A day after getting shut out by ‘King Felix’ (I don’t exactly understand the whole ‘king’ thing, but anyway), the Yankee offense woke up and put up nine runs on the Mariners en-route to a 9-5 win. Jorge Posada led the charge with a first inning, two-run home run. Eduardo Nunez, who got the start at third for the injured A-Rod (more on him later), collected his first major league hit, a seventh inning RBI single. For the fourth straight time, Javier Vazquez failed to give the Yankees six innings. In three innings, Vazquez gave up four runs on eight hits.

Initial Reaction:

Entering 2010, the starting pitching figured to be the Yankees strong suit. However, after an injury to Andy Pettitte and both Vazquez and AJ Burnett carrying ERAs over five, the Yankees are searching for answers. CC Sabathia (16-5, 3.12 ERA) has been the ace we were all expecting. Phil Hughes has surpassed expectations.

Vazquez has been a huge disappointment. Even though he did not figure into the decision today, his 9-9 record and 5.05 ERA stick out like a sore thumb. Giving up two home runs to Ichiro Suzuki and a mammoth blast into the right field upper deck to Russell Branyan wasn’t very fun.  He and AJ Burnett need to give the Yankees more quality starts so Joe Girardi doesn’t toast the bullpen before October.

Speaking of the bullpen, let’s once again give it up for our friends out in the pen. Collectively, they gave the Yanks six innings of four-hit ball. Mariano Rivera yielded the only run, but it was predicated by Ichiro Suzuki taking second base on defensive indifference.

As for the offense, it was great to see the sticks wake up after managing only four hits off ‘King Felix’ last night. Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano each had two hits while Posada crushed his 14th home run.

As for one of the key offensive members, the Yankees placed Alex Rodriguez on the 15-day Disabled List with a calf injury. Let’s hope it’s just fifteen days!

Positives From The Game:

The Bullpen: Mentioned above. Boone, David, Chad, and Mo were all solid. Big props to Chad Gaudin for giving the Yanks three-innings of one-hit ball in relief of Vaz.

Everyone Hits!: Expect Swish and Thames! Everyone outside of our two friends had a knock today.

Negatives From The Game:

Vazquez Stinks: He stinks right now. Bottom line.

Interesting Facts:

Russell Rakes: Russell Branyan’s first inning bomb was the first home run ever to land in the upper deck in Yankee stadium.

What’s Next?:

Big Stoppa on the Mound tomorrow as the Yanks look to take two of three from the M’s.

Sunday 1:05 PM, YES: Luke French (2-3, 4.02 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (16-5, 3.12 ERA)

Last Start:

French: Win, 7 2/3 innings, no earned runs, three strikeouts (at Baltimore)
Sabathia: Win, seven innings, two earned runs, nine strikeouts (vs. Detroit)

**French has had a see-saw ride in terms of role this season, but threw three innings of one-run ball in relief on July 9th.

**Sabathia is 9-0 with a 2.64 ERA this season. He is 2-0 against the M’s this year while allowing only two earned runs in 15 innings.