This trip to the West Coast is already going better than the last. The Yankees started the four-game series in Seattle with a 4-1 win over the Mariners on Thursday night. They’re somehow 4-4 in the first eight games of this eleven-game road trip. Feels worse. Anyway, hooray for a win. Late night West Coast games get bullet point recaps, so let’s get to it:
- Seven Strong From Sevy: Boy, Luis Severino is turning into one hell of a pitcher. This start was not an easy one — he had only one 1-2-3 inning — but great pitchers find a way to grind through games like this. Severino chucked seven scoreless innings and he faced his biggest jam in the fourth, when he had runners on the corners with no outs. Pop-up, pop-up, walk, ground ball. Inning over. Shout out to Mariners third base coach Manny Acta for not waving Kyle Seager home from second on a single to center that inning. Must not have the scouting report on Jacoby Ellsbury‘s arm. Severino’s line: 7 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Bravo.
- Two Earned, Two Unearned: Zombie Felix Hernandez rose from the dead to regain his 2010 form Thursday night. He held the Yankees to one bloop single and two walks through the first five innings. It wasn’t until Brett Gardner jumped all over a 1-1 fastball in the sixth that the scoreless tie was broken. A single, an error, and a walk set up Aaron Judge for the inside-out RBI single to plate an insurance run in the eighth. The Yankees scored two more in the ninth when Embedded Yankee Robinson Cano threw away Chase Headley‘s inning-ending grounder. The ball rolled around and Todd Frazier was able to score all the way from second. The Yankees were long overdue for one of those. Severino pitched well, Gardner homered, Judge drove in an insurance run, Cano made a big error. Hooray homegrown Yankees.
- Same Old Bullpen: We got our first look at how Joe Girardi will manage his new bullpen. David Robertson will be the seventh inning guy. I know this because he warmed up in the seventh inning, and even though he didn’t pitch, Dellin Betances came in for the eighth. I hate that. Robertson’s warm! Just use him! Sigh. Whatever. Betances hit a batter and allowing a seeing-eye single in the eighth but escaped unscathed. Aroldis Chapman labored through the ninth and allowed a run. He was warming when it was 2-0, before Cano’s error, so Girardi brought him in anyway. Robertson warmed up in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. /shrugs
- Leftovers: Frazier picked up his first hit as a Yankee in the ninth. It was a clean single to left … Gardner has 16 homers now, one short of his career high with 68 games to play … Matt Holliday went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and two double plays. He has been b r u t a l since coming back from the disabled list … two hits each for Didi Gregorius and Headley … Ellsbury went 0-for-4 and is down to .249/.324/.360 (86 wRC+). The Yankees are 51.14638% of the way through his contract … and finally, Severino threw a 101.2 mph (!) fastball to Jean Segura during that fourth inning jam. It’s the hardest pitch thrown by any starting pitcher this season. Goodness.
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. This four-game series is just getting started. CC Sabathia and rookie Andrew Moore are the scheduled starting pitchers for the second game of the series Friday night. That’s another 10pm ET start.