The Yankees were not anticipating CC Sabathia pitching against Felix Hernandez when they lined up their rotation at the end of spring training, but the Opening Day rainout forced everyone back a day. However, Hernandez didn't have his best stuff today and actually walked six batters, giving the Yankees plenty of chances to score. They failed to capitalize on those chances, which resulted in an extremely frustrating loss for the Yankees.
Right off the bat, the Yankees had two baserunners in the first inning, but Carlos Beltran struck out to end the inning. Starlin Castro hit a leadoff single in the second, and Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury both worked walks to load the bases, but Brett Gardner flew out to end the inning. The Yankees finally scored in the third after Mark Teixeira walked and Beltran belted a double to center field. It would be one thing if the offense just couldn't get anything going at the plate, but the Yankees put two runners on base in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings; they simply struggled to bring anyone home. Their second and final run of the game came in the seventh inning when Beltran hit a solo shot to right field to bring the score to 2-3.
CC Sabathia pitched well through the first four innings of the game, giving up just two hits, striking out five batters, and pitching around a throwing error by Chase Headley. Unfortunately, things didn't go Sabathia's way in the fifth inning. Leonys Martin hit a lead-off home run and Luis Sardinas followed with a single. With one out, Ketel Marte singled, and Didi Gregorius made a heads up play to throw out Sardinas at third base. Next, Robinson Cano singled up the middle. Jacoby Ellsbury hesitated a bit on the play and Marte was able to score from first base. The Mariners added a third run after Nelson Cruz doubled down the left field line. Johnny Barbato came in and struck out Franklin Gutierrez for the final out.
The Yankees' bullpen certainly kept the team in the game as Barbato recorded four outs, Chasen Shreve pitched a clean inning, and Dellin Betances struck out the side in the eighth. Since the Yankees have Monday off, they brought Andrew Miller out for the ninth inning, and he looked filthy today, striking out the side on ten pitches.
Down by just one run in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Yankees threatened when Beltran hit a two-out single. Castro followed with a single of his own to put the Yankees in scoring position once again, but Chase Headley grounded out to end the game. The Yankees were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position for the day.
Masahiro Tanaka will get the start tomorrow to try and prevent the sweep. He will face off against his former teammate, Hisashi Iwakuma. You can catch the game at 1:05 EST on YES.