About Last Night: Mariners 8 - Yankees 6
by Cary Greene
August 3, 2022
● Winning Pitcher: Penn Murfee
● Losing Pitcher: Lucas Luetge
● Yankee Home Runs: 3-in-all. Josh Donaldson (10th, 2-run HR, 6th-inning off Gilbert), Anthony Rizzo (27th, 1-run HR, 6th-inning off Gilbert), Trevino (10th, 2-run HR, 4th-inning off Gilbert. (Yankees batters lead the Majors with 184 HR this season.)
○ NOBODY BEATS THE RIZZ: Anthony Rizzo hit his 27th home run of the season. He’s homered in a season-high four straight games, marking the 10th time in his career that he has homered in at least three straight games. His 27HR lead Major League first baseman this season (min. 80% of games at 1B).
○ LEMACHINE: DJ LeMahieu has reached base multiple times in 19 of his last 22 starts, batting .368 with 22-runs, 3- doubles, 3-home runs, 10 RBI, 18 BB, 1 HP and 2 SB in those starts. Over that span, he ranks second in the Majors in OBP (first in AL), third in walks (second in AL) and fifth in BA (third in AL) and 11th in OPS (.967, seventh in AL).
○ Andrew Benintendi is pressing as a Yankee, he’s now 1-20 as a Yankee. Not good!
Big Story - Last night was the 43rd anniversary of all-time Yankee great Thurman Munson’s passing. Besides this being a sad day, Brian Cashman logged on the trade front in which he underwhelming moved fan-favorite Jordan Montgomery to St. Louis for a center fielder Harrison Bader and also dumped outfielder Joey Gallo for a pitching prospect.
Last night’s game promised incrementally better pitching from the visitors as Logan Gilbert took the hill, sporting an 10-4 record and a flashy 2.74 ERA. The anticipated duel between Jamison Taillon and Gilbert never quite materialized on account of Taillon’s less than stellar command last night.
Seattle jumped out to the early lead in the top of the second inning off Yankees starter Jameson Taillon, courtesy of an Eugenio Saurez 2-run missile to the second deck in left field that traveled 110.4 mph. The no-doubter off the bat landed 432 feet deep into the seats and staked the M’s to a resounding 2-0 Mariners lead.
Then, in the top of the third inning, the Mariners moved the lead to 3-0 thanks to another home run off Taillon, this one a deep shot to right-center field that was a one-run shot by catcher Cal Raleigh. Then, in the top of the third inning, Seattle added another run on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Santana and the Mariners then led 4-0.
Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson smoked a double to score Anthony Rizzo in the bottom of the 4th-inning and the Yankees got on the board, but the score was 4-1 Mariners.
Then, Jose Trevino blasted a two-run shot to left field off Gilbert to inch the Yankees to within 4-3.
On one of those nights where Taillon didn’t have pinpoint control, as he uncharacteristically walked four batters in 4 ⅔ innings, the Mariners mercifully chased him in the top of the fifth with two-outs, as Mariners third baseman Euginio Saurez drew a walk to put runners on first and second for Lucas Leutge, who Aaron Boone called on in what was a pretty tight spot in the game. Saurez rocked a two-run double off Luetge and suddenly it was 6-3 Seattle.
Anthony Rizzo wasn’t about to let it become a Seattle Route, so he launched a solo shot in the bottom of the sixth inning to draw the Yankees to 6-4. Recent Yankees teams simply haven’t been this resilient and Rizzo is quite possibly the team leader this season. His play has been nothing short of superb! He’s now third in the American League in home runs!
Then, after a Matt Carpenter line drive single to deep right field that Mariners right fielder Adam Frazier made a nice play on to hold Carpenter to first base, Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson came up and he took a 97mph fastball from Gilbert deep to right-center field to tie things up at 6-6. Donaldson had been only 2-32 previously, but last night he was huge, coming through with a double, a walk and the aforementioned home run!
In the top of the seventh, pinch hitter Sam Haggerty shot a home run to left field off Luetge and the Mariners took the lead 7-6. That brought on new Yankees reliever, righty side-arm specialist Scott Effross who induced Seattle first baseman Carlos Santana to pop out, preserving the 1-run deficit.
Seattle manager Scott Servias brought in his closer to face DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo as he believed that juncture of the game to be the key spot in the ballgame. Servias took the red-hot Yankee triumvirate down 1-2-3 to preserve the one-run Mariners lead at 7-6.
Boone brought in fireballer Albert Abreu to pitch the eighth inning, to face the Mariners 5-6-7 hitters. Shortstop J.P. Crawford grounded out to Josh Donaldson, then Kyle Lewis lined out to Yankees shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa. That brought Cal Raleigh to the plate, who flew out to Benintendi in left field on a full-count. Abreu did his job flawlessly yet again!
In the bottom of the eighth, Matt Carpenter worked a leadoff walk. Tim Locastro, a, “stolen base waiting to happen” according to Yankees announcer Michael Kay, came on to pinch run. Josh Donaldson then popped out to left field, which brought up Andrew Benintendi, who is now 1-20 as a Yankee. After what seemed like a half-hour at-bat, Benintendi, who appeared to be pressing, uncharacteristically struck out. Righty Matt Brash then was summoned to face the hot Jose Trevino. Two wild pitches later, Locastro was in scoring position, courtesy of a couple of overthrown sliders. A 90.7 mph knee buckling knuckle curve later, it was all for naught as Trevino was caught looking to end the inning.
