Game Report: Seattle Mariners vs. New York Yankees
It was your classic west vs. east matchup Sunday afternoon as the Mariners tried to avoid a sweep against the Yankees. Unfortunately, the Bronx Bombers came to play despite starting the day a tad slow. After scoring only seven runs in their previous four games, the Mariners gave starter Carlos Silva a 2-0 lead after the first inning. But once the third inning arrived, it was all downhill from there as the Yanks cruised to an 8-2 win.
Silva, who had previously shined since signing a four-year contract with the Mariners in the offseason, was clobbered by the Yankees as it appeared Hank Steinbrenner might have injected his whole squad with HGH prior to the third inning. The Pintripers posted six runs in the third and followed that up with two more in the fourth, knocking Silva out in his poorest performance since becoming a Mariner.
After the two-run first inning, the Mariners bats went cold again. Like their previous four contests, they could not get anything started as they managed just five hits over the final eight innings and were stifled by Darrell Rasner, making his first start this season.
In another rare showing, the Mariner bullpen actually held steady, not allowing another run the rest of the contest. But the eight runs tacked on Silva’s stat sheet were more than enough as the Yankees finished off their Seattle sweep.
- Robinson Cano of the Yankees has been mired in a god awful slump to start the season, entering Sunday’s contest batting at a .151 clip. While he only went 1-for-4, he did belt a home run, something that could potentially reestablish some confidence he lost in April. It might be too early to reinsert him into your starting lineup, but keep a close eye on Yankee box scores in case Cano starts to wake up and hit at his usual .300 clip. This dude is way too good for this to continue much longer.
- Third basemen Adrian Beltre has enjoyed a solid start to the season and continued this on Sunday as he belted a two-run homer to account for the Mariner offense. He finished 2-for-4 on the day, and is up to .283 on the season with six home runs. Right now he is one of the few Mariners who is producing consistently. Leave him in your lineups.
- Derek Jeter had a monster afternoon, going 4-for-5 to raise his batting average above the .300 mark (.313). He could be labeled as Mr. Consistent in regards to fantasy baseball, and there’s no reason to not start him right now. It looks as if his injury is all healed up and he is ready to continue to produce good numbers in a powerful Yankee lineup.
- Signing his new three-year contract recently apparently did not cause backstop Kenji Johjima to remember how to hit the ball. He is batting a measly .184, going only 3-for-23 over his last nine games. He has been consistent in his three years in Seattle, but will soon turn 32 years old, which is getting a bit long in the tooth for catchers known for their offense. Maybe the Mariners gave him a contract extension too soon? We will see, but for now keep him on your bench as there are plenty of catchers who will at least bat over .200 for you!
- If you have not done so yet, pick up Rasner. Since Phil Hughes is out until at least July with a broken rib, and Ian Kennedy has not thrown the ball well (earning himself a demotion back to the minors), Rasner is almost guaranteed to stay in the rotation and he pitched great Sunday. Granted, the Mariner offense has been struggling mightily, but Rasner only allowed two runs in six innings on 76 pitches. If you need pitching help, he’s worth taking a look at.
- Ryan Rowland-Smith, who briefly had value when he was getting save chances with J.J. Putz out, has been horribly inconsistent, but he tossed two shutout frames Sunday. This Aussie showed promise as a rookie last year, but his command has been awful so far in 2008, making him a very shaky bet even in deep AL-only leagues.
- Kyle Farnsworth has pitched well this year — especially lately — so it’s surprising more owners aren’t giving him a longer look, particularly in leagues that track holds. After a down year in 2007, Farnsworth has improved his control, and is back to striking out over a batter per inning. Do note, however, that he will be called on the carpet Tuesday to hear his appeal of a three-game suspension he earned after throwing behind the head of Manny Ramirez last month. If Farnsworth’s suspension holds up, he won’t be seeing much action this week.
- Richie Sexson, who looked like he was getting his shit together recently before taking an 0-for-7 in the first two games of this series, was given a day off. Jose Vidro manned first in his place. Sexson has been healthy so far this season, and he’s recovered somewhat from his disastrous 2007 campaign, but he’s still nowhere near the slugger he was when he first arrived in Seattle and the years leading up to that. Still, an improved walk rate has allowed Sexson to lift his BA up to the point where at least he’s not straddling the Mendoza Line anymore. Hey, it’s something.