A bitter taste…
Finally, A.J. Burnett was pitching like the guy that the Yankees expected when they signed him as a free agent in the off-season. After a series of poor starts, he had dominating stuff last night and was in position for a win. He went 7 innings, and gave up only 1 run on 7 hits. He struck out 6, and walked only 3. He was leading 2-1 at the time of his exit, and the Yankees seemed to be in control despite the close score.
Ted S. Warren/AP
The 8th saw a business-as-usual performance from Phil Hughes, with 3 up and 3 down.
Mariano Rivera appeared very loose in the bullpen prior to his entrance in the 9th. The stage was set for another save on his way to Cooperstown. Even the Seattle-based announcers made a comment that they should just waive the 5 year waiting period for Mo when he retires. Mo easily set down the first two batters (getting the second, Mike Carp, out on his 1,000th career strikeout), but then pinch hitter Mike Sweeney stroked a double to right. Okay, there were two outs, the Yanks were still in good shape. Only Ichiro stood in the way of their 95th victory. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Mo tried to go inside on a cutter but left the pitch out too much, and Ichiro got a hold of it and sent it into the outfield bleachers for the game-winning home run. The Mariners walked off with a 3-2 victory…
Ted S. Warren/AP
Mo saw his string of 36 consecutive saves snapped. The only other time he has failed to convert a save this season was in April on a Jason Bay home run.
Sipkin/New York Daily News
Ichiro may have been picked off twice in the game, but he clearly got the last laugh…
Ted S. Warren/AP
With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Red Sox shrank to 6 games. This is definitely a tough stretch. The Yankees are on a difficult road trip against winning teams and in cities they historically have troubles with. Meanwhile, the Red Sox are playing the lifeless Orioles, and then move on to Kansas City for face the punchless Royals for four games. Both the O’s and Royals stand at 87 losses prior to today’s games. So, the Yankees’ three-game series against the Red Sox next weekend looms as the big AL East showdown. It is very possible that the Red Sox may be in position to determine who enters the play-offs as the AL East champion and who backdoors it as the Wild Card entrant. The Yankees’ magic number remains at 10, but their magic number for making the play-offs dropped to 3 with the Rangers’ loss to the Angels. That one was a double-edged sword as the Angels gained a game on the Yanks for best record. So, needless to say, Ichiro’s hit made for a very difficult night on many fronts.
Hopefully, the Yanks will show their mettle and rebound today with CC Sabathia taking the hill in search of his 18th victory. Let’s hope it’s the Yanks’ 95th…
I still can’t believe that the great Peter Abraham (who has been referred to as the “blogfather”) is leaving the LoHud Yankees Blog to go to work for the Boston Globe and write about the dreaded Red Sox… L
The oldest living Yankee has passed away, Lonny Frey, who played with the Yankees in the 1947 World Series, was a three-time All-Star with the Cincinnati Reds in the 30’s and 40’s. Frey died on Sunday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho at the age of 99. He was the last surviving player to play for the Yankees, the New York Giants, and the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Courtesy Richard Hirschman
Frey’s passing leaves Tommy Henrich, 96, as the oldest living Yankee. Henrich played his entire career with the Yankees from 1937 to 1950. He is the last surviving member of the World Champion 1938 Yankees.
Courtesy Bill Burgess
Andy Pettitte is scheduled to pitch on Monday against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim. Andy missed his last start due to a “fatigued” shoulder, and hopefully, the rest has helped him. Andy will be a huge part of what the Yanks will try to accomplish in October. It was good to hear that he has reached most of his incentives to allow him to nearly double his $5 million salary for the year. He has certainly earned his pay (relatively speaking of course, because $5 mil is a heck of a lot of money any way you slice it!).
John Munson/The Star Ledger
Speaking of rest, reliever David Robertson, who was shut down for elbow stiffness, appears to be on track for a return by the final week of the season. He is another arm that will be crucial to October success. I am glad that his visit to Dr. Andrews did not reveal more serious problems and that rest was the prescribed treatment. Robertson has been great in the pen this year.
Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger
Today is a new day. Let’s get back to winning…