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  • Cary Greene

About Last Night: Mariners 1 - Yankees 0

by Cary Greene

August 10, 2022

***

Quick Stats:

Winning Pitcher: Matt Brash (3-3, 3.56) 2IP/ 0H, 0ER / 2K, 3BB / 29-17 PC-ST (59% Strikes)

Losing Pitcher: Jonathan Loaisiga (1-3, 6.57) .1IP/ 2H, 1ER / 0K, 1BB / 8-7 PC-ST (88% Strikes)

Yankee Home Runs: None


Who’s Hot?

○ Aaron Judge, who was 1-3 last night, hit his Major League-leading 44th home run of the season on Monday at Seattle. Judge has 14 HR in his last 21 games and Is batting .432 with 24 runs, 5 doubles, 13 HR, 32 RBI, 17 BB, 3 HP and 3 SB in his last 20 games.


Who’s Not?

○ The Yankees offense was 3-37 last night. They were utterly dominated by a host of Seattle pitchers, none tougher on them than new Yankee-killer, Luis Castillo


Big Story - Two Aces squared off last night at T-Mobile Park in Seattle - neither Gerrit Cole of the Yankees nor Luis Castillo of the Mariners wanted any numbers other than a zeros on the board. It was Castillo’s home debut for the Mariners and he was absolutely cruising throughout his start with his 4-pitch mix (sinker-fastball-slider-changeup) stymying the Yankee offense. Cole was also effective with his fastball dominant approach, mixing in surprise change-ups and knuckle-curves as he powered along. What a duel it was!


The first amazing play of the game came in the bottom of the third-inning - it was a defensive highlight-reel play by Yankees left fielder Andrew Benintendi, who charged a scalded 95 mph-line-drive struck by Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford and dove full-extension style, head first, to take possible triple (or more) away on the play.

Then, in the bottom of the fourth-inning, Aaron Hicks made a stunningly brilliant play. He sprinted to his left, into the gap, to cut a bounding line drive that had been scorched off the bat of speedy Mariners leadoff hitter and second baseman, Adam Frazier, who was trying to stretch the single into a double. Hicks made a picture perfect play on the ball and then rifled a strike to second base to nail Frazier in his tracks.

After a bottom of the fourth inning double by Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh, Cole began bearing down and was dealing 99mph heaters on the black to Jake Lamb, who flew out to end the inning. Cole finished the fifth-inning at 80 pitches, with 5 strikeouts and no walks as the Mariners had four-hits.


Castillo seemed to be working effortlessly as the Yankees once again simply couldn’t figure him out. After six innings he had thrown only 76 pitches, tallying 6 strikeouts, no walks and the Yankees had mustered only two-hits as they got another taste of what postseason pitching is likely to look like in this year’s playoffs.


Cole came out to start the sixth needing an economical inning and started mixing in breaking balls to the Mariners Jarred Kelenic, who worked a clutch 11-pitch at-bat (the longest at-bat of the game) that likely meant the sixth would be Cole’s last inning. Kelenic lost the matchup as Cole put another 98-mile an hour fastball on the black, outside corner of the plate to get him looking. After Adam Frazier grounded out, Cole got Mariners first baseman Ty France to ground out to Gleyber Torres, who made the fourth defensive highlight-reel play turned in by the Yankees. Torres ranged to his left, moving deep onto the outfield grass, dropping to one knee as he made a sliding stop. Then he wheeled and nailed France by several steps to end the inning. Cole was at 95 pitches.


Castillo worked through the top of the seventh, getting Andrew Benintendi to fly out, then striking out Josh Donaldson, before Aaron Judge was thrown out attempting to steal second.


Surprisingly, Cole came out to pitch the seventh-inning to face Seattle’s Mitch Hanigar with the Yankee bullpen up and warming. Cole breezed through the inning, dropping a filthy knuckle-curve that buckled Jake Lamb's knees for a called strike three, then striking out the dangerous Eugenio Saurez swinging on a perfect change-up. Cole was at 109 pitches, his final stat line was 4-hits allowed, 8 strikeouts and no walks. Not a bad bounceback, if I do say so!


Castillo came out for the top of the eighth-inning and got Gleyber Torres to ground out before newly promoted Miguel Andujar popped a single to shallow left field to give the Yankees only their third-hit of the game to that point. Aaron Hicks then worked a tough 7-pitch walk and then Jose Trevino moved the runners over with a squibber that Saurez made a beautiful charging play on. Yankees shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa bounced out harmlessly to second base and Castillo finished the inning at 110-pitches, having allowed 3-hits while striking out 7 and walking 2.


Aroldis Chapman came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth, his fastball was touching 99mph+ as Cal Raleigh flew out, then Crawford popped out to Trevino. With two-outs, Haggerty singled to left field and Kelenic hit a shallow fly to no-man’s land in right center field that Aaron Judge jetted under to make an outstanding catch and end the inning with the score still 0-0. Chapman had thrown another scoreless inning!


Andres Munoz pitched the top of the ninth-inning and mixed 100 mph fastballs with filthy sliders, striking out LeMahieu, then he racked-up Aaron Judge and dialed up to 102 mph against Benintendi, making easy work of the top of the lineup.


