ll DH him today. And Morse needs a day, so Liddi at first and we’ll get Morse back in there tomorrow. It’s kind of a slippery slope there. It’s where we’re at. … We’ve had to push a lot of these guys. We’re banged up, playing 20 days in a row and everything else. … I’ve been debating about (Franklin second). We’re thin as it is. He’s been putting up as good an at-bats as anybody. He’s not shy, so I think that probably works for him. We’re trying to put the best lineup out there. We’re playing the New York Yankees today. We’ve got a chance to split here. You’d like to do better than that at home, but this is where we are, and we’re going to go out there and try to get the split. … It’s more of a product of where we are, and who’s playing, and the fact that he’s put up those types of at bats. I wouldn’t have done it if I thought I would affect him in any way. (Laughs.) That’s one of his positive attributes, though.”
That lineup is expected to play before one of the biggest home crowds of the season as the stars aligned with Felix Hernandez pitching, the Yankees in town and Little League day, all coming together on a nice enough Sunday afternoon.
“You always want to play in front of a bigger crowd,” Wedge said. “It brings more energy. Always a lot of fun. Then you add to the fact that Felix is on the mound, the final game of this series, yeah, I’m looking forward to it.”