It seems that lately the Yankees are keen on picking a single inning to make a huge impact on the scoreboard and spend the other innings defending that impact. Tonight was no exception, and tonight they found an opportunity in the 3rd inning against the Seattle Mariners.
The Yankees went through 11 batters in the 3rd inning. Two singles set up Robinson Cano to hit his 15th home run of the season, and put the Yankees quickly up 3-0. Mark Teixeira grabbed his chance to jump in on the action with a long solo home run to right-center field. A single, a double, and 2 RBI singles (by Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki) easily made it 6-0 by the end of the inning.
Starting pitcher Phil Hughes was in great form tonight, throwing 111 pitches over 7 innings, walking 2 and striking out 7 Mariners. One of those walks ended up scoring in the 8th inning on an RBI double. But that was the only score the Yankees would allow from the Mariners tonight, only allowing 4 hits all night. The Yankees relievers got themselves into some jams but were able nimbly work their way out of them and keep the Mariners at bay (just noticed the pun, sorry), with the help of the Yankees defense like a long, quick catch by (who else anymore) Jayson Nix.
The Yankees began their 4 game series in Seattle tonight to kick off their West Coast tour and will head down to Oakland and Los Angeles (Angels) next week. The hardest part about West Coast games for most of the Yankees fans is that they’re usually played in the evening (or the 7:00 pm game time), which is 10:00 pm for the East Coast. So while the West Coast crowd is finishing their 10:30 pm noshes at sports bars, the rest of the country is already considering it the “middle of the night”. And for those of us who write about it, it just gets to maneuver our schedules around. And honestly, it kind of reminds me of staying up late in college writing that 10 page paper I put off until the night before it was due. Fortunately, I don’t have an 8:00 am class tomorrow (whoever does the scheduling for morning college classes is a sadist, but that’s for a different time).
Also, in MLB news, the “other news” of the week is being gladly trumped by the MLB Draft. Tonight, the Yankees picked up three players due to their regular draft pick (#26) and two first round draft picks (#32 & #33) they acquired by losing Nick Swisher (to the Indians) and Rafael Soriano (to the Nationals). #26 went to 3rd baseman Eric Jagielo of Notre Dame; #32 picked outfielder and power hitter out of Fresno State Aaron Judge; and #33 is Ian Clark, a left-handed pitcher from San Diego. Welcome to the Yankees, gentlemen. You may not know it yet, but you’ve become a part of the most storied franchises in history. And by being chosen in the 1st round of the draft by the Yankees will forever be part of your history in MLB and a part of the Yankees.