NEW YORK, NY - MAY 11: Jesus Montero #63 of the Seattle Mariners connects for a solo homerun in the sixth-inning against the New York Yankees at homeplate at Yankee Stadium on May 11, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Jesus Montero's sixth inning homerun, which gave the Mariners a temporary 2-1 lead, was like adding insult to injury with some salt rubbed into the wound for good measure. The Yankees didn't have too much time to dwell on regret, however, because Raul Ibanez' three-run homer in the bottom half of the inning proved to be the best kind of medicine.
With Montero homering last night and Hector Noesi scheduled to take the mound this afternoon, more than a few Yankees' fans are probably still bitter about the ill-fated trade with the Mariners. However, it might please them to know that Seattle's GM Jack Zduriencik feels bad about the outcome. Then again, maybe not.
Hiroki Kuroda, who was signed on the same day the Yankees' traded Montero, not only got the better of Felix Hernandez in last night's ballgame, but he also bested his countryman Ichiro Suzuki, who went 0-3 against the right hander. With those three outs, Kuroda extended his dominance over Japanese hitters, who are now batting just .162 against him in 34 plate appearances.
The Yankees finally owned up to what everyone else has known for quite some time: Eduardo Nunez is not capable of playing major league quality defense in a utility role. Before last night's game, Nunez was optioned to triple-A, where he will primarily play short stop. Of course, the Yankees currently have a short stop with two more years remaining on his contract, so maybe the team should consider a different role for the error prone infielder?
Does Joe Girardi have an old school approach to closers? And, if he is insistent on primarily using one reliever in that role, is David Robertson the best choice? If not for a letter written to George Steinbrenner over 10 years ago, we probably wouldn't even being considering the question.
In the fourth inning, Alex Rodriguez was thrown out at the plate on a single to left by Mark Teixeira. Had third-base coach Rob Thomson not waved Arod around, the Yankees would have had the bases loaded with no outs. As a result, it looked like a reckless decision. However, as noted at the end of this blog post in the Seattle Times, left fielder Mike Carp recently missed a month with a sprained throwing shoulder. Did that factor into Thomson's decision? If so, it makes the send a more worthy risk.