mariners

New York Yankees vs. Mariners: MLB baseball love ‘em & hate ‘em game 2

Felix Hernandez wins third straight

The Headline: Michael Saunders provides the offense on Felix night as the M’s top New York.

Seattle Mariners 4, New York Yankees 1
When: 10:10 ET, Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Where: Safeco Field, Seattle
Temperature: 68
Umpires: Home — Greg Gibson, 1B — Manny Gonzalez, 2B — Gerry Davis, 3B — Phil Cuzzi
Attendance: 31,908

Love ‘em

1. Michael Saunders

If baseball teams doled out game balls, tonight’s would go to one Michael Saunders.

The M’s centfielder provided all the offensive charge tonight. He was 2-4 with 2 runs scored, 1 RBI and a solo shot in the first to get Seattle on the board.

Saunders has been struggling through July and it was just his second home run of the month. However, he looked very comfortable hitting second—which is a new spot for him. Hopefully he can find his rhythm at the top of the order.

2. Felix Hernandez

Alex Rodriguez

The Yankees did work him a little, gathering 3 walks and 3 hit batsmen, forcing Hernandez to throw 117 pitches. Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

It seems like early season struggles are finally behind the Seattle ace.

Tonight, King Felix pitched 7.1 innings of 2 run ball, giving up 4 hits and striking out 4. The win was his third in a row, while it was the fourth start in a row in which he’s gone at least 7 innings.

The Yankees did work him a little, gathering 3 walks and 3 hit batsmen, forcing Hernandez to throw 117 pitches. None the less, Felix made his outs when it counted and brought home the win.

3. New Look Lineup

I’ve been down on Eric Wedge a lot for his lineup construction, but I really liked tonight’s.

Dustin Ackley and Saunders are a good one-two punch at the top. Sandwiching the hot John Jaso between Jesus Montero and Kyle Seager was also a nice move.

The bottom of the order still has a lot of holes—things kind of top off at Seager—but for now the top has plenty of lethality.

Hate ‘em

1. Garcia Dominates

Though he was tagged for the loss, Freddy Garcia enjoyed his return to Safeco tonight.

He needed just 89 pitches to get through 7.1 innings. He struck out eight while giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and no walks. In no way did he pitch badly, and many of Seattle’s hitters looked over matched by the 35-year old.

It’s never fun when a former starter manhandles your team.

2. Smoak Demotion

There’s a lot of reasons to be disappointed about Justin Smoak‘s recent demotion to AAA Tacoma.

For one, it leaves a big hole at first—Mike Carp hasn’t exactly been Hank Aaron out there.

It also signifies that the organization is probably close to giving up on Smoak. This stinks because he was always a player with tremendous promise. You never like to see such a talented prospect go down in flames like Smoak… no pun intended.

3. Bottom Woes

If you hit behind Kyle Seager tonight, you were destined to fail.

The six through nine hitters were awful tonight. The group went 1-13 with four punchouts. Casper Wells alone left four men on base.

The lineup is on it’s way to being fixed, but nights like tonight prove there’s still a ways to go.

Here’s the BOXSCORE | and Our Editor “Q” has his RECAP

NoteBook

Granderson recorded two of New York’s five hits.

The Mariners finished with six hits, including two apiece by Saunders and Kyle Seager. Seager registered his AL-leading 34th two-out RBI.

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