Sometimes a team loses a game and it has nothing to do with poor performance, but rather resulted from the mastery of the opponent. The New York Yankees had such a game yesterday as they were shutout by Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners 1-0.
Hernandez tossed only 101 pitches while allowing just two hits on the day along with two walks. He struck out six batters. Hernandez did not allow a runner to reach second base after Robinson Cano‘s two-out double in the first inning. That would be the only time the Yankees had anyone in scoring position.
There were positives to take from the game. Hiroki Kuroda stood his ground against Hernandez, going 6 1/3 innings. He allowed just one run on seven hits and one walk while striking out four. He had wriggled out of trouble a couple times and the Yankees were able to hold the Mariners to a 1-for-9 showing with runners in scoring position. The other good news is that the Yankees were able to get out this game without anyone getting hurt. They’ll take what they can get when they face a buzz saw like the King.
There was never a time where it felt like the Yankees would get anything going against Hernandez after the first inning. It was a much different outing from the one he pitched against the Bombers in the last series in Seattle. In that game, Hernandez got the victory but was against the ropes for parts of the contest and was erratic, hitting three batters.
Ichiro Suzuki recorded the other Yankee hit extending his hit streak to 11 games with pinstripes on. David Robertson was excellent in relief, throwing 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, while striking out three of the four batters he faced.
The Yankees (62-44) hold a 6 1/2 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays, as the Orioles shutout the Rays yesterday, returning the favor from Friday. The Mariners (51-58) remain on the outside of the AL wild card race, sitting 7 1/2 games behind division rival Los Angeles Angels.
In the series finale the Yankees trot out former Mariner, Freddy Garcia to the mound. Garcia (4-5, 5.10 ERA) pitched well in his last outing against Seattle (7 1/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 0 BB and 8 K) but took the loss, part of a personal three-game losing streak. The Mariners counter with Hisashi Iwakuma (2-2, 4.10 ERA), who is coming off his best start since joining the Mariners rotation. He struck out 13 hitters in a victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees are at the beginning of a 20-game stretch without an off day which started with this series. They set out on a seven-game road trip following today’s contest. They’ll be in Detroit to face the Tigers for four games and then play three games against the Blue Jays in Rogers Centre.