Aaron Boone chose to leave Abreu in to start the Mariners top of the 9th-inning and, after Haggerty reached on an infield single, Abreu threw a 4-seam “pea” at the bottom of the strike zone to strike out Travis Jankowski. With one out, Abreu threw a slider in the dirt and it allowed Haggerty to advance to second. Abreu’s velocity was 100 mph + at this point, with 89 mph change-ups mixed in. With Adam Frazier at the plate, it felt like Abreu was auditioning for a spot on the team going forward, Unfortunately, Abreu gave up a broken bat single over the glove of a leaping DJ LeMaheiu at second base and the Mariners had another run, which knocked Abreu out of the game and made it 8-6 Mariners.
A late two-out, bases-loaded Yankees rally fell short when Gleyber Torres struck out on an Andres Munoz slider and the Yankees fate was sealed, they lost 8-6 to the Mariners.
Player of the Game - Mariners first baseman Carlos Santana gets the nod, his two-run double and sacrifice-fly were really the difference in the ballgame.
● Kudos to the Mariners bullpen for keeping a red-hot top of the Yankee lineup in check late in the game. Penn Murfee, Paul Sewald, Erik Swanson, and Matt Brash combined to pitch 2.2 innings with no runs allowed, striking out 4 Yankees and walking only one.
● Josh Donaldson scorched some balls last night, en route to a 2-3 night with 3 RBI’s and a walk.
Better to Forget
● Brian Cashman dumped Jordan Montgomery for less than market value, feeling he had a surplus of pitching since recently acquiring former A’s righty Frankie Montas. I literally hate the move, because the Yankees now have exactly one left-handed starting pitcher – Nestor Cortes. More on this from me to follow later today!
● Aaron Boone kind of mismanaged the Yankee bullpen, leaving both Lucas Luetge and Albert Abreu in the game a bit too-long. The results were two late runs which were all the Mariners needed to win the game.
My Take - The anticipated pitching duel didn’t really materialize on the scoreboard, but it really was an intriguing matchup between Jameson Taillon and Logan Gilbert, the latter of whom had the upper hand throughout the matchup.
Personally, I never felt the Yankees were out of it, even though they fell behind the M’s 6-3. The Yankees are a resilient team after all. It was really no surprise that the Yankees tied the game up quickly, Yankee fans have been very spoiled this season by how the 2022 Yankees stick together and it feels like they are always a few swings away from getting right back into things.
Anthony Rizzo has become my favorite first baseman since Tino Martinez. The Yankees should just extend him. I love his defense, I love his hitting approach with two strikes and I love his leadership. Oh, and I love his dead-pull approach at the plate too. (I should have mentioned that first!)
Regarding Cashman trading Jordan Montgomery for Harrison Bader, it appears that Mongomery’s sub par performance of late was too much for the Yankees to tolerate. Bader was last year’s Fangraph's "feel good" outfielder, posting upper echelon defensive stats while also showing signs of life at the plate.
Clearly, the Yankee analytics department sees merit in Bader, personally though, with Aaron Hicks playing solidly as a backup center fielder to Aaron Judge, I’m obviously not in love with this trade. Cashman’s advisors may have wanted to get Matt Carpenter out of right field at all costs and so the trade appears to be one that was forged from a desire to be elite defensively. Bader has some speed to go with the strong defense but Montgomery had one more year of team control and he was a more valuable player than Bader. This was not one of Cashman’s better moves this season.
Dumping Joey Gallo was kind of a ho-hum trade, Cashman appeared to roll the dice a bit on a high-upside arm in Clayton Beeter, kind of similar actually to Luis Medina, who Cashman included in the deal for Frankie Montas.
The game was another failure from Yankee pitching and as good as Cashman’s moves were yesterday, the dust has now settled. Based on Cashman’s moves, are the Yankees primed to win a World Series? I’m not enthused to be 100% honest.
I wanted Cashman to trade for David Robertson, a lefty reliever like Joe Mantiply, and either Andrew Benintendi or Chris Taylor. I’m left feeling a bit underwhelmed.
Next Up - The Yankees hand the ball to Gerrit Cole (9-3, 3.30) today to conclude the current three-game series vs. the Mariners, who will send newly acquired righty Luis Castillo (4-4, 2,86) to the mound to oppose the Yankees ace!
Cole will make his 22nd start of the season tonight and will be pitching on regular four days' rest, having last pitched on Friday vs. Kansas City when he didn’t record a decision in the Yankees' 11-6 win (6.0IP, 7H, 5ER, 0BB, 9K, 1HR). Cole is 9-3 with a 3.00 ERA (114.0 IP, 38ER) and 150K in his last 18 starts while allowing 2 ER-or-fewer in 12 of his last 18 starts and one-or-zero runs in nine of those starts.
Tomorrow’s Accuweather gametime forecast calls for sunny skies today with temperatures hovering at 84-degrees at first-pitch, which will be at 1:05pm today.