Sunday, June 9, 2013

Yankees Wait Felix out, Beat Bullpen

This was a pitcher's duel that featured Felix Hernandez on one end, and David Phelps on the Yankees' side. Most people would think that this would be a one-sided affair with King Felix coming out on top. However, the Yankees took a different approach to Hernandez. Like they did with Pedro Martinez, the Yankees were able to score one run off Hernandez and worked his pitch count to have him exit the game after the seventh inning with the game tied at 1. Brett Gardner was the catalyst to the Yankees offense, collecting four out of the Yankees seven hits on the day. Brett drove in the first Yankee run in the second inning to give his team a temporary lead that lasted less than have of an inning. Gardner did what he does best; get on base. When Gardner is hitting, the Yankees win. He provides the Yankees with an extra dimension they lack when Gardner isn't performing. With Cano in a deep slump, the Yankees need a hitter they can rely on. Right now Gardner is that man as he finished the Mariners series with nine hits and was the catalyst to the Yankees winning three out of four games against the Mariners in Seattle.

David Phelps did his job today as he allowed just one run in six innings to a weak Mariners offense. Even though he walked three batters, Phelps was able to get key outs. It helped Phelps out that this lineup can't hit consistently. With Michael Morse out of the lineup, the Mariners have only three legitimate hitters in Kyle Seager, Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez. When Mariano Rivera entered the game he knew who he was facing when Raul Ibanez came to the plate as the tying run. Mariano did as he did yesterday when Ibanez came up, he walked him. Mariano was smart because he saw what Raul did time and time again last year with the Yankees in the regular season and even more so in the postseason. Two batters later Mariano recorded the third out and collected his 23rd save of the season. The 43 year old has not skipped a beat despite his age. 

The Yankees' next stop on their west coast trip will be in Oakland on Tuesday with CC Sabathia on the mound facing an Oakland team that continues to win games after being counted out season in and season out. Bartolo Colon will start for the Athletics. He has made one start against the Yankees this year where the Yankees took batting practice off him and hit several home runs.          

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