Brandon Morrow is 24 years old. Prior to Friday evening, he had thrown 100 big league innings and had made a grand total of zero starts.
This year, Morrow, one of the Mariners’ top pitching prospects, has thrown up some impressive numbers. In 36.2 innings, he’s allowed 18 hits and has a better than 3:1 K:BB ratio. He also throws in the upper 90s.
The Yankees, meanwhile, were coming off a night game in Tampa and a cross-country flight. Clearly, that’s a winning combination for the Mariners, and Morrow did not disappoint. The youngster didn’t give up a hit until Wilson Betemit doubled in a run in the 8th. He walked three, struck out eight and threw 72 of his 106 pitches for strikes. On nights like these, you just tip your cap to the opposing pitcher and salute him for a stellar game.
On the Yanks’ side of the ball, Andy Pettitte, with his pinstripe future in doubt, had himself a nice outing. He threw seven strong innings, striking out nine Mariners and allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk. He did what he’s supposed to do against a punchless offense. Too bad the Yankees were even more punchless tonight.
With that loss, the Yanks fall 8.5 games behind the Red Sox for that final playoff spot. More alarming, however, is the 0.5 games separating them from the Blue Jays. Right now, I’ll retire my pipe dream of seeing the Yankees overcome the odds to play in October and start rooting for them to avoid a fourth-place finish. Considering their schedule the rest of the way, they don’t have a lock on third place.