Yankees pound Ian Snell and Mariners, 11-1
Tough to believe one day could change so much for a Mariners team coming off one of its most dramatic wins of the season. But then, the Mariners...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Tough to believe one day could change so much for a Mariners team coming off one of its most dramatic wins of the season.
But then, the Mariners woke up Thursday realizing they had lost both third baseman Adrian Beltre and shortstop Jack Wilson to injuries sustained in their 14-inning marathon the previous night. And those losses were magnified Thursday night when an invisible Mariners attack and depleted pitching staff went out and got pounded, 11-1, by the New York Yankees.
That whistling sound wasn't so much all the Yankees' home runs leaving the ballpark, but more the air coming out of the Mariners' balloon as reality sinks in about how uphill an already near-impossible playoff quest will be.
"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."
Yes, the Yankees are good. They are playoff good.
And the Mariners, short-handed as they were and with a staff of pitchers still largely learning the ropes, just couldn't keep up.
A Safeco Field crowd of 33,585, seeming still pumped up from the previous night's heroics and infused with thousands of Yankees fans, was taken out of it early when Snell fell behind 5-0 by the third inning. After a 12-pitch opening frame, the Yankees waited Snell out in a two-run second, then teed off on him for three more in the third.
Derek Jeter opened the third inning by driving the first pitch over the wall in left-center and Hideki Matsui added his first of two home runs — a two-run shot — later in that frame. Snell was down 6-0 and had already thrown 77 pitches by the time the fourth inning ended, but was left out there by manager Don Wakamatsu because of the shortage of bullpen arms.
Snell made it through six-plus before Garrett Olson replaced him in the seventh. Olson yielded two more runs charged to Snell, then an earned marker of his own. Matsui hit his second two-run homer of the game in the eighth, also off Olson, to cap the scoring.
Seattle's only run came in the fifth when Josh Wilson, called up from Class AAA earlier in the day to take Beltre's roster spot, hit his first home run in two years off Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia. The towering shot to left, on a 1-2 offering, was one of only three hits the Mariners managed all night in the eight innings worked by the dominant Yankees left-hander.
"I can't say enough about how good that guy is," Wilson said. "Him throwing a two-strike breaking ball and leaving it up like that, it's definitely unlike him. So, fortunately for me, he hung one up there and I was able to get a good piece of it. It stayed fair for me, too."
The Mariners didn't get nearly the same performance from Snell (0-1), winless in three starts since his July 29 trade from Pittsburgh. Snell lasted just 1-1/3 innings his last time out and while he went deeper in this game, was still knocked around early.
"I felt good, my command was better," said Snell, charged with eight earned runs against. "But they don't swing at very many pitches. They pick a pitch and they wait for it and then they swing. I mean, to pitch to that lineup is very tough."
Wakamatsu said Snell made it tougher on himself by walking and falling behind hitters. Snell walked three, and two scored.
"With him, it wasn't so much the total walks as much as falling behind hitters and having to give in," Wakamatsu said.
Even on the two home runs he yielded, which came on the first pitch, Wakamatsu could sense Snell altering his approach to try to find a formula that worked. Things finally clicked for Snell in the fifth and sixth, which he breezed through in order.
"You're going back and forth trying to figure out what's going to work for you," Wakamatsu said. "I thought he had some stretches there where he threw the ball extremely well. Getting acclimated to a new team, a new ballpark, those are things we're looking for."
But the Mariners, who trail wild-card foes Boston and Texas by six games each in the loss column, needed far more than they brought to the table.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or email@example.com
Copyright © The Seattle Times Company
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