Sometimes you can dread something so much that doing it is a relief, because you realize that doing the thing is not as bad as dreading doing the thing. Hey, that hill is really hard to climb! Just like I knew it would be! Ouch! But okay! And sometimes you start doing the thing you dread, and even though you’ve mentally prepared yourself for it to suck…oh my god this hill is so high it hurts so much i regret everything– it still sucks because your little human mind hasn’t been able to fully conceptualize all the different ways this thing could suck out loud, and that’s what going from playing the Astros at home to play the Yankees at home. We can Ralph Wiggum ourselves as much as we want…
…but actually being at Yankee Stadium and throwing the Mariners’ worst starter against the AL’s best roster? When they are missing their two best players? I don’t blame anyone who gave up on this game at first:
I said this last time when I recapped a Marco start against the Astros, but the Yankees are basically the Astros with an Amex black card and a trust fund, so it still stands: a pitcher like Marco has to be perfect against a team that can attack in the zone like that, and Marco was not perfect. Maybe you can blame the game plan here – I don’t know what caused Marco to throw only his worst pitch, his fastball (with the cutter and a lone little curveball) to the first three batters in the game , but it resulted in this sequence of events: a DJ LeMahieu single, an Aaron Judge double, and an Anthony Rizzo three-point homer. I understand wanting to establish the zone, but giving the judge a 90 MPH fastball anywhere on the plate isn’t so much like establishing the zone as it is handing it to the likely AL MVP on a silver platter .
Marco started to establish the curveball and change in the back end of this inning, walking Benintendi after throwing him a bunch of changes, but then forcing Hicks to fly out to end the inning on another change, and things seemed to start off better. in the second inning as Marco got two quick outs with a more robust pitch mix. However, he then walked LeMahieu on seven pitches, missing with a substitution for Ball Four, then Aaron Judge ambushed a first pitch cutter to put the Yankees to a 5-1 lead, which I point to again the perfect Marco Must Be Principe, and then to the location of this land:
It’s just too much of a tasty morsel right in Judge’s sweet spot. Forget Perfect; this ground is putrid. Marco came back later and started to work more into the switch, including using him to take out Judge in a key spot in the fourth, but he struggled to command him, throwing him more often for a ball than as a knocks, which is dangerous. business in a Fisher-Price stadium. He had three out on the change and one strikeout, but also allowed a hit and walked twice.
It would be all the offense the Yankees would need that day, and it was literally the second inning, which meant we had to watch Marco work for another four innings before his pitch count soared too high for even Servais, determined to wring every throw. from Marco’s left arm tonight, to ignore. That brought Matt Festa out with a two-and-one to face Aaron Judge, who ran away snagging a slider on Judge, a fastball to the middle of the plate. The judge fouls him, and eventually makes him miss a barrel, safely out. Staten Island native Festa then knocked out Florida native Anthony Rizzo, proving who has the Italian-American bragging rights at Yankee Stadium.
Festa also worked a clean and very quick seventh inning, or the inning he would have gotten if he hadn’t had to bail Marco out with two extra batters. Good things, Fez.
The Yankees got their seventh run when Ryan Borucki, who covered the eighth, left a slider in the area for Jose Trevino to hit his second homer of the game — not a cheap one either, but to center field. Poor Borucki thought he had escaped the clutches of Yankee Stadium forever. Hopefully he won’t have to be called again in this series.
Meanwhile, the Mariners offense hasn’t been able to do much, which is disappointing because Domingo Germán is probably the Yankees’ worst starter, as things stand, which means the Climbing this hill won’t be any easier for the Mariners. offense this series. It looked like the Mariners might be up to something right away in the first, when with two outs Jesse Winker hit hard from the right side of the infield and Carlos Santana followed that up with a walk, but alas JP Crawford didn’t. couldn’t beat a slow roll to third lined up by Donaldson and despite a shaky drive from Germán – 17 pitches, just 9 strikes – he escaped first without damage.
Kyle Lewis, because he’s a good person, made sure Mariners fans had at least one highlight to hold on to for this game, homering in the second inning for the first time since returning. of its rehabilitation mission:
The Mariners also put a little extra pressure on the Yankees in the third when they loaded the bases on two walks and Carlos Santana’s 1,500th MLB hit (kudos to him), who got Lewis up again, but alas, the magic was not to happen again as KLew retired to end the round undamaged. They finally got through a second inning in the fourth after Adam Frazier brought home a single Abraham Toro, who had hit a two-out double, but Frazier was blocked when Jesse Winker flew out harmlessly, n failing to straighten out that deeply punishing throw from Germán:
Meanwhile, the Yankees got that run in the bottom of the fourth when Jose Trevino hit the third home run of the game for the Yankees, jumping again on the first pitch offered by Marco at bat.
And that’s the story of this game: The Mariners don’t jump on mistakes, and the Yankees do. Because that’s what good teams do; they take advantage of mistakes. Obviously it sucks not having the Mariners’ top two players available to help, but there were opportunities here – a shaky command from Germán, seven more hitters left on base plus some blocked by double plays, punishable pitches left unpunished and juicy 3-0 counts that turned into easy eliminations – and they weren’t taken advantage of. Watching this game was like sitting in the chair of a not particularly skilled dentist: endless, unpleasant, and somehow worse than you thought.
On the bright side, Logan Gilbert can test his mettle in the Bronx tomorrow – you’ll recall he had quite the star turn against the Yankees last season – and we’ll see the debut of the biggest player added to the deadline until Now Luis Castillo makes his Mariner debut the next day. So maybe that’s the top of the hill, when it comes to this strenuous ascent of nearly impossible-to-watch games. Let’s hope so.