GAME 63: It all came together tonight in Seattle, as standout pitching, timely hits and great defense combined for a 3-2 victory over the Mariners in the first of three at Safeco Field. Vidal Nuno, although denied the win, delivered his best performance to date, while Derek Jeter and Jacoby Ellsbury provided the late game hitting heroics.
The Yankees plated two runs in the top of the first off Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma on timely RBI’s from Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann. Nuno gave one back in the bottom of the frame, but shut the Mariners down from there.
A huge inning for Nuno was the 6th, already at 89 pitches and facing Seattle’s number 2, 3 and 4 hitters. He struck out Brooklyn’s own James Jones, got Robinson Cano to fly to center (on a nice sliding catch by Jacoby Ellsbury), and that was it for the lefty. Joe Girardi made the call to the pen for Dellin Betances, who closed out the inning by inducing a ground out to second. Nuno finished with a nice line of 5 2/3, 4 hits, 1 walk, 1 K, and 1 earned run.
In the 7th inning, Betances had a rare non-dominant outing and took the role of ‘vulture’, letting the tying run score, then ultimately getting the win — his fourth against no defeats. In the top of the 8th, with the score knotted a 2-2, Derek Jeter smacked a grounds rule double to right center, then Jacoby Ellsbury slashed a single to right, plating the Captain for a 3-2 lead.
Adam Warren came in for the bottom of the 8th inning with all pitches working. Also facing the Mariner’s 2, 3 and 4 spots, he got James Jones ground out to second. A Cano single up the middle was wasted as Adams then got both Endy Chavez and Klye Seager on lazy pop ups to Brian Roberts on the shallow outfield grass.
Closer David Robertson notched his 15th save of the 2014 season with some nasty pitches, striking out the side around a two-out walk.
The Leather Was Flashin’
Helping keep the M’s off the board tonight in no small part was the play of Ichiro Suzuki and Jacoby Ellsbury, who made stellar defensive grabs in the outfield, while Derek Jeter and Brian Roberts held down the corner in the infield with nice glove work …
Here’s the box score and Bryan Hoch‘s recap via mlb.com.
GAMEDAY NOTES: A very Happy Birthday to, in our humble opinion, the hands-down best baseball commentator on the airwaves today, and New York native — Ken Singleton! And many, many more! Yankees fans are blessed to be treated to the wit, wisdom, and baseball knowledge Kenny drops on every single broadcast — our only complaint is that there’s not enough of them!
MEMORY LANE: On June 10th, 1978, the Yankees traded Ken Holtzman to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later, which turned out be be Ron Davis, who was sent to New York two days later to complete the trade. (Source: Baseball Reference) …