September 19, 2009

Oh no, It’s Ichiro! Mariners walk off vs. Mo

Mariano Rivera had struck out the first two batters of the ninth with ease, but then long-time Royal Mike Sweeney pinch hit for Josh Wilson. Sweeney doubled, and Ichiro homered to give the Mariners (77-71) a walk-off, 3-2 victory over the Yankees (94-54).

Quick ‘Cap:
The Yanks used a pair of sac flies from Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira to take a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning. Nobody in the world expected Rivera to blow the game after the first two batters went down on strikes, but it happened. It’s tough to take, especially if you are A.J. Burnett.

Burnett pitched one of his best games of the second half: 7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K. He had very sharp stuff all night, and left the game in the normally trustworthy hands of Phil Hughes and Rivera. Hughes did his part, but Rivera just couldn’t convert his 37th consecutive save. On a positive note, his second strikeout was his 1,000th of his career. Congrats, Mo. Full box score here.

It just happened so fast. Sweeney and Ichiro swung at the first pitch and met the ball solidly. You have to wonder if that’s the best strategy against Mo. Because once you have two strikes on you, Mo has so many strikeout pitches.

Jose Molina had a chance to add an insurance run in the seventh inning with Nick Swisher at third base with one out. Instead, he grounded into a 6-4-3 DP to end the inning. Where was Francisco Cervelli?!

Line of the Night:
Felix Hernandez: 9 IP, 8 H, 2 R, ER, BB, 3 K. His stuff was equally as nasty as Burnett’s tonight, but Felix lasted the whole game while Burnett left after seven.

Up Next:
The Yanks look to even the series  on Saturday night with CC Sabathia (17-7, 3.42) on the mound against Doug Fister (2-3, 3.53).

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