The Yankees truly did not get beat down too often in 1998. The game we’re going to talk about today was their second-worst loss of the season by final margin. However, oh boy did they get beat down in this one. Thanks to big games from one of the franchise’s tormentors in chief and another from a future Yankee, on this day in 1998, the Yankees got crushed by the Mariners.
August 30: Yankees 3, Mariners 13 (box score)
Record: 98-37, .726 (18.5 GA)
On the mound that day for the Yankees was Hideki Irabu, but things very quickly got away from him. It took just two batters for Seattle to get on the board. After Joey Cora started the top of the first with a single, Alex Rodriguez recorded a double to plate the game’s first run. Irabu then struck out Ken Griffey Jr. — don’t get used to that — but then gave up a walk, two singles, and a sacrifice fly, scoring three more runs. The Yankees did catch a break though, as on that sacrifice fly, former Yankee Russ Davis was thrown out trying to advance to second. The run did score before he was thrown out, as the Mariners ended the inning up 4-0.
Things got worse for Irabu and the Yankees in the second inning. With John Marzano and A-Rod on after singles, Griffey went deep with a three-run shot — his American League-leading 46th on the campaign. Two innings later, Griffey plated another run after only a sacrifice fly, which would be the end of Irabu’s day. In just 3.1 innings, Irabu allowed eight runs on 10 hits and two walks.
While Irabu allowed most of the damage on the day, the Mariners didn’t slow down once they got to the Yankees’ bullpen. In the fifth inning, Seattle picked up two more runs off reliever Jay Tessmer. The M’s got some help in the inning thanks to a bizarre play in left field. On a deep Davis fly ball, Chad Curtis climbed the wall in left field to try and make the play ... only to misread where the ball was headed. He got a glove on the ball, but it dropped out of it and in for a hit.
The Yankees finally got on the board themselves in the bottom of the fifth when Jorge Posada hit a solo homer. They got a second run in the sixth when a Derek Jeter groundball scored Chuck Knoblauch, who had led off the inning with a triple.
Griffey capped off his big day in the eighth when he hit his second home run of the day and his 47th on the season. For the day, Griffey went 2-for-5 with five RBI. Meanwhile, Rodriguez put up a three-hit day and an RBI for Seattle against some of this future teammates. Besides those two big names, Shane Monahan had a three-RBI day out of the nine hole, and in total, eight Mariners had at least one hit. Weirdly, the only starter for them who didn’t record a hit was Edgar Martinez, who famously did some stuff against the Yankees.
The Yankees got one more run in the ninth when Darryl Strawberry, but it was too little, too late. The damage had been done, as the Yankees were doomed to one of their biggest losses of the season.