By Blaidd Drwg
I was looking through some old scorecards that I have saved and I came across one from 2009, September 20th to be exact, for a game between the Mariners and Yankees. That season, the Yankees would win 103 games and the World Series and the Mariners would win 85 through shear dumb luck (they had a -52 run differential but happened to go 35-20 in one run games.) It was a stellar pitching matchup between Ian Snell, who seemed to managed to stay in the M’s rotation despite being horrible and Joba Chamberlain, who was a mega-prospect at the time and the Yankees were in the process of trying to turn him into a starter.
The Yankees lineup was an impressive one:
Jeter, Damon, Teixieria, Arod, Matsui, Posada, Cano, Melky Cabrera, Gardner
The Mariners, not so much:
Ichiro, Gutierrez, Lopez, Griffey, Beltre, Hall, Carp, Moore, Jack Wilson
So predictably, the Mariners jumped all over Chamberlain, scoring 7 runs in 2 innings and chasing him out of the game. Somehow Snell managed to limit the Yankees to 1 run in 5 1/3 innings despite 4 hits and 4 walks allowed. The M’s bullpen shut down the Yankees the rest of the way and the final score was 7-1.
Why is this game of note, well, because the pitching line for the Yankees bullpen, specifically Sergio Mitre (who was the only Yankees pitcher to appear after Chamberlain was chased) caught my eye:
There was an error on the scorecard which I had Mitre throwing 5 no-hit innings, which is why I was even interested. If you don’t remember Mitre, he was a Cubs and Marlins prospect who never quite put it together in the bigs. Coming into the game on the 20th, Mitre had been the Yankees 5th starter and had a 7.63 ERA and had given up 18 runs in his last 2 starts.
Pitching down 6 runs in this game, Mitre got Ichiro to bounce out, gave up a single to Guti, struck out Lopez, walked Griffey and then ended the inning on a Beltre fielder’s choice in his first inning of work. Nothing spectacular and then he proceeded to do what you expect that Mariners lineup to do the rest of the game – nothing. He put down the next 12 hitters in order. It is how he ended the game that I thought was interesting – the last 4 hitters he faced were strikeouts. So Mitre recorded 13 consecutive outs – the first 9 were on balls in play and the last 4 were strikeouts. Nothing earthshaking or anything that is ever going to appear in a record book, but just one of those little weird things about baseball that I love. I reminded me of this game that I wrote about a few years back.