Add Andy Pettitte and Chris Stewart to the temporarily injured list (the bad news), but not the official Disabled List (the good news). Pettitte was pulled from the game in the middle of the 5th inning and diagnosed with a stiff left trapezius (the muscle that goes from the nape of the neck to the shoulder blade). He allowed 2 runs (an RBI double and RBI single) off 4 hits and still strikes out 5 batters. He would’ve stayed in the game if not for the lessening of his velocity (the pitching speed) due to the stiffness. He has 5 days rest now until his next scheduled start, so we’ll see what rest and minor rehab can do for him. Sleep, water, and rest for a day usually works for me when that happens.
Stewart felt some discomfort and stiffness, but played through most of the game, being replaced by Austin Romine for the 8th and 9th innings. He underwent an MRI, but this is probably due to his common issues with lower back pain, something that was keeping him from being the regular catcher for the Yankees in the first place.
The Mariners took 2 runs off a slower Pettitte tonight and a solo homer off Kelley in the 6th. The Seattle pitchers allowed 7 hits by Yankee batters, which nearly emptied their bullpen pitching six pitchers to the Yankees batters in tonight loss. In other words, the Mariners were determined to take the win tonight at all costs, including seeing the temperamental manager getting ejected over a call in the 2nd inning; Ichiro caught a line drive out in right field to end the inning, but Seattle’s manager believed he didn’t have control of it and thus protested the call. Managers usually take the explanation by the umpires once it’s personally spelled out and only fight for their players in truly detrimental and questionable calls, but Wedge clearly isn’t most managers.
Offensively, the Yankees were only able to score two runners — David Adams’ double to score Curtis Granderson in the 2nd and Robinson Cano’s single to score Ichiro Suzuki in the 7th inning. While the Mariners won 3-2 tonight, it was Granderson who really stood out offensively, going 3-for-4 with a stolen base and run scored. I can’t tell you how encouraging it is to see him back in the line-up and in the everyday game conversation. Another bright spot is new guy David Adams, who is continuing to show the Yankees why he was a great choice to put on the roster. He is proving defensively consistent and finding his swing in the batter’s box, adding to his statistics tonight with an RBI double. He will be one to watch develop as both a ball player and as a Yankee.
And while it’s never fun to watch a loss, it certainly was an interesting game to watch. I’d much prefer watching a well-fought loss than a blowout game, even if we are the winning team. Though I should note, for statistics purposes, I’d always rather have a win in the long run because no matter how you win, a win is a win is a win. But when you’re watching a game (and I’d guess when you’re playing one), it’s more involved and more anticipatory (for all involved) if the competition is alive and the game is tighter. A well-fought battle is always more interesting and satisfying than a single explosion or bombardment; it gives both sides the opportunity to earn and work for the victory. In other words, the victory is still up for grabs for either side and this means there is competition. And sports are designed to be competitive, meaning someone has to win.
And for the AL East, even after 2 losses in a row, the Yankees are still a ridiculously, unexpected competitive and victorious force. Yes, we’re still sitting pretty atop the AL East.