Tuesday, June 29, 2010

MARINERS: Lee's CG his Last in Mariners' Jersey?

Welcome home Russell Branyan; sayonara Cliff Lee? In an impressive 7-4 against the New York Yankees on the road, the Mariners offense came out strongly and kept scoring for Cliff Lee’s third complete game in a row. With the trade deadline nearing and teams looking to make a last push for October, Cliff Lee’s stock may never be higher on the trade market.

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Lee may consider this a poor outing on his part, however. In the second inning, he gave up only his fifth walk of the season. In the ninth inning, he gave up two of his four runs (however, only one was earned). Even then, he only allowed eight hits and improved his record to 7-3 (2.45 ERA).

On the Yankees side, Phil Hughes took the mound in what was assumed to be an impressive pitchers’ duel. The Mariners offense, bolstered by the returning Branyan, wanted none of that. Over 5.2 innings, giving up six earned runs and being removed with a 7-1 deficit. It ended up being only his second loss of the season, against ten wins.

Offensively, none of the problems with batting Mariners saw over the season were visible tonight. Every single hitter had at least one hit, clogging the base paths and leading to timely hitting scoring runs in small doses regularly. From the second to the sixth, a run was scored every inning—three being scored in the sixth.

Franklin Guitierrez hit his seventh home run of the season in the fourth, scoring again later in the sixth on a Rob Johnson double—his second of the night. The team hit a combined .500 (4-8) with runners in scoring position.

Tomorrow, the Mariners are in New York again for game two, starting at 4:05p EST. Felix Hernandez (5-5, 3.28 ERA) takes the mound to face Javier Vasquez (6-6, 5.16 ERA).

Reach M. Wend at nextseasonsports@gmail.com