You know if you look at the names on the box score tonight without relating them to a particular team, and if you’re still remembering some good time from last year’s season, you might just think the Yankees did rather well tonight. But it’s not 2012 anymore, and the “King of New York” is now the “Sultan of Seattle”, and there was absolutely nothing that could save the game from disaster for the Yankees, least of all the pitching.
I’m going to start with the good news and most of it is from Seattle. Raul Ibanez is living proof that age is really just a number. He is responsible for 6 of the 12 runs the Mariners scored tonight, 2 of them were off his home runs, and 1 of those homers was a 1st inning grand slam. That’s right, a 1st inning grand slam. When he hit that to make it 6-0 in the 1st inning (with only 1 out, I should add), most Yankee fans shook their heads and wondered what the front office was doing to let Ibanez go during the off-season. I should note that Ibanez chose to go back to Seattle, where he spent most of his career (1996-2000, 2004-2008, 2013 — this is his 11th season with Seattle) and where his family lives; it’s home, so it’s really understandable from a personal viewpoint but hard to take as a fan of an opposing and former team.
Also, Seattle raked another homer (a 3-run in the 6th inning) off the Yankees pitching staff, and really kept the defense on their toes. After the 1st inning decimation, the only runs scored by either team were home runs. The Yankees managed to eke out their own offense to not go silently into the night — Vernon Wells and Chris Stewart each found left field a great exit for their solo home runs in the 1st and 5th innings, respectively. This means the Yankees lost with a 10-run deficit rather than a shutout, which is always worse, for a final score of 12-2 Mariners.
I cannot comment on the pitching because I have made a commitment to keep my blog positive. And as the old saying says, if you can’t say something nice… don’t talk about it in your blog. (I may be paraphrasing.) Well, when you start a game with a 2-pitcher 7-0 1st inning, it’s not going to be a pretty baseball game, and it’s not going to be a good day to be the pitcher.
Girardi played a bit later in the game with some of the roster and fielding positions to give some of the guys a rest and challenge others. I think it was to give the overtaxed bullpen a rest, but it was rather odd to see Chris Stewart for example playing 1st base and Vernon Wells made a new home tonight at 2nd. David Adams, the newest guy on the team, was picked up today in exchange for Chris Nelson being designated for assignment (soon to be released). It’s a shame Adams played his first game to a really bad loss, but if we can get it over with now, he has nowhere to go but up with the team. (Again, that staying positive thing.)
Let’s be honest, for those of us who’ve been Yankees fans for a long time, any time we see a former Yankee do something awesome, there’s always a bit of us that cheers, even quietly. It just stings when that awesome is used against us. And so while tonight belongs to Ibanez, and subsequently the Mariners, it was nice to see him find that swing and do something pretty cool again in Yankee Stadium. It’s just a bummer he wasn’t wearing pinstripes. Best of luck, Raul. But can you use it on other teams instead?
Go Yankees (even former ones)!