The boxscore will show Hector Noesi with a rather impressive-looking seven innings pitched, five earned runs allowed and having retired 10 of his final 11 batters faced. Fans of such statistics will also note that he needed only 98 pitches to get through his seven frames.
Those into winning games, however, will note that Noesi didn’t stop making mistake pitches with two strikes until this game was all but over, with the Yankees comfortably on top 5-0 in the fourth inning.
Prior to that, in the second inning, Noesi made several two-strike mistakes and paid for it to the tune of four runs against on four extra-base hits, including a Jayson Nix two-run homer. Nix hadn’t had a hit all year and was 0-for-20 dating back to last season before putting one over the right field wall.
The Mariners, in turn, played most of the day like a team that knew the game was over in the fourth inning. They got a solo homer from Mike Carp in the seventh off Phil Hughes and then showed a pulse in the ninth inning — down by five — when Carp had a near-two-run homer go off the top of the right field wall.
Upon video review, the call was reversed to a double and a lone RBI.
Not that it mattered.
Again, stats are nice and all, but Noesi buried his team the first four innings. He’ll get some additional chances against teams maybe not as good as New York. But if it’s competitiveness the Mariners were looking for here, he didn’t show any the first four innings when the game was still close.
It’s a little like when Kevin Millwood gives up five early to the Tigers. The innings afterwards are nice and the bullpen appreciates it and all.
But the back end of this rotation is simply not giving the team enough chances to win games.
That has to change, or the M’s will be making changes in coming weeks, no doubt.