Just been told that Brandon Morrow threw a complete-game four-hitter tonight against Iowa. Now that counts as an excellent outing. Morrow could be back up here shortly. Also, in Class AA, Danny Cortes threw six innings and allowed just a run on one hit to pick up his first win for his new organization. Cortes did walk six batters though, continuoing some of the command issues he’s had. Still, the potential is there for the arm received from Kansas City in the Yuniesky Betancourt deal.
Very impressed with Ryan Rowland-Smith tonight. He was efficient and in control from about the third inning on when he began pitching to contact more and got the Yankees to mishit the ball. Was also getting his breaking ball over for strikes when needed. He’s at 99 pitches through seven and could be done with some switch-hitters and righties due up in the eighth. Though as effifcient as the Aussie has been in this 2-2 game, he could get through one more frame without his pitch count going through the roof.
Andy Pettitte is done, having fanned 10 batters over six innings. Those three lefties in the middle of the batting order aren’t helping the Mariners tonight, going 1-for-9 off Pettitte with an RBI on a groundout.
By the way, forgot to mention that I stopped by the far end of the Mariners dugout for a chat with scouting director Tom McNamara today (Angie Mentink of FSN and Kirby Arnold of the Everett Herald were also there), and McNamara pointed out the team’s No. 27 overall draft pick from June, high school shortstop Nick Franklin, standing off to the side. Franklin isn’t under contract yet, so he couldn’t work out and was actually in street clothes.
The fact Franklin is here makes it a good bet he’ll finalize a deal the next day or two, which comes as little surprise since the two sides could not have been that far apart considering he was taken so late in the first round. Expect things to go a bit more down to the wire with No. 2 overall pick Dustin Ackley, but don’t panic. There’s plenty of time to hammer something out by next week and that deal will almost certainly get done as well.
9:08 p.m.: We saw in the fifth inning how baseball can be a game of inches. We’re tied 2-2 after the Yankees used every inch they could to scratch out a run off Ryan Rowland-Smith. With two out and none on, Melky Cabrera just beat out a throw from third for an infield hit. An ensuing wild-pitch moved Cabrera to second and then Derek Jeter poked a ball to the left side that sneaked under the gloves of both Jack Hannahan and Josh Wilson. If the regular shortstop and third baseman are in there, that play gets made. At the very least, the ball stays in the infield and the run doesn’t score on that particular play.
Andy Pettitte has owned the M’s the past few innings. Best news for Seattle fans is that Pettitte’s pitch count is now up near 100 and he won’t be in the game much longer.
7:44 p.m.: New York got one back in the second inning to make it a 2-1 game, Seattle still in the lead. Ryan Rowland-Smith gave up a leadoff double to Jorge Posada that the umpires put under video review after the ball hit the top of the wall in right center just above the yellow line. The ball had to clear the wall, though, for it to be a home run, so the double call was upheld.
The Yanks then had runners at the corners with one out when Jerry Hairston Jr. appeared to hit into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play. But second baseman Jose Lopez double-clutched the ball after the transfer to his throwing hand and could not get the out at first base. That’s how the run scored.
7:33 p.m.: A much better start for the Mariners tonight, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Ichiro and Franklin Gutierrez reached on singles, then Jose Lopez doubled to the right field corner to bring the first run home. Ken Griffey Jr. knocked in the other on a ground ball to the right side.
Ryan Rowland-Smith walked one batter and will have to pitch a bit more efficiently than he did. He threw 22 pitches in the first inning, nine of them on a leadoff walk to Derek Jeter. Rowland-Smith nibbled a little too much early in his last outing. The Yankees will make you pay if you do that.
7:06 p.m. The Mariners will try to put up a better showing in this one than they did last night. Ryan Rowland-Smith gets the call. An update for you: Joba Chamberlain will start Sunday’s game for the Yankees.
SS Derek Jeter
LF Johnny Damon
1B Mark Teixeira
DH Hideki Matsui
C Jorge Posada
2B Robinson Cano
RF Nick Swisher
3B Jerry Hairston Jr.
CF Melky Cabrera
LHP Andy Pettitte
CF Franklin Gutierrez
2B Jose Lopez
DH Ken Griffey Jr.
1B Russell Branyan
3B Jack Hannahan
C Rob Johnson
SS Josh Wilson
LF Michael Saunders
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith