If New York, New York is hell city, Yankee Stadium is just hell. It’s less of a stadium and more of a fart turned into a building, it’s a concrete monster littered with ads (so many ads, really, even for a ballpark) and surrounded by nothing of concrete. No charm inside, just more concrete.
Inside, too, are the Yankee fans. New Yorkers are a loud bunch who are quick to share their opinions. And since the Mariners beat the Yankees tonight, I’m worried about what they’re going to do with my mentions. As a gesture of goodwill, I suggest that we all listen to New Yorkers a little more.
For example, if we look at Logan Gilbert’s performance, perhaps we should take our lead from New Yorkers Pete and Trudy Campbell.
To be fair, Logan’s first inning was fine, working around a perfectly reasonable walk from Aaron Judge with a reasonable pitch mix of just 9 fastballs to 5 curveballs, 4 sliders and 2 changeups. But after that first inning, he lost control of his off-speed pitches and tied his career to four walks. Logan, constantly behind, nibbled and got predictable with his fastball, which the Yankees punished with three homers, another career high. With just two touches and two strikeouts, there was little good to make up for that. It’s a trip he and we would surely like to forget. So let’s take another New Yorker’s advice and move on.
Now that we’ve put down the bad news, we can get down to what went well, like the defense behind Logan, who regularly saved him. The Mariners turned three double plays tonight, most impressively one started by Eugenio Suárez, who made a very skillful dive to snatch a hard-hit ball while playing out of position in the shift. If you impressed JP Crawford with your defense then you really did something right.
And yet my favorite game tonight wasn’t one of the double plays, but rather a failed double steal. With DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge on base, they started too early and got caught. With both runners going in a high-pressure moment, it would be easy to get caught up in indecision, but Logan committed to making the throw to second base. The infielders then did exactly the right thing to check the lead runner and try to snag the trail runner. This is an out that major leagues need to get, but the Mariners executed it flawlessly, and after screwing up a similar game on Sunday, it was a joy to see baseball fundamentals carry away.
And on the other side of the ball, the Mariners matched the Yankees’ three home runs with three of their own. Suárez started with a 432 footer to plate two runs (which, combined with his defense, earns him his first Sun Hat Award of the year). In the next inning, Cal Raleigh hit his 17th Beef Boy Bomb. But the one with the most leverage came from Sam Haggerty. You may recall that Swaggy’s last game, in the words of New York icon Jenna Maroney, “was a disaster and not the good kind I can sing at a fundraiser.”
Well, we know Swaggy is involved with the Corelone family on Long Island, so he may have taken Clemenza’s advice: “If you come back, you come in.” It would explain why he’s since his first Plate appearance Saturday, when he scored in a tie, did this:
Sewald secured that lead with an easy groundout from LeMahieu and impressive strikeouts from Judge and Anthony Rizzo. Erik Swanson and Matt Brash were less dominant but still combined to allow just an eighth-place runner to take the game to ninth, with the Mariners still leading 7-6.
And in the top of ninth, Haggerty got back to base by hitting a pitch and then finished second on a wild pitch. This was brought up by Adam Frazier, who was out on a hot night having already reached the base and stolen a base three times. I know we dragged Frazier a lot in June, but since the calendar switched to July he’s hit .312 and is four for four in stolen bases. The archetypal spray hitter, he’s been hitting balls everywhere lately. Let’s see if the Yankees prevented a run by asking Brooklynite Mona Lisa Vito to look at a picture.
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Things should be settled with Andrés Muñoz coming in to secure ninth place. And with two strikeouts early in the inning, it looked like it was done. But then LeMaheiu somehow managed to hit a 102-mile fastball that ran onto his hands. As the broadcast booth said, all you have to do is tip your hat to it. But it seemed to unnerve Muñoz as he then had to face the tie in Aaron Judge. Muñoz threw four uncompetitive sliders and a meatball, which Judge somehow didn’t hit.
Muñoz then couldn’t get close to Rizzo and led him on four squares. With bases loaded and the winning run at first base, Muñoz buckled up and got the pinching Gleyber Torres to end the game with a swing-and-miss on a perfectly placed slider.
The Mariners ultimately won 8-6, just not without some stunning plate performances at the bottom of ninth place. I guess Muñoz just heard Upper East Sider Charlotte York.