Hot Stove League and Mariner Mondays
Mariners pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Peoria, AZ this weekend, and what better way to get ready for the baseball season than with the Hot Stove League on the radio and Mariners Mondays on ROOT Sports.
The Hot Stove League show will be hosted by Rick Rizzs, Shannon Drayer and Matt Pitman. Fans can listen locally in the Puget Sound region on 710 ESPN Seattle and over the Internet on Mariners.com. Guests for the show are scheduled to include:
- Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn
- Third Base Coach Jeff Datz
- Infielder Kyle Seager
- Right-handed pitcher Steve Delabar
- USA Today baseball writer Paul White
Anytime you can beat the Yankees is a good day. When you do it in back-to-back games, even better.
Let’s set the scene – May 27, the Mariners are a game under .500 and preparing to open a big homestand with a three-game set against the Yankees. It’s a Friday night, and there’s always a buzz in Safeco Field when the Yankees come to town. When it was over, the Mariners had overcome a three-run deficit, Franklin Gutierrez had made another of his highlight-reel catches, and the Mariners bullpen held off the always powerful Yankees offense.
Rookie pitcher Michael Pineda got the start – probably the biggest start of his young career (after his Major League debut). But he struggled through 5.0 innings. He gave up just three hits and struck out five, but he didn’t have command of his fastball and walked five. The Mariners bullpen (David Pauley, Jamey Wright and Brandon League) combined for four scoreless innings. Pauley got the win and League notched his 13th save.
Look for highlights tonight of Franklin Gutierrez’s stunning catch of Nick Swisher’s deep drive to right center in the fourth inning.
The next night, Felix Hernandez took the mound. He pitched well and looked to be in line for a win, until the Yankees tied it at 4-4 in the 7th after a misjudged fly ball to right turned a Curtis Granderson out into a triple, scoring Derek Jeter from second.
The game stayed tied into the 12th inning (kudos again to the Mariners bullpen), when Mariano Rivera strode in for career appearance 1,001. Game over, right? Not so fast.
Rivera got a quick out on a broken bat grounder. Then Justin Smoak blooped a single to left, and Jack Cust dropped a double just inside the left field line, sending Smoak to third. Luis Rodriguez pinch ran for Smoak, Guti was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Adam Kennedy stepped in. On an 0-1 pitch, Kennedy put one into center field, just in front of Granderson, to score Rodriquez, who was greeted at home with a good beating by his teammates.
Pauley, who worked two innings of relief, got the win, his second in a row. The Mariners 5-4 win was the first loss Rivera had suffered since September 11, 2010.
The game was notable for another reason—four fans, including a streaker, ran onto the field late in the game. All were “escorted” off the field and spent part of their Memorial Day weekend as guests of King County.