clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Yankees 9, Mariners 4: Donaldson has four-hit night, but Yanks lose Carpenter

The heart of the Yankees’ order snapped the losing streak on a night when they also lost Matt Carpenter.

New York Yankees v Seattle Mariners Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

With the Yankees riding a five-game losing streak headed into this one, if someone had told Earlier Today Kevin that the Yankees would win the game but wouldn’t feel great about it, he would have been filled with dread. And as good as the 9-4 win felt, breaking that week-long slide, the loss of Matt Carpenter due to a foot fracture put a pall on the evening.

This one seemingly got off to about as good a start as Yankees fans could have hoped for. DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge led off the game with back-to-back hits. Following a Carpenter whiff that included fouling a ball off his foot, Josh Donaldson came to the dish. After spitting at a 1-2 pitch just off the outside part of the plate, the Bringer of Rain laced a 106-mph single into center field, scoring both runners and giving the Yankees the early lead.

It looked for the briefest of moments like Jameson Taillon would take that two-run lead and run with it, as he quickly recorded the first two outs of the bottom of the frame. Alas, Taillon left a 94mph-heater middle-up on a 1-2 count to Mitch Haniger. Abominable location. At least there were no runners on when the long ball sailed over the wall.

The top of the third inning was certainly eventful. First, Judge juuuust missed smashing a 3-0 pitch for a solo dinger to left field. Then, Tim Locastro stepped to the plate, replacing Carpenter. Nothing against Locastro, but my second thought (after holding my breath about Carpenter’s soon-to-be-doomed health) was that Judge might as well accept that he wouldn’t be seeing another pitch to hit on the evening. Thankfully, the M’s had other plans.

All was not lost though in that third, though. First-inning hero Donaldson stepped to the dish with two out and absolutely crushed a pitch to left field for a no-doubt solo smash:

Bringer of Rain indeed, sir. And after a Gleyber Torres single off the right field wall, Andrew Benintendi doubled. An aggressive send by Yankees third base coach Luis Rojas, along with a botched relay throw to the plate, allowed Torres to score and extend the lead to 4-1, all with two outs — exactly what you want.

This time, after Yankee bats gave Taillon two runs to play with, he knew exactly what to do. His second-straight three-up, three-down inning gave Taillon made it seven consecutive retired Seattle batsmen. That’s how you do a shutdown inning.

The Mariners managed to finally put a runner on against Taillon in the fourth, with Haniger again the villain of the story, albeit with only a single this time. But perhaps the knock messed with Taillon. He proceeded to walk back-to-back Mariners to load the bases. And those walks came back to bite Taillon, who lost J.P. Crawford on a long at-bat with his third consecutive walk of the inning. As a reminder, this is a pitcher who issued just five total free passes during the entire first two months of the season. Taillon’s abominable second-half command had once again reared its ugly head. Mercifully, Jamo managed to get out of the inning with no further damage. But that half-inning was uglier than a pair of used bowling shoes.

Donaldson continued bringing precipitation leading off the fifth, with a double to deep left field. Then, because we can’t have nice things, he followed that with an awful read on a Torres fly ball to deep right center. Regardless, the Yankees still had runners on second and third, and don’t look now, but “Benny Two-Bags” knocked another double, the third consecutive double of the inning and Benintendi’s second of the night. He now has four doubles in his last three starts.

Both Donaldson and Torres scored to make it 6-2, Yankees. Gilbert was done as New York battered the young righty in back-to-back starts.

New York wasn’t finished with its inning, either. After Jose Trevino moved Benintendi to third, Isiah Kiner-Falefa lofted a fly ball to right field. Despite Haniger’s cannon of an arm, Benintendi outran the throw to the plate, scoring the Yankees’ seventh run and giving IKF an nice ribbie for his situational hitting. That closed the ledger on Gilbert, responsible for all seven Yankees runs.

We have to give Taillon credit, too. After laboring through that gruesome fourth and seeing the Yankees again hang a crooked number in the top of the fifth, he did exactly what he needed to in the bottom of the frame. Facing the bottom of the Mariners order and Adam Frazier, Taillon took only 11 pitches to turn Seattle away, and after a blissfully uneventful bottom of the sixth, he came back to the mound for the seventh. On his 102nd pitch of the night, a new season high, he retired Crawford for the second out of the frame.

We probably could have ended it there, but the next hitter, Cal Raleigh, took Taillon yard for the third Seattle run of the evening. Nonetheless, the right-hander recovered though and got the final out of the frame. His final line: 7 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 6 K. Honestly? It was an effective performance against a playoff team on a night when the Yankees really needed it. Thanks, Jamo.

From there, skipper Aaron Boone turned to the ‘pen. First, portside fireballer Aroldis Chapman for the eighth. Despite giving up a single to the seemingly invincible Haniger, Chappy kept this a low stress outing and escaped the inning unscathed.

Oh, there was one major achievement of note to report, too. I’m not sure if everyone knows this, but Aaron Judge is having a really good season and happens to be chasing some single-season home run records. In the top of the ninth, he got himself a little bit closer, hammering No. 44 out to center field.

It was a five-run lead again, and Judge is 17 dingers from tying Roger Maris for the Yankee and American League record.

A Josh Donaldson double, his fourth hit and third for extra bases, followed. You know you’ve had a good night when your OPS climbs from .687 to .715 in the space of nine innings. A Trevino single scored the Provider of Precipitation and extended the Yankee lead to six runs.

For the bottom of the ninth, Clay Holmes. Fresh off a rough outing Friday night in St. Louis, he got off to an inauspicious start by plunking the leadoff man. A couple of singles later scored a run and Seattle cut the lead back to five. A groundout to the mound ended finally ended this one, and the five-game losing streak was officially a thing of the past with a 9-4 victory.

Well. I suspect all of Yankee fandom will wait with bated breath for an update on when Carpenter might return to the field (the man himself is hopeful). But of immediate importance? Tomorrow. Gerrit Cole versus Luis Castillo Two: Electric Boogaloo. Hopefully the sequel is more enjoyable than the original. Curtains up at 10:10 pm EDT. Get your popcorn ready.

Box Score