Aaron Boone called on Clay Holmes, his closer who faced Frazier to start the bottom of the ninth! The energy in the ballpark was electric and the fans were on their feet as Holmes came out with his bowling-ball sinker and after a few strikes, he hit Frazier’s back foot with a slider to put the winning run at first base. It was Holmes' 8th hit batter of the year. France came up next and he bounced into a 4-3 double-play, then Haniger grounded out to Donaldson 5-3, the score was tied 0-0 - we headed to extra-innings and BONUS BASEBALL! The Yankees were about to try and demonstrate some of the most atrocious baserunning ever displayed in a single overtime affair.


Relievers Paul Seawald and Scott Effross each worked a scoreless 10th-inning respectively, Matt Festa came in to pitch the top of the 11th-inning. It was then that I dozed off. THE END!


(Only kidding!) Festa escaped with ease and Wandy Peralta got a miraculous double play to avoid a loss and he wound up extending the game.


In the bottom of the 12th, Aaron Boone removed Peralta with two-out and went to Lou Trivino. who has suffered not one, not two, but three walk-off losses to the Mariners in his career - having even lost on a wild pitch. It was a curious call in that spot on Boone’s part, to say the least! Trivino walked his first two batters as he got loose. Then, facing Eugenio Saurez, he attempted to repeat another wild-pitch walk-off loss! But - Jose Trevino made a miraculous block on the pitch that was in the dirt, and he saved the game! Then, Trivino proceeded to get out of a mega-jam by striking out Saurez! HOLY COW! Trivino was off the hook! Boone was off the hook! The Yankees were still alive!


With the final game of the series only 14-hours away, LeMahieu at second as the Ghostie and Judge at first after a walk, Marwin Gonzalez pinch hit for Tim Locastro and drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Gleyber Torres struck out and Andujar grounded out to end the threat!


In the bottom of the 13th, the Mariners loaded the bases against Jonathan Loaisiga with one out, in what was the biggest moment of the game with Luis Torrens pinch-hitting. Loaisiga fell behind in the count and Torrens laced the game winning single to right field to end it! The Mariners won what will no doubt be their signature-win of the season.


Player of the Game - Luis Castillo’s start was really good. So was Cole’s. It was Flamin’ Aces deep into the game last night. Castillo made a thrilling debut. The Mariners now have their stud starter. They will be a tough-out in the playoffs this season.


Notable Performances:

● Defensive Gems earn Aaron Hicks and Andrew Benintendi some props here. Take a look at their highlights, you will scarcely believe your eyes.

● Andres Munoz looked flat-out filthy last night. 102 mph with a wipeout slider?? C’mon!! It’s not fair I say!

● Scott Effros was also excellent in the bottom of the tenth-inning, He struck Lamb out swinging, then induced two fly outs to Judge in right field to strand the “ghostie” and extend the game.

● Wandy Peralta performed a minor miracle last night, getting a double play to take the game into the 12th-inning.


Better to Forget:

● The Yankee offense just couldn’t do much with the quality arms the Mariners sent to the hill last night.

● Benintendi’s base running in the top of the tenth was atrocious. He took off well before Mariners reliever Paul Sewald went into motion, getting easily picked off in the process. Not to be outdone, Luis Trevino got caught off second base in the 12-inning on a come-backer to the mound by Kiner Falefa, who must have wanted the award for worst overall baserunner, as he then got nailed trying to go to second in the rundown. The play went 1-6-5-4. It was wild! (and very forgettable) (in fact I don’t even remember it now)

● Jonathan Loaisiga simply doesn’t look like a high-leverage reliever these days. He’s not good under pressure.

● No Stanton. No Rizzo. No Carpenter. No King. No soup for you! In fact, No soup for anybody! We’re closed!!


My Take - Last night was probably the poster-child for being the pitcher’s duel of the year for MLB. I can appreciate a great duel and so I of course loved watching the game. Castillo is a legit Ace, he looks even better right now than he did in Cincinnati. He has a very unorthodox delivery with a lot of gangly movement. Yankees hitters just can’t do much with his stuff. Oh my Josh! He made Josh Donaldson repeatedly look like a little-leaguer.


It was a signature win for Seattle, but it sure was tough watching the Yankee offense get so resoundingly dominated. That said, the Yankees had their chances but they were 0-10 with runners in scoring position and they committed three massive base-running blunders in extra-innings. It was as if they just didn’t want the game. This is probably the most disappointing loss of the season as far as I’m concerned. This team is clearly sputtering.


Next Up - The Yankees and Mariners conclude their three-game series this afternoon, with game time set at 4:10pm. Nestor Cortes (9-3, 2.57) takes the hill for the Yankees and as the Mariners counter with Robbie Ray (8-8, 3.96). Cortes, who is making his 21st start of the season today, will be pitching on regular four days' rest. He last pitched on Friday at St. Louis, allowing 1H and 2ER over 5.1IP (4BB, 4K, 0HR), which marked his third start this season in which he has allowed just 1H over at least 5.0 innings-pitched.


Cortes is just the third Yankee in franchise history to record three such starts in a season, joining David Cone (three in 1999) and Scott Sanderson (three in 1991) Cortes has steadied himself of late and he’s now 4-2 with a 3.81 ERA over his last 10 starts (since 6/8) after going 5-1 with a 1.50 ERA (60.0IP, 10ER) over his first 10 starts to begin the season.

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