In a battle between two potential American League All-Stars, Seattle Mariners ace Cliff Lee pitched a complete game as the Seattle Mariners beat the New York Yankees 7-4. Lee got the win for the Mariners and Phil Hughes picked up the loss for the Yankees. With the loss, Hughes drops to 10-2 on the season and the Yankees fall to 47-29 on the season.

"Vote for me!" - Nick Laham / Getty Images

Initial Reaction:

In a battle between a future ace and a current ace, the current Seattle ace Cliff Lee stood tall over Yankee pitcher Phil Hughes. Cliff Lee allowed a Nick Swisher home run early, but the middle of the game was smooth sailing for Lee. Phil Hughes got hit, hard. It seemed like every hitter for the Mariners was hitting hard line drives. It was by far his worst start of the year. This result will certainly loom in Joe Girardi’s mind the next time Phil gets skipped.

Pitcher IP H ER K BB HR
C. Lee 9 8 3 2 1 2
P. Hughes 5.2 10 6 3 2 1

Cliff Lee reminded us of the two World Series games last season when he dominated the Yankees in two starts. Tonight’s dominant outing by Lee will obviously make him a much more attractive target as we get closer to the trade deadline and free agency. Check back tomorrow AM for a feature by yours truly on when Cliff Lee could potentially come to the Yanks!

Positives From The Game:

Possible All-Star?: Nick Swisher hit a no-doubt-about-it home run to left-center off of Cliff Lee in the first. Then, in the bottom of the sixth, Swish followed up that home run with an even further home run than the one in the first. With the two home runs, it is his 15th career multi-homer game. NY fans, give the man more votes for the All-Star game!

Grandy: It was nice to see Curtis Granderson getting two hard-hit singles off of left-handed throwing Cliff Lee. This will certainly raise his awful .190 average vs. southpaws.

I’m really stretching for positives here, but the Yankees-garbage-time-relievers (I just used my second phrase with three hyphens in one post) pitched well. Boone Logan went 1.1 innings and allowed no runs with two hits. He stranded runners on first and third in the seventh with no outs. Chan Ho Park came in to pitch a perfect two innings. It’s not every game you can squeeze that into a recap.

Negatives From The Game:

The Franchise: As noted above, Phil Hughes got rocked in his worst start of the season. Before the game, he was quoted as saying “I don’t think I’ve pitched well enough to really have that record,” speaking of his then 10-1 mark. He has gotten the best run support in the Majors this year, and tonight was the first night he looked completely helpless without run support…

Speaking of run support, the rest of the offense was mediocre at best. A 9th-inning rally netted three hits (doubles by Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada, single by Robinson Cano) and two runs, one of which was unearned.

Interesting Facts:

With Jorge Posada’s walk in the 2nd inning, Cliff Lee walked his first batter in 144 plate appearances. Wow.

The Mariners, last in the American League in runs scored, scored in every inning against Phil Hughes except the first.

Don’t Trade for Lee!: Says Nick Swisher, who is batting .381 (8-21) in his career against Cliff Lee.

EVERY Mariner in the starting lineup tonight recorded a hit. This output came from a team batting an AL-worst .239 coming into the contest. Ouch.

Tonight’s game lasted a grand total of two hours and thirty minutes. Is that quick enough for ya, Joe West?

What’s Next?:

Tomorrow night, two more great American League pitchers will go at it. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM and can be viewed on the YES Network.

Projected Starters:

Felix Hernandez (5-5, 3.28 ERA) vs. Javier Vazquez (6-6, 5.16 ERA)