Mariners Kinda-Sorta Sweep Yankees


May 1, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Roenis Elias (29) pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners just wrapped up a trip to the Bronx, where they were scheduled to play the New York Yankees three times. What happened is that they played the Yankees two times, and both times, the Mariners won. So in a sense, they swept. But the series is still technically ongoing, since the makeup of game two has yet to take place. It won’t take place for some time, in fact, so really we won’t know if the Mariners sweep or not for a month. Yet they were just in New York, and they certainly didn’t lose while they were there. So they swept, but they didn’t. It’s all so very complicated.

With this win, the Mariners run differential is all the way back to -3. They’re second-to-last in the AL in runs scored, but third-best at run prevention. They’ve won three straight, and hey, that’s something. You know who starts on Saturday? Hisashi Iwakuma, that’s who! Things are looking up. The team’s in fourth, of course, but they’re only two games under .500 and are getting an ace back from the DL. Smile. Smile about the Mariners.

Roenis Elias‘s fourth pitch of the day was Jacoby Ellsbury‘s first Yankee home run. From that point on Elias was unreal, posting by far his most impressive outing as a major leaguer to date. After the home run he struck out Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran, and Alfonso Soriano, all swinging. He struck out ten Yankees in all, walking only two and allowing only one unearned run, in addition to the homer. Elias went seven strong, and has now truly arrived. Before, he was but a minor leaguer filling in for a team that forgot to put together a rotation this offseason. Now he’s legitimately shining. Ten strikeouts in seven innings! Welcome to the big leagues, Roenis Elias. Stay a while.

Much like CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda is struggling to open the season. Like Sabathia, Kuroda’s got fine looking K/BB numbers and bad results. More homers, sure, but overall he looks like Hiroki Kuroda, but with more runs allowed. That was the story against Seattle, as Kuroda struck out seven but allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk. The Yankees rotation right now is a bunch of injuries, two guys who are walking talking DIPS theory, and Masahiro Tanaka, who is already ridiculously amazing. The Yankees rotation is interesting, and allowing a lot more runs than you’d expect given their strikeouts.

Robinson Cano got the scoring started with a first inning double to score Stefen Romero, who now bats second behind Michael Saunders. This team could really use a leadoff hitter. Cano grounded into a force with runners at the corners a couple innings later, scoring Brad Miller. With men on first and second in the fourth, Brad Miller singled and Michael Saunders doubled, scoring another pair. Four runs, versus the Yankees two. The Mariners won, and that’s why, and how.

Happy Felix Day! It’s Felix Day now, you know. Felix Hernandez vs. the Houston Astros, in Houston, and by all means this is quite likely to go better than it did last time. Brad Peacock starts for Houston, game’s at 5:15. After Felix comes Kuma, finally, just the way things ought to be. As noted earlier, this pitching staff (and defense) has allowed the third-least runs in the AL, despite no Iwakuma yet. That’s nuts, and excellent. The Astros came close to sweeping the Mariners a week ago, but now the M’s are (kind of) hot and Houston’s still Houston. Prepare for the worst, of course, but know that a beatdown is at least possible, if not probable. The King’s pitching. These things happen.

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