By Shannon Drayer
I’m not one that is big on big-win, big-game, or momentum talk. If you listen to me on the postgame show you have probably heard the phrase “it’s just one game” from me often. In a 162-game season, most games are just one game. Tonight was different.
Tonight was big. To go into Yankee Stadium and overcome some bad calls that some would call hometown calls and come away with a series win over the first-place team means something to a young team. To get a win where your starter is scratched and your young bullpen is pushed is even bigger. To hold a lead in a building where you were not able to do the same two nights earlier is even bigger. The Mariners won a game that they probably couldn’t have won a year ago.
The M’s overcame adverse circumstances to beat the Yankees 3-2 Thursday night and escape the Bronx with a series win. (AP)
I especially enjoyed watching the bullpen have the success it had. Just 24 hours earlier I wrote that I was concerned that the pen – while successful – was limited because of the extreme splits many members had. Well, they came through.
A big tip of the cap to Hector Noesi, who showed something tonight. More than the 4 1/3 innings he threw in the emergency start, Noesi didn’t wilt under pressure. Hopefully this is a stepping stone for him.
Yoervis Medina pitched in a pressure situation and came out okay. Carter Capps survived three left-handed batters in the eighth inning and that was huge. The game was completely in his hands in the eighth as there was nobody up in the pen with just Tom Wilhelmsen and Charlie Furbush – who was being held back in case the game went into extras – left.
Wilhelmsen was spectacular. He didn’t have his command early but was able to strike out Jayson Nix with a runner on third and one out when he needed to.
“In my head I said this one is going right by ya,” he told me on the field following the game.
All that strikeout did was earn him a matchup with Robinson Cano. Wilhelmsen said he had been going over this matchup for the past two games. A closer that is looking forward to getting to Cano? You have to love that.
There was offense, too, with Michael Morse hitting a home run and Brendan Ryan putting up two hits and a RBI. Defensively, Kyle Seager made a couple of beautiful key plays and Kendrys Morales roped in an errant Ryan throw that could have scored the tying run.
It was a good game and the guys knew it.
“That was playoff stuff right there,” Ryan said at his locker after the game. “Everybody’s ready to make a defensive play. Our bullpen comes in and they are executing pitches. That’s as fun as it gets there at the end with Tommy on the mound.”
Now it is time to see what they can do against the Indians. The team arrived here at 2 a.m. no worse for wear. Truth be told, they were still a little up from the win as they should be.
This was a good one.
Seager is finally being noticed. Despite the fact that the New York television crew called him Sayger for two days, there is no doubt he caught their attention. Good to see.
Despite the success of the pen there is a good chance we could see a move later Friday. The pen pitched a lot of innings and with Brandon Maurer and Joe Saunders coming up they most likely will not want to risk not having enough pen this weekend. As terrific as Noesi was, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is sent down as he will not be able to pitch this weekend. I wouldn’t expect him to be down for long, however.