Not much to say. I feel like one of the players, what can you say?
The 16th straight loss in this freefall of defeat didn’t seem very competitive. Sure the Mariners played with passion and competed to the very end – this team will always do that - in comparison to the 2008 team that often went down after the first punch.
But it never felt close on Monday.
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The Mariners (43-59) were really never in it, never really threatened to be in it and looked and played like a team that hadn’t won a game since July 5 in a 10-3 loss to the New York Yankees.
“We were still competing out there,” Wedge said. “We just made some mistakes. They’re still playing all the way through with still a lot of energy in the dugout. They’re staying together with this thing. It’s just a hell of a thing we are going through right now.”
Third baseman Adam Kennedy couldn’t even put it into words.
He paused for several seconds trying to find something to say, before just saying, “I really don’t know.”
It’s a prevailing sentiment around the team.
They know how to make it better. They know how to win games. They don’t know why they can’t get a complete effort to do so.
They didn't get any help from first base ump Bob Davidson, who missed two easy calls. Bottom line, the guy is terrible.
In the third inning he called Kennedy out at first on one of the trademark Jeter backhand stabs and leaping throws to first in the previous inning. Replays showed Kennedy easily beat the throw.
In the fourth inning Vargas opened the innings with a strikeout of Nick Swisher. But Russell Martin reached on an error by Kennedy at third. On a ground ball to first, Vargas appeared to have taken the throw from Justin Smoak and beaten Andruw Jones to the bag, who appeared to step on his foot on the bag.
But first base umpire Bob Davidson ruled Jones safe.
“Yeah, he was out,” Vargas said flatly.
Said Kennedy: “Bob Davidson missed his second call of the game."
Did those cost the Mariners the game? No, but they don't help. Especially the Vargas a play, where an extra out could have limited so much damage.
Things continued to snowball from there. Eduardo Nunez and Brett Gardner followed with back-to-back run scoring singles. Jeter followed with a hard ground ball to second. Dustin Ackley fielded it cleanly and fired home, but his throw was low and it hit Jeter’s bat that was lying in the ground. It ricocheted past Miguel Olivo allowing Nunez to score and the runners to move.
When the inning finally came to an end, the Mariners had given up five runs on four hits with two errors, and one tough call that couldn’t have helped the situation.
“You don’t want blame things, but it’s true, when things are going bad, that’s what happens,” Kennedy said.
The five-run inning put the Yankees up 7-1 and ended Vargas’ night.
Vargas has been the subject of some trade speculation for teams in need of another starter. But he didn’t look like a pennant-race caliber pitching, lasting just four innings and allowing eight runs on seven hits with only four of the runs being earned because of the errors.
“The key for him is just is command,” Wedge said. “I felt like he was a little bit better today, but still not on par. A couple of calls went against us, and we booted the ball around a little bit too and that was as much of the difference for him as anything.”
Still this was the second straight sub-par start for Vargas. In his last start in Toronto, he lasted just three innings, giving up five runs on six hits with five walks. So over two starts, he’s pitched seven innings, given up nine earned runs on 12 hits and walked six while striking out two. That’s not exactly what the passel of scouts watching both games are looking for in trying to better their respective teams.
“It’s one thing when you know you are all over the place and they get to you,” Vargas said. “Other than the homer to Teixeira, they just battle you and battle you and don’t give up at-bats and don’t’ give in. I did my best out there to try and limit what was going on, but nothing was going right for us.”
While Vargas didn’t get much help from his teammates in the field or in the form of run support, Yankees starter and former Mariner Freddy Garcia went to work on his old team, pitching with a serious cushion.
The big right-hander no longer throws hard, but he still knows how to pitch a little. And he changed speeds, and worked location well enough to go 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts.
“He’s such a finesse guy now,” Wedge said. “He turns he ball over, adds and subtracts with his velocity. He did a good job.”
The Mariners three runs did have some positives. Justin Smoak ripped a double from the left-side to start the second inning and set up Ichiro’s sacrifice fly for Seattle’s first run. Smoak delivered an RBI single in the seventh as well. In the eighth, Ichiro led off with a single and Brendan Ryan doubled him home for the Mariners only other run.