Derek Jeter turned on a fastball in the first inning and lined a home run to left field. The sound was true, a resounding crack. You don't see Jeter hit many dingers like this and it felt like a good sign. (It was Jeter's 1000th career RBI; he later singled to tied Babe Ruth on the all-time Yankee hit list.) The Mariner's scheduled starter, Carlos Silva, scratched with pain in his back, was replaced by Ryan Feierabend, who came into the game with just one career big league victory to his name. Xavier Nady added a solo homer in the second and it felt like the Yanks would be able to give Mike Mussina plenty of run support.
But it wasn't to be. Feierabend mixed in a decent fastball with a good change up and pitched seven fine innings. The Yanks did not score again. They had a couple of chances. In the fourth, the Bombers had runners on second and third with one man out. But Robinson Cano had a sloppy at bat at struck out swining; Jose Molina ended the inning with a fly ball to center. The next inning, with two men out, Jeter on second and Alex Rodriguez on first, Feierabend, on a timing play, threw to first, and had Rodriguez nailed. The M's caught Jeter to end the threat.
Meanwhile, Mike Mussina started off well but gave up a two-run homer to Adrian Beltre in the third and a solo shot to Jose Lopez in the fourth. The M's scrapped another run in the fifth and without any hitting, Mussina's bid for his eighteenth win fell flat. Lopez added another solo homer in the eighth, this one against Jose Veras.
The Yanks put two runners on in the ninth against J.J. Putz. Giambi was hit by a pitch and Hideki Matsui singled, the Yankees' first base hit since the fourth inning. With two out, Wilson Betemit pinch hit for Molina, and got ahead in the count, 2-0. He swung through a fastball and took another pitch out of the zone and then fouled a fastball back. He was just a touch late. It was a good hack. The late afternoon sun cast long shadows on the fielders. The hitter, catcher and ump were in the shadows at home plate. Putz poured another heater over the plate, Betemit waved at it and the game was over.
So after beating the Tigers last Monday and then taking two-of-three in Tampa, the Yanks lost a weekend series to the worst team in the American League. The Jays beat the Rays again on Sunday and Toronto moved a half-game ahead of the Yankees into third place.
Yup, your fourth place Yankees. No win for Moose, no win for the Yanks. No nuthin but a whole lot more of the same. Good grief.