UPDATED WITH POST-GAME QUOTES
We all knew this weekend would be a big test for the Mariners.
Never mind their wild-card chances, this one didn’t pass the Snell test — that being starting pitcher Ian Snell and his first hook-up with the New York Yankees.
Snell found himself down 5-0 after the third inning, but who was left out there to soak up more innings given the bullpen shortage. In the end, he allowed eight earned runs in six-plus frames and that’s how teams go on to lose at home by an 11-1 score.
“Again, going 14 (innings) last night, sometimes you’ve got to leave guys out there with a four game series,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “Especially against these guys when you’ve got to save some pitching. Sometimes, some guys have got to wear it.”
And Snell wore it tonight. So did Garrett Olson. Both would have been replaced much earlier under different circumstances.
The Yankees had 15 hits tonight, compared to only three by Seattle against C.C. Sabathia for eight innings and none in the ninth.
Not sure what looked worse: the final score, or the hits tally.
“With human nature, when you fall behind that early, the offense gets impatient and starts to swing,” Wakamatsu added. “That helps out the opposing pitcher too and he didn’t need any tonight.”
Snell admitted it’s been a challenge adjusting to American League lineups.
“That’s a lineup that nobody in the National League has,” Mariners starter Ian Snell said after facing the Yankees for the first time. “I mean, the American League is so much tougher than the National League. There are so many more power hitters. They’ve got great pitchers over here. Defense is great. So, it’s pretty tough. It’s taken a while to get adjusted to, but I’m trying my best. That’s all I can do.”
The Mariners will break down his outing and see where he can improve. Wakamatsu would like to see him get ahead in counts quicker and let opponents put the ball in-play for the defense.
Snell said the Yankees were more patient than he’s used to, waited for their pitches and that helped drive his pitch count up to 77 by the end of the fourth inning — after he’d opened with a 12-pitch first.
“The American League is more fastball hitters,” he said. “That’s why there’s more power hitters here than in the National League. But hey, I’ve got to keep pitching. That’s all I can do.”
And Snell has already made plenty of adjustments.
“A lot,” he said with a sigh. “It’s tough. You’ve got to make an adjustment quick here. It’s pretty tough, but I’m dealing with it. I’m not stressing out over it.”
Neither are the Mariners, who plan to keep running him out there every five days. Hopefully, for them, with better results.