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Thursday, May 16, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Mariners 3, Yankees 2

By Wallace Matthews



The Yankees lost more than a ballgame tonight; they also lost Andy Pettitte to yet another injury, this one to his left trapezius, the muscle between the shoulder and the neck, in the fifth inning. The 3-2 loss to the Mariners is bad enough, but for a team that is already thin at just about every position but pitcher, its roster just got a little thinner tonight.

Tough to say until we know for sure how serious Pettitte's injury is and how long he will be out, but it probably means a start for Adam Warren on Tuesday at Baltimore, or maybe Ivan Nova if the Yankees determine he is ready to come off the DL, which seems unlikely.

Through the trapdoor: Perhaps it was inevitable with a team that seems to suffer a new injury every game, and a pitcher about to turn 41, but that didn't make it any less shocking to see Pettitte grimace after striking out Kyle Seager in the fifth inning, and after a brief meeting on the mound with Joe Girardi, Larry Rothschild and assistant trainer Mark Littlefield, trot off the mound and into the clubhouse with an apparent injury. In the eighth inning, the Yankees announced it was "tightness in the left trapezius." No prognosis yet; will have it after the Girardi interview.

Stew too?: Catcher Chris Stewart went into third awkwardly on Robinson Cano's infield hit that drove in the Yankees' second run of the game in the bottom of the seventh. Stewy stayed in the game after Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue went out to check on him, but did not come out to catch the eighth. He was replaced by Austin Romine.

Not sharp: Pettitte struggled with his command even before the injury, walking three batters in the first four innings. He allowed a run on an RBI double by Dustin Ackley in the second inning and was fortunate to escape with just one run in the fourth after getting in a bases-loaded, one-out jam. It was the third subpar performance in the past four outings for Pettitte.

Who's on third?: Brett Gardner, that's who, after singling with one out in the ninth and stealing second and third off former Yankees prospect Jesus Montero to put the tying run 90 feet from the plate. But he got no further when Cano, of all people, tapped out to short to end the game.

First of many?: David Adams' double over the head of Mariners right fielder Michael Morse in the second drove in Curtis Granderson from second and was the first RBI of his big league career. And he may have received his first tribute three innings later when Hector Noesi plunked him in the back in his next at-bat.

There's plenty of K's in Kelley: Shawn Kelley struck out five of the eight batters he faced in relief of Pettitte and has now struck out 30 in 17 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, one of the three he did not strike out, Michael Morse, hit a long home run into the Yankees' bullpen to give the Mariners a 3-1 lead.

Driving a Wedge: Right out of the game, Mariners manager Eric Wedge got tossed after two innings for arguing with HP ump Greg Gibson, presumably over a catch made by Ichiro in right field that Wedge thought was a trap. Seattle bench coach Robby Thompson -- no relation to Yankees 3B coach Rob Thomson -- did a heck of a job, juggling five pitching changes to nurse the one-run lead.

They must have drunk the Invisibility Potion: Despite a snazzy (not really) soda cup giveaway, the announced crowd of 35,392 on a beautiful 75-degree evening was nowhere close to the actual attendance, which looked to be about 10,000 less. Well, the Knicks and Rangers were playing, on TV, for the cost of a monthly cable subscription.

What's next: The Toronto Blue Jays pull in for three over the weekend. Hiroki Kuroda (5-2, 2.31), the Yankees' best starter so far this season, kicks it off against LHP Mark Buehrle (1-2, 6.19), who hasn't beaten the Yankees in nearly a decade. